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Minimal Ubuntu – how small can it go? (ubuntu.com)
45 points by seenitall 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

When Alpine doesn't cut it, I use Debian's "slim" docker images. 55MB size. This minimal ubuntu is slightly smaller, but I don't see anything else novel about it - why should I be excited?

That would be the real question: considering Ubuntu is just a Debian fork, what is the benefit of using Ubuntu on a server?

Ubuntu Server comes with a bunch of nice quality-of-life improvements that make using it more pleasant than using stock Debian, and you get the predictability of Ubuntu's standardized release cadence (a new release every 6 months on the dot, alongside longer-lived LTS versions).

I have to say, none of these are benefits for productive use. You may want long-term stability out of a release, which is IMHO where Debian shines more. They provide much longer support times than what a Ubuntu LTS offers.

The latest and greatest package is not so much beneficial in production, and e.g. with containers you do not even have to bother much about it since all you probably care for is kernel and container runtime updates.

What I still would be interested in though is if there is any technical benefit from Ubuntu server? Something which is not easily resolved by configuration management or a simple "apt-get install"?

As someone who runs a tiny VPS with stock Debian, I'm interested (but skeptical).

It's not your job but what do you feel are some of the best QOL improvements?

Little things. UFW included by default, so you can set up a firewall without having to wrestle with iptables. do-release-upgrade to handle upgrades, instead of having to work through a list of release notes each time. Nothing earth-shaking, just things that sand down some of Debian’s rougher edges.

Not speaking for the parent, but I much prefer Ubuntu over Debian in this context for the sake of the wider variety of packages from official repos that aren't a few versions behind by default.

I am guessing that Alpine is gaining traction ( I hope it is anyway ), so Ubuntu had to respond?

For 24MB more than Alpine, you get the stability and long term support from Ubuntu. I think a third of the size difference are glibc and muslc?

> The unminimize tool lets you ‘rehydrate’ your image into a familiar Ubuntu server package set, suitable for command line interaction.

Nice 'Three body problem' reference they've sneaked in.

I know the reference but in this case I would consider "rehydrate" as the standard term for these kind of things.

What’s this? Please explain to the uninitiated

It's a reference to the sci-fi book The three body problem by Liu Cixin[1]. In that ta mysterious game about an alien planet where its population can be dehydrated to survive harsh conditions which could last millenia, and then re-hydrated when the conditions are right.

Although i think the terms hydrate-dehydrate are not unheard of in tech stacks for example in a django REST framework called tastypie to denote serialization-deserialization of data.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)

Yeah it's a pretty widely used term. ReactDOM has a hydrate() method[0] used to display something on the frontend that has already been rendered by the backend.

[0]: https://reactjs.org/docs/react-dom.html#hydrate

Cool! Alpine is a neat project, but I find package management on Alpine to be a uniformly frustrating experience. Having a tiny version of Ubuntu for docker is a fantastic idea.

What exactly is bothering you about Alpine package management?


Precisely. It's yet another package manager to learn, and there are just fewer alpine packages overall.

Except that it's not in Docker Hub... yet!

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