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

The following packages are non-critical and can be removed:

The following packages cannot be removed, even though marked as optional:

Replace packages with smaller equivalents

Remove unnecessary locale files

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

Remove foreign language man files

rm -rf /usr/share/man/??
rm -rf /usr/share/man/??_*

Reconfigure apt so that it does not install additional packages

Add the following entries to the /etc/apt/apt.conf configuration file:

APT::Install-Recommends "0" ; APT::Install-Suggests "0" ;

Rebuilding packages using the Tiny C Compiler

Remove unnecessary kernel modules

Remove unnecessary cups dependencies

SBuild a smaller kernel using fewer options

Reduce the size of the X installation footprint

Reduce the size of the initramfs

Remove unnecessary ipv6 files

If you are using only [ipv4] internally, then the following [ipv6] files can be removed:

Remove /etc/alternatives

If your applications have been mapped using traditional methods, then it is possible to remove the /etc/alternatives directory.

Replace the getty processes with the ngetty single process daemon

The getty processes can be replaced by the ngetty single process daemon to reduce virtual memory utilization: