I’m not sure why I’m preposessed by Ubuntu Lite, except that my brief reinstall last week makes me wonder why the project would stall at all. It seems like it should be a viable option, even if it’s managed as a simple metapackage that brings in a suite of applications.
To that end, I hunted down the original Ubuntu Lite howto thread, and found what looks like the original package list. I’ve pasted a sorted version of that list into the Ubuntu pastebin, so you can take a look and see what supposedly came with it, two years ago.
I can’t confirm each package against the v1.1 installation I used last week, but it looks about right. It also seems to match, more or less, the package list that appears in the Ubuntu Wiki.
There are a few obvious entries in the list — things like Abiword, Gnumeric and XMMS — but there is some other stuff that I don’t think I would have added if it were me. I’m not going to critique the package list right now; I’ll save that for later, when I’ve finished thinking over the issue.
As I understand it now, Ubuntu Lite was the offspring of something called “Ubuntu Mini RAM,” which was an effort to make an extremely lightweight version of Warty, way back in December 2004. The original howto is here, and the project home page is (still!) here. This is what the “package list” looked like for Mini RAM.
It’s really only shorter because the “package list” is just a series of packages to install. The home page lists them as a series, and I’ve condensed it there. I found it odd that the instructions went on to install the Gimp and even OpenOffice.org in all it’s expansive hugeness, but I guess it was an attempt to build something functional for small home office environments.
One last point of interest: The Ubuntu Lite discussion group on Google Groups has a small list of packages listed as candidates for inclusion. I see PCManFM is on there; I would endorse it. Aside from that, it’s the ubiquitous IceBuntu theme and a couple of wallpapers.
The discussion group also has some very early posts describing the aims of the project. I thought it was interesting that the goal was something that could run against a 200Mhz 64Mb machine.