There has been a recent announcement of an official Minimal Ubuntu stream with a raw image as well as support on various clouds. There is also an ubuntu-minimal package which has existed since trusty. Various uses of "minimal" over the years have been used to describe vastly different OP situations.

A quick glance at questions with these terms seem to show that there has been a difference between the usage of "Minimal" on this site and, going forward, may refer to five distinctly different contexts:

  1. An installation of Ubuntu (usually server on bare-metal, but also virtualbox image) with the intention of using as little resources for running the OS as possible. Sometimes with competing aims, such as:

    a. streamlining as a guest; vs

    b. hardware support (RAID, LVM, SSD, etc.), for example

  2. Install media that are smaller - in other words - Ubuntu Live Server.

  3. An Ubuntu docker/lxd/aws container which doesn't require setup but does have some specific streamlining for working in these environments.
  4. The ubuntu-minimal metapackage, described as "Minimal Core of Ubuntu".
  5. Another way of describing Ubuntu Core.

It's an unfortunate marketing problem which I'm quite surprised about, actually. I would have thought this confusion would have been spotted long before it was decided to use the brand "Minimal Ubuntu".

How can we help make it easier to find questions that specifically relate to these five or six distinctly different uses?

  • 1
    To add to the confusion, the linked page uses "Minimal Ubuntu" whereas the downloads page it links to uses "Ubuntu Minimal". Go figure. It appears that even the branding is not consistent for this new stream. Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 12:04
  • It may be handy to have a question about the intended use for all these things. Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 12:15
  • As far as this site goes, there's questions tagged [ubuntu-minimal], which typically refer to Minimal-CD. I think first step would be to have a new tag [minimal-ubuntu] that correlates or links to the explanations given in the linked blog entry. Otherwise, there's not much to teaching part, I think. Editing the posts with proper tags and commenting should be enough for now. Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    So the solution is tags? [ubuntu-vm-guest], [ubuntu-vm-host], [ubuntu-compact-installation-media], [ubuntu-hypervisor-guest], [ubuntu-minimal-package], [ubuntu-core]? Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 23:41
  • It's not a solution (and probably there isn't one), it's just one of the helpful things that can be done as far as the site itself goes. Considering the similar naming, there will be tons of questions referencing the wrong thing for years to come, and there's no "fix" for that, especially for new people. Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 0:38
  • True, but at least tags and clear definitions would help the archivists and review queue moderators. I do a bit of rewriting of questions when I see a proper term and ask the OP when it's unclear what they are referring to. Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 2:19


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