Debian XFCE4 Minimal Install

Keep It Small

The objective is to complete a minimal Debian install with XFCE4 Desktop Environment. Its essential to keep the installation small light fast clean with no clutter.

Some Linux installations include a lot of deadwood with a bunch of non-essentials. Stuff added that you will probably never use.

This time its lean 'n' lite. Nothing included that'is not used or needed.

This Debian install will include the following:
  • Debian Base System
  • Xorg
  • XFCE4
  • XTerm
  • Emacs23
  • Galculator
  • Mousepad
  • MS TrueType Core Fonts
  • Ristretto Image Viewer
  • Epdfview PDF View
  • Gcolor2 Color Selector
  • Irssi Chat Client
  • Mplayer Movie Media Player
  • Audicious Sound Media Player
  • Screenruler
  • NTFS Access
  • Iceweasel/Firefox Browser
  • Google Chrome Browser
  • XFCE4 Task Manager
  • XFCE4 Screenshooter
  • Fortune Humour
The above will give a basic working system using The X-Windows System, XFCE4 desktop, along with the above list of applications.

Here's how to do it - a blow-by-blow account:

1. Install Base Debian System

Place Debian Net Install CD in CDROM drive and reboot box. Ensure your BIOS is set to check CDROM first device for bootable OS

2 . Hit Install

3. Select Language

4. Select Country

5. Select ???

6. Select Disk to install

7. Select Standard System

2. Add Debian repositories

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Add '#' to start of cdrom lines. Don't check cdrom for updates
Add contrib non-free to the end of the debian repositories
I run Squeeze. You may run Lenny. Leave a space between entries

3. Update package list

aptitude update

Updates aptitude database of packages, installed or available

4. Add Xorg X Windows System

aptitude install xorg

X Windows System

5. Add XFCE4 Desktop Environment

aptitude install XFCE4

Lightweight Desktop 

6. Add Emacs

aptitude install emacs

Life without Emacs? No Way!

7. Add Calculator

aptitude install galculator

Lightweight calculator for XFCE4

8. Add Graphical Text Editor

aptitude install mousepad

Lightweight text editor for XFCE4

9. Add MS True Type Fonts

aptitude install msttcorefonts

Ubiquitous Web fonts

10. Add Image Viewer

aptitude install ristretto

A lightweight Image Viewer

11. Add PDF Viewer

aptitude install epdfview

Lightweight PDF Viewer

12. Add Color Selector

aptitude install gcolor2

Useful for sampling and messing with colors

13. Add Chat Client

aptitude install irssi

Text based chat client

14. Add Movie Media Player

aptitude install mplayer

The 'Best' media/movie player for Linux. Period.

15. Add Music Media Player

aptitude install audicious

Useful for tunes. Similar in looks to XMMS, with plenty of skins.

16. Add Screen Ruler

aptitude install screenruler

Useful for messing with images and websites

17. Add NTFS Access

aptitude install ntfs-g3

Essential for accessing your old stuff from pre-linux days

18. Add Google Chrome Browser

aptitude install google-chrome

Google's fast modern browser Or you can install Firefox/Iceweasel.

Firefox. The standard by which other browsers are measured

20. Add XFCE4 Screen Shots

aptitude install xfce4-screenshooter

Useful for screenshots, blackmail, etc, etc, etc.

21. Add Fortune Cookie

aptitude install fortune

Fun laughter games. What more can I say.

This install is fast, snappy, responsive. Apps startup immediately. Menus leap instantly. Windows launch into life. Everything is so responsive. Its great!

Now the system is pretty much well packed out goodies. Enough at least to get going. And its still fast and responsive, which was one of the prime objectives. I didn't install a Word Processor (AbiWord, OpenOffice) or Spreadsheet, as I don't use them. I do most of my work in Emacs or Chrome/Firefox. Of course you can add more as you need. And its easy as 1 2 3.

1. Open XTerm as root
2. Search package (aptitude search pkg-name)
3. Install package (aptitude install pkg-name)