Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Minimal Installation Option Review

New Minimal Installation option will just install Ubuntu core OS, a internet browser, and few apps

​Starting with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, there will an additional option during the installation of the operating system. It’s called “Minimal Installation”. In this mode, Ubuntu will just install essential Ubuntu core components and few basic apps that is needed to start using the operating system like a internet browser and text editor. No LibreOffice package, no Thunderbird, no games, and things like that. This is a great trend changing idea from Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu OS. With this option, they want to give user a chance to install apps as needed. The apps are all free to install anyway, anytime.

Since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS stable version build is not yet available, and slated to be released on 26th April, we grabbed one of the daily builds available today, which is OK for testing. It is not to be used in production machines.

In this article we will take a closer look at what exactly you get when you use minimal installation option so that you stay prepared and can be ready if the option is for you when Ubuntu 18.04 is available. Will you get faster booting time? Will it reduce RAM consumption? Let’s review!

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Minimal Installation

This is how the option looks during the Ubuntu 18.04 installation.

UPDATE 2nd April 2018 : Jeremy Bicha of Ubuntu confirmed to FOSS Linux that the new “Install” dialog box will include “Normal Installation” mode too in addition to “Minimal installation”.

Normal Installation mode will install FIrefox, utilities, LibreOffice, Games, and Media Players.

Ubuntu 18.04 Minimal Installation (Thanks to Jeremy Bicha of Ubuntu dev team for the update)
Ubuntu 18.04 Minimal Installation (Thanks to Jeremy Bicha of Ubuntu dev team for the update)

As you see, the option only installs a minimal desktop environment with a web browser and few basic utilities.

1. Installation Time

Since minimal installation option is minimalistic, does it also reduce the installation time? Logically, it makes sense to think so. To put it to test, I used the same computer with same hardware specs to compare the time taken to install Ubuntu 18.04 using minimal installation vs typical option which installs third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware, MP3, and other media. In both the cases I turned OFF “Download updates while installing Ubuntu” to make sure network speed will not affect the installation time. Also I started my Timer after keying in Username and password inputs, which means the comparison is only on what components will be installed solely in each options. I think this is a fair way t compare. I stopped the Timer when it says “Installation is complete. You need to restart the computer in order to use the new installation”.

Time taken for Minimal installation


Time taken for Typical installation


To my surprise, the installation time actually increased! I know it sounds strange and no, I’m not drunk while testing it, but I observed status bar during minimal installation and noticed it started removing the apps that got installed, which means the way the installer works is it actually installs everything and then uninstalls the not needed ones!

Editor’s Note: If your primary goal is to reduce installation time, then Minimal installation option is NOT for you.

2. Apps

The biggest backlash from Ubuntu users is the inclusion of some not needed apps such as “Amazon”, “Simple Scan”, and few other games. Thankfully, these apps are gone if you chose minimal installation option. The only apps you get with minimal installation are as follows: FIrefox, Calculator, Ubuntu Software, Power statistics, System Monitor, Text Editor, Archive Manager, Characters, Disks, Image Viewer, and Screenshot.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Minimal Installation Apps (In-development version)
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Minimal Installation Apps (In-development version)

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Apps
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Apps

Editor’s Note: Minimal installation gets rid of junk apps and it can’t cleaner than this, keeping most used ones. Ubuntu 18.04 is a Winner here, and could be the most popular option!

3. Hard disk Space

This is no brainer. Minimal installation options saves hard disk due to less number of apps installed. I saw near about 500MB hard disk space savings using the minimal installation option.

Editor’s Note: Fewer apps implies hard disk space saved. This is one of the implied advantages you get using the minimalistic option.

4. Memory Consumption

When it comes to system resources, the minimalistic desktop consumes as much system memory as a typical installation. I looked at the System Monitor after the booting is complete and gave it few minutes to settle down. I didn’t launch any applications and found no difference in system resources consumption. Both the options consumed 1GB of RAM.

