I've always wondered why there are a lot of things pre-installed in
Ubuntu and most other GNU/Linux-distributions. Maybe I'm not like the
rest of humanity, but I always end up uninstalling everything,
replacing it with the stuff I prefer anyway. It would be easier to fit
Ubuntu on a CD too, faster to burn it or create the USB stick.
Install the network version, it has no extraneous stuff.
Alternatively install CentOS, it has less updates, it's rock solid
server technology and you can install only what you need.
Trap is that what ever you choose, there are a world of dependencies to
be satisfied with each application you self install.
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