Stop Installing Outdated Ubuntu!

Have you ever installed Linux, only to be greeted immediately with the system update notification applet? If you have a fast Internet connection or, even better, a local Ubuntu mirror (see for some tips on creating your own local mirror), you can use the "Installation Minimal CD" and get a fully up-to-date system the first time it boots.

Another advantage to using the Installation Minimal CD is that it allows you to install any official Ubuntu variant with the same CD. Whether you want Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu or even the more specialized *buntus for video editing and such, the Minimal CD can do it. Download a copy at It's less than 20MB!


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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I heard a lot of good things

Juana's picture

I heard a lot of good things about Linux and I am sure that this is really useful in the majority of the big companies. I hope that the things will be better in the future using Linux.
Asigurari Ieftine

Too many upgrades?

Timuchin's picture

That's better than the alternative.
I just helped someone restore their windows that had crashed. It installed Internet Explorer 6. When I started it, it barely worked for anything. When I went out to microsoft to get an upgrade, all webpages crashed. Would you like to try

video editing buntus

crlsgms's picture

shawn, what video editing ubuntu flavor is focused? i really wanna give this one a shot.

32 and 64bit

Anonymous's picture

Why can a NetInstall disk not contain BOTH (32 and 64bits) versions?
That way I'd only have ONE disk! Now, I always have to download both versions... I'm bored!


ChrisGrimmett's picture

Cool! First time I heard of this, thanks for the tip, Shawn!

Doesn't it save Ubuntu

Gavin's picture

Doesn't it save Ubuntu servers a lot of bandwidth to use a regular installation cd?

Not really

tacra's picture

It just slows you down to use the regular CD/DVD instead of using the minimalCD. Unless you have some special requirement that minimal can't handle (haven't found one yet). While your install with the regular CD/DVD may go faster, you still hit up the same servers that minimal uses except you are doing an update of your system while minimal is doing an install.

Want to be nice about it all? Then install the very basic system only and add as you need instead of building with everything.

Want to be even nicer than that? Build a server setup for hosting only virtual machines. Then, build a template of a very basic system. Update the template to latest and greatest (as needed) and then build your machines from the template installing only what you need for each. This saves you (and their servers) from servicing the same basic install over and over again at your site.

A local mirror would sound even nicer than that but only if you're building complete systems otherwise you're downloading packages you'll never install/use.

just my 2 cents.

apt cache tools might be handy

Guruprasad's picture

Tools like apt-proxy, apt-cacher-ng will serve the purpose for multiple installations and upgrades. They will just download and cache the packages once and serve the subsequent requests from the cache. Saves a lot of time and bandwidth.


John Ruschmeyer's picture

I think we may be using two different meanings for "outdated".

Several commenters are using "outdated" to refer to previous (i.e., pre-Unity releases such as 10.04. I think the original post meant "outdated" to mean something more like what a Windows user would call "unpatched" (i.e., as shipped, no software or security updates).

The idea is simple... if I want 10.04, I should not have to load 10.04 and then have to further download replacements for most of the major packages in the system. Instead, why not just do the download as part of the install and skip the extra step.

I've used apt-cacher-ng

Madtom