System Resources Usage - Min Option
System Resources Usage – Min Option

5. System Boot time

So, the most important question. Does the minimal installation option make your system boot faster? The answer is tricky. I didn’t see any significant difference in the boot time. Minimal install Ubuntu 18.04 took 23s78, while the typical one took 24s10. Although there should be no difference at the first few boots, things may change later depending on what startup applications get added to either of the cases that will affect the boot time.

Editor’s Note: Minimal installation doesn’t affect system boot time with the default installation settings.

Note that the tests I ran is on a developmental build which is unstable. In fact the system refused to boot after some restarts. This article will be updated after testing on the official stable build of Bionic Beaver when it becomes available later this month. Till then I hope this article gave you some insight into the new ‘minimal install’ feature.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


  1. Thanks, that’s a useful article!
    I always liked installing a bare-bone Linux and then adding just what I needed.
    So the Minimal option sounded attractive at the first glance, but if the only saving is those 500 MB of disk space, it is practically useless.
    Andrew Schetinin


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Top 10 Reasons to use Xfce as your Desktop Environment

There are many choices for desktop environments for Linux based operating systems. Mainly, you can install any DE of your choice on most of the Linux based distributions, even if they are not offered as a package officially. In our recent articles, we discussed the best of KDE and Cinnamon. In this article, we wish to present to you the top reasons why you should consider Xfce as your desktop environment.

The 10 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

Having total control over your network is essential to prevent programs from overusing your network resources and slowing down the overall performance. This is why you should install a network monitoring tool on your system, giving you a visual overview of everything that's happening on your network. Networking Tools are like swiss-knife for the system administrators for troubleshooting system issues.

How to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu

Downloading movies and copying them over to your home server can get frustrating, especially if you are doing it daily! What if you have an option to download videos automatically, quickly, and above all with excellent quality. CouchPotato allows you to download movies easily once they are available and released automatically.

Top 20 Rsync Examples in Linux

The Rsync (remote sync) command is a Linux/Unix utility used to synchronize and copy files and directories either locally or remotely. Most Linux geeks use Rsync to mirror, backup or migrate data across folders, across disks and networks. One notable feature with the Rsync command is that it uses the "delta transfer algorithm."

Setting up NFS Server on Ubuntu Server

We have put together a detailed step-by-step tutorial that will guide you on how to install and set up NFS Server on Ubuntu so you too can start sharing data with other client systems. It is divided into sections, the first part discussing how to set up the host server and the second part showing you how to set up the client-side. For this tutorial, we will be using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Crontab in Linux Explained With Examples

Crontab is the Linux equivalent of the Window's Task Scheduler. It can help you set up a task to run automatically at a regular...


Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.
Elementary OS 5.1 Hera has received a point release with a handful of new features and bug fixes, and we will be reviewing the significant changes in this article. For those new to elementary OS, this Ubuntu-based Linux distribution uses their inhouse built Pantheon desktop environment and AppCenter.

10 Reasons to use Cinnamon as your Desktop Environment

With the release of Gnome 3 in 2011, there was quite a mixed reaction from users and developers. Most of them preferred the original Gnome that got forked, and one of those forks was Cinnamon. Since the release of Cinnamon 2.0, Cinnamon has evolved to become a desktop environment by itself.

6 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

Whether buying a Linux pre-installed laptop or selecting a Linux distro for your existing laptop, there are many things to consider. Let's take you through some of the best Linux distros that are optimized for Laptops in this 2019 edition of the article. Read on.

CopyQ – Advanced clipboard manager for Linux

We have all had that moment when we copied a text, but we first needed another one, and in the process, lost the first one. If you're lucky, you can get it back quickly with a bit of work.

How to dual-boot Ubuntu and Fedora on your PC

Every Linux distribution has its capabilities and preferences as per the user requirements. That brings forth the need to run different distros on one laptop. For example, a CyberSecurity enthusiast might prefer to use Ubuntu for development and Kali Linux for penetration testing.