Lubuntu 21.04 - Cannot Find the Minimal Install Option


I’m a Unix guy with many years of experience with Solaris and RHEL but a new user to Lubuntu. Just installed 21.04 on an old Acer 4GB laptop and so far I’m enjoying this distro!

I read on the web that Lubuntu offers a minimal install option but when launched the installer and went through the menus I could not find it. Can you please let me know how to install Lubuntu using the minimal option?

I did this installation using a bootable USB stick that I created with the iso image. Not sure if I have to do a PXE boot/kickstart for the minimal option?




I don’t know if this was ever a feature in Lubuntu but it might have been something that was included before when Lubuntu was still using Ubuntu’s installer. Lubuntu changed their installer to Calamares coincidentally when they moved to LXQt for their desktop (all releases after 18.10). Someone who was more involved or who has better memory can correct me on that though.

That being said, you can certainly remove anything you don’t want to use on the system although Lubuntu typically runs pretty lightweight (at least by default).

For reference on tips in addition to general guidance on administration, you can see the manual:


Lubuntu doesn’t have a minimal install option.

If it was an official Ubuntu source where you read it about the minimal install option; I’d like a link please so I can update/correct it (or at least check it has deprecated warnings on it).

There is a task about this though -

To achieve it it maybe helpful to read this thread

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Thanks for the quick response! I’ll check out the link, you’re right in that it runs pretty lightweight by default.

It wasn’t in an official Ubuntu source that I read that, it was in one of the reddit threads they were discussing it. I could try and find it again, if you’re interested.

The only reason I started to dig into this after the installation is because after applying the upgrades, it filled up /var and /, so I got concerned about too much junk getting installed. I sort of fixed it by separating /usr out from / and now it seems to be stable.

It would be helpful if I can get some partition recommendations for Lubuntu, going back to my Solaris and RHEL days, we tried to keep as fewer partitions as possible but that was a long time ago in an enterprise-grade environment.

Here’s the df -kl output from my system for whatever it’s worth:

Filesystem     1K-blocks    Used Available Use% Mounted on
tmpfs             385444    1452    383992   1% /run
/dev/sda2        6586368  653848   5932520  10% /
/dev/sda7       10475520 5447004   5028516  52% /usr
tmpfs            1927204       0   1927204   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs               5120       4      5116   1% /run/lock
tmpfs               4096       0      4096   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda6       10475520 1361988   9113532  14% /var
/dev/sda1        2086912  315340   1771572  16% /boot
/dev/sda5        6586368  813836   5772532  13% /opt
/dev/sda8      935837436 9534796 926302640   2% /home
tmpfs             385440      84    385356   1% /run/user/1000

My system is an old Acer AO756 with 4GB ram and Intel Celeron 877 proc.

Thanks for your assistance with this!


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After reading both those threads, it sounds like they’ve decided not to offer a lubuntu-qt-core only/minimal option or did I read it incorrectly?


It was Walter’s (wxl) answer that I was referring to, sorry for being unclear (I didn’t link to just Walter’s post on the thread as I felt the question was needed as well so you could decide if the detail was helpful to you; ie.--no-install-recommends)

For specific server roles, many partitions can be worthwile, but Lubuntu is a desktop where I feel the best approach is keeping it simple.

What is simple to me varies on the system I’m installing, how it will be used; and if I’m likely to replace it with something else (particularly a non-Ubuntu). Ubuntu desktop installations have always allowed a no-format install where only system directories are wiped (no /home folder is touched) thus needing a separate /home partition isn’t necessary; but this doesn’t apply to many non-Ubuntu installers. Thus a separate /home partition allows you to decide to move elsewhere easier than the single partition. (I’m ignoring or not-counting the uEFI partition; Lubuntu doesn’t require it - but uEFI boxes do require it)

I used to like a separate /boot as well; but what size… if it’s smaller you need to maintain the system more so I stopped using it. I’ve only used /opt for servers, likewise /var only servers.

In summary; me for a desktop install I’d use only

  • EFI/ESP partition if required by uEFI box (/boot/efi)
  • /
  • /home (optional but allows you to move away from Ubuntu systems easier if needed, without needing to restore data)

FYI: If encryption is involved (such as with laptops) I’d not bother with separate /home either as installer doesn’t handle it meaning more work to use (I’m lazy).

If your /var/ is being filled up, I’d worry less about partition sizes, but explore what (likely messages) are causing the size issues, as it could be a sign of a component that is dying, or maybe message level that needs to be reduced (so as to lessen messages if you can live with cause), or fix via log rotation etc.


This is good feedback, I couldn’t agree with you more about keeping it simple. When I was managing a large base of Unix/Linux servers, I was building standard images to be deployed via jumpstart/kickstart installations and one of the most important rule I enforced was keeping things simple, the fewer the mount points the better for managing the system in the long run.

When I installed Lubuntu on my Acer laptop, I initially did just the 3 mount points you listed and ran into the problem, where after an upgrade, /usr (specifically /usr/lib) filled up which lead to / getting full and that set off alarm bells for me.
So I decided to go on the cautious side and split out /usr and /var from /, but if you say that what I ran into is an anomaly then it might be worthwhile to rebuild it with just the 3 mount points.

