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When installed from DVD, a new Debian installation has a lot of packages. I've become used to having mutt, vim, etc. installed by default.

However, AWS AMIs and debootstrap installations have only a minimal set of packages installed (less than 300) which is not a bad thing if you're setting up a server to only do a few things, but if you actually want to log into the host regularly and use it, having to install basic packages all the time is a pain.

How do I tell Debian to install all packages of "Priority: standard" from the repository?

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Run the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo tasksel --new-install

And make sure you turn off/on any options you do or don't want.

It will then scan the list of packages and install all available that have "Priority: standard".

If it fails with an error indicating that dpkg failed, try running the second command again. It worked for me the second time around.

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