I am attempting to build an extremely minimal installation of Debian.

What is the best way to install the operating system with only packages marked as Essential, excluding Important and Recommended packages?

Will Debian even run in this configuration?

Note: Following these instructions still seems to install some packages labeled Important.

1 Answer 1


To get the smallest possible system, follow the instructions you linked to, but specify --variant=minbase on the debootstrap command line. This will install only apt, essential packages and their dependencies.

You will always end up with packages not flagged as "Essential": some of the dependencies of essential packages aren't themselves "Essential" (they effectively become essential transitively).


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