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I think what the other user responded with is accurate. AFAIK, most popular distros I've looked over seemed to have a 'minimal' option which may even come without a desktop environment so you can simply choose the one you want.

From what I remember, I couldn't find any real differences between Xubuntu and Ubuntu beyond using Xfce and a few variations in bundled apps. It certainly ships with a few less apps than the fully feature packed Ubuntu image, but they do still use "infrastructure provided by Canonical" and I'm not sure what all that entails.

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