It's end of 2011 and virtualization technology is really taking off with the concept of clouds. As such, I did an investigation on the exact differences of the Ubuntu installs.
I used these results to end up using "Install a minimal virtual machine" option and have been since Jan 2012 without any issues.
This article has now evolved to chart out comparisons on minimizing Ubuntu.
F4 on the first screen allows selection of,
- Install a minimal system
- Install a minimal virtual machine
According to the Ubuntu FAQ,
Note though, that it is still a minimal install so the "Basic Ubuntu server" task packages are missing.
So in theory, the minimal virtual machine option should be used if you are using virtualization technology. The gains would be a faster kernel without the bloat of consideration for many types of drivers. This is because the hardware list in virtual machines is much smaller.
Conceptually this is similar to the Stripped Solaris approach I refined from Tony Bates back in 2008 which he implemented for a major FI with nine-nines of uptime for years. Since 2013 Google and others have taken this idea further (CoreOS, Ubuntu Snappy, Redhat Atomic) with the concept of core operating systems with the key benefits (again some borrowed from Solaris),
- Operating system upgrade supports transactional upgrade/rollback | Solaris had this from way back.
- Traditional package managers replaced by new simplified systems (Snappy), or custom image builds (Atomic) | Yeah we did the same.
- Security enhanced through isolation.
- systemd for system/service management
- new (well kinda evolved from distributed computing) - clustering as part of the OS
Here are the differences between a minimal virtual machine, minimal and normal per Bonsai Framework setup instructions (no updates though) and then fresh reboot.
The following commands were used,
Running inside of VMWare Fusion. 2GB Memory and 2 CPU's assigned.
|Attribute||Minimal Virtual Machine||Minimal *unchecked standard system utilities||Normal||Recently Ubuntu Snappy 15.04||Microsoft Azure Default Image|
[*] standard system utilities selected
438 (+ openssh-server)
|2 core packages containing minimal utilities||489 (built with ssh)|
|Memory Used (measured shortly after Initial boot)||35 MB||62 MB||83 MB||165 MB (this does not look right)||96 MB|
Tasks (minus 2 to run the commands)
* System needs time to settle after boot.
Initial boot - 8:00PM
|Initial boot - 9:22|
176 - 9:45
167 - 10:12
167 - 10:24
223 (did not let it settle)
Initial Boot - 10:50
|174 (did not let it settle)|
133 - 2:20
|Disk Space Used||735 MB||992 MB||1.3 GB||639 MB||1.3 GB|
Reduced fat due to uniformity of virtual machines.
|Minimal to run a normal Server.||Already includes popular admin packages.||Upgrade core OS as 1 package and revert btw OS upgrades quickly. Made for pure Cloud.|
VMWare Fusion wiith 2000GB of Memory and 2 Processors.
Provided what the differences between the installs are - http://askubuntu.com/questions/57336/minimal-system-or-minimal-virtual-machine-on-install