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Reducing the size of the Debian Installation Footprint

It may be useful to reduce the size of the installation footprint on Embedded systems, or on older computers or laptops with limited drive space, or in cases where a small installation is preferred.


Removing non-critical packages

  • Except essential packages aptitude search '!?essential', you can remove what you don't need.

  • Replace packages with smaller equivalents :
    • debconf-english (replaces debconf-il8n)

    • levee (replaces nvi and vim-tiny)

    • lpr replaces lpr-ng or CUPS)

    • madplay (replaces mpg123, mpg321 and mp3-decoder)

    • mutt (replaces GUI ?MailUserAgent: Evolution, Thunderbird)

    • setmixer (replaces aumix)

    • slrn, tin (replaces GUI Usenet ?NewsReader)

    • irssi (replaces GUI IRC clients)

    • jed, xjed (replaces Emacs)

    • w3m, lynx, links (replaces GUI ?WebBrowser)

    • dash (replaces bash, this currently breaks)

Remove unnecessary locale files

The introduction of LanguagePacks (tdebs) may also help in reducing the size of the installation footprint.

  • It is recommended that the number of [:Locale:locale] configurations installed is kept to a minimum. By limiting the number of locale files built you can save 90% of the space taken up by storing these systems on your system and saves the compilation time for building the locale settings for each package. A side effect or reducing the number of locale options is that the compilation of the glibc library gets a lot faster.

  • ToDo: complete this section

Remove foreign language man files

  • With appropriate privileges, it is possible to remove the foreign man pages as follows:

rm -rf /usr/share/man/??
rm -rf /usr/share/man/??_*
  • Note: There is also a purgelocales package that will remove the man pages, but that destroys the package management and package building system.

  • With appropriate privileges, it is possible to remove the copyright files as follows:

rm /usr/share/doc/*/copyright*

Rebuilding packages using the Tiny C Compiler

Remove unnecessary cups dependencies

SmallKernel Build a smaller kernel using fewer options

Reduce the size of the X installation footprint

  • You can remove the packages xserver-xorg-video-* that you don't use. you should still keep xserver-xorg-video-vesa.

See Also

  • ["?DebianLive/HowTo/SmallSizeImage"]