I recently found the need to install Ubuntu on a machine with a poor CD drive (and no USB ports) that could not read large amounts of data, but could manage to read smaller amounts of data. As such, the machine could not read the 700MB but could read smaller amounts, like 10MB.
I found a bootable disc image smaller than 10MB which downloads the packages on the machine on which they'll be installed, rather than having to burn them onto a disc and then run them. However, this method of installation also allows the user to only select the packages they want to download, which potentially dramatically reduces the size of the download.
This small disc obviously uses a text-based installer. Whilst this isn't quite as user friendly, it ensures compatibility and can be used in many scenarios in which the alternative installation CD would currently have to be used.
This seems like a much better way to install Ubuntu, because one can avoid pointless packages and the time needed to burn the 700MB image!
Please note that the MinimalCD is available for various architectures, and that it is essential that you pick the right one from the selection.
The size of the CD image depends largely on the version of Ubuntu that you want to install and the architecture. The most recent 32-bit PC version has a size of 30 Megabyte for instance, while the 64-bit version one of 36 MB.
That's not a lot and should ensure that you can install the operating system on computer systems that are anything but modern.
You do need an Internet connection though during installation as packages will be downloaded from the Internet during setup.
The MinimalCD versions of Ubuntu are not suitable for systems with UEFI BIOS as they lack the proper files for booting the computer in UEFI mode.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.