BTW, any size recommendations for /boot/efi, / & /home?


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What size was / set for? To me creating a separate /usr is more likely (in my opinion) to create issues as you’ve now two partitions that you have to watch.

I’m not aware of Lubuntu setting a minimum recommended size of /, but I’ve always used the recommended minimum size suggested by all Ubuntu Desktops which is 25GB. As I tend to bloat my systems (ie. installing loads of software) I usually go slightly more (27GB for system, but I wish I’d allocated 32GB as a few times a year I have to fight to create sufficient space to login with GUI)

Snippets of my installed system

guiverc@d960-ubu2:~/uwn/issues/695$   df -hl |grep sda
/dev/sda1                27G   24G  1.7G  94% /
/dev/sda4                32G   32G  577M  99% /home
/dev/sda6                54G   46G  8.2G  85% /more

My system is dual boot (impish & focal); the /more represents the /home for my dual boot system. Most of my files are stored elsewhere though (on NFS shares)

FYI: *When I allocated space, I gave the stable system more space assuming I’d use it more; in fact I almost always use the development. My box too is old; 2009 dell desktop with it’s paste when I use for QA-testing being

dell [optiplex] 960 (c2q-q9400, 8gb, amd/ati cedar radeon hd 5000/6000/7350/8350)

FYI: I did QA-test installs on a box with 80GB disk and the box ended up with 3 installs (4 partitions; / & /home initially; next as an install alongside so another /; then a third install alongside. I’ve put 5 into 80GB before, however it’s the install process I’m QA-testing there, not real-life usage. For me I’d be adding packages/snaps that would just fill the disk space up & I’d have problems.

The perfect size though varies on how lean or bloated you tend to be; I often install stuff for support purposes (supporting others) and occasionally forget to remove those packages. If I see an article that makes a package sound really cool, I might install it to have a look, run out of time - and it gets forgotten (and not removed). Me I aim at cleaning my system once every six months (day (or two) after impish is launched just prior to bumping myself to whatever j will be). In practice I run out of space 3-6 times per year and either cannot GUI login (lack of space in $HOME) or more common cannot upgrade packages (lack of space in /). My box has more than one desktop installed (Ubuntu, Xubuntu as well) which is a large part of why it’s bloated. If it only had Lubuntu installed; 25GB shouldn’t have space issues I’d expect ~ever. Important is don’t forget you’ll need space come release-upgrade time (to download all updates, before they get installed); I don’t as day (or two) post-install the upgrade is usually only KB in size as usually only contains new development release name, as too soon in the cycle for anything else.

Size for /boot/efi ; I use a larger size than default for boxes I do QA-test installs onto; as I’ve installed up to 9 (I think) systems on a single box (it had 3 drives) and have had issues with the size of EFI/ESP. An actual used system won’t be like that, so I’ll usually leave default for boxes I actually use.

/home ; I won’t give recommendations as to size. I’ve already shown what I allocated for this box, and I’ve mentioned I run into GUI login failures due to lack of space, but this system has only a 160GB disk as I’ve been too lazy to swap it out (new still sealed disks, already out of warranty, sit ready for that purpose). Nearly all my files are stored on NFS storage so I don’t need much space for $HOME.

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Thanks for the detailed feedback!

Not to complain but that article about recommended minimum size still has a 5GB recommendation for a ‘minimal’ install option :wink:

My Acer has a 1TB internal hdd, so I think I’m going to repartition and reinstall with / (50GB), /boot (2GB) and the rest in /home. Your df -hl output doesn’t show /boot or /boot/efi, so I’m assuming a 2GB size is plenty for my installation?

Anyhoo, my plan is to eventually (budget availability) is to replace the 1TB hdd with a SSD drive.


5GB is the Server minimal install; ie. no desktop; nor any desktop apps so does not apply here. I gather you realize this though.

My snippet (which wasn’t edited) doesn’t show /boot or /boot/efi as my system doesn’t have them (this box isn’t using uEFI). I provided the command I used and none exist on sda (or the only drive in this box). I’d get a different result for other boxes (where I have a uEFI partition and I can provide that if helpful).

I stopped using /boot partitions for my (desktop) boxes as I usually have multiple GNU/Linux installs and it just complicated things (*sharing the /boot between different OSes was occasionally a hassle; keeping track of multiple /boot partitions hassle too particularly over many years/upgrades). Of likely no value, but a quick ssh into a server and I see

/dev/sda1 464M 185M 251M 43% /boot

but it’s a single OS box with no desktop. For Lubuntu, or desktop install I woud not separate /boot.


Got it regarding the 5GB recommendation.

Thanks for all the valuable discussion points, it really helped me with an optimal setup.



I just saw the 5GB you are referring to… I’m actually floored about it, and just asked for clarification on IRC, and sent a query to the editor (who added it).

My prior statement about not applying to desktops was incorrect; so apologies. That addition was only added 9-August-2021 so I didn’t know it was there; and I’m not sure it’d be enough space to work (minimal install installs everything as that’s fastest, then removes packages (on a list so I think the 5GB is what it can be shrunk too, and I don’t believe it will install to 5GB disk but I’d need to test that as it’s only my opinion)

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