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I want to install a light distro on my laptop, and I want to use it in text mode. I just want to use gcc, nano, ghci, javac and some text browser. But when I installed using the CD, the first installation disk ended up installing many packages that I will not use, and I wanted to leave my computer as light as possible.

How can I choose just the essential packages that I need for the basics?

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When you boot the live CD, select "expert install" (graphical or non-graphical; it doesn't matter). Follow the installation. When it gets to the screen to "select additional software to install" or whatever, unselect everything. Then proceed with the installation.

This will leave you in a minimal environment (essentially just base and anything marked "essential").

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    There's a command for that! (just in case it's useful someday) aptitude -s --without-recommends -o APT::Install-Recommends=no -y install ~prequired ~pimportant ~pstandard I suppose standard priority isn't required if you want to be really minimal. Remove the -s when you see what is to be installed. – umeboshi Jan 25 '15 at 23:45

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