Install as little as possible

Currently, debootstrap installs the at-Daemon. Because of this, it has to install mailx. This in turn needs an smtp mailer, which is by default exim4. And this one needs lots of libraries for gnutls etc.

Later on, in tasksel, "Mail Server" is then already selected, despite the fact that the machine probably isn't meant to be a mail server.

None of this is true in Etch, AFAIK -- JoeyHess

Workaround

When you use the CD method of the new debian-installer, you can create a file .disk/base_exclude with this contents:

 at
 exim4
 exim4-base
 exim4-config
 exim4-daemon-light
 mailx
 pcmcia-cs
 setserial
 info
 libident
 libgnutls7
 libgcrypt1
 liblzo1
 libopencdk8
 libtasn1-0
 liblockfile1
 libpcre3
 libpcap0.7
 tasksel
 telnet
 libtextwrap1
 ipchains
 ppp
 pppoe
 pppoeconf
 pppconfig

to make the installation lean.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work with the ?DebianInstallerNetbootPXE method. You'd have to change the debootstrap udeb to achive a similar result.

Alternatively, you can use a udeb (i.e. bootstrapwrap.udeb) that provides the same feature by including a wrapper for debootstrap. This can be downloaded in the early_command (see the middle of this early_script for an example), along with the base_exclude file. More information about how this is used can be gleaned from reading the READMEs & HOWTOs: http://hands.com/d-i/