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What does an ubuntu preseed file look like for a minimal install? My current preseed file installs about 400 packages and is serveral 100MBs.

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I suggest you look at the answers generated by a base server install.

I've just checked, and a fairly minimal Debian Lenny is ~250 packages. Once real services are installed that quickly baloons on one of my machines to ~550 packages.

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u-lite.org is remarkably light-weight ubuntu roll. Debian server with apache/cacti/nagios/vpn/zoneminder/lotsofcrap is currently sat at 239 packages installed. –  BuildTheRobots Jan 4 '10 at 6:17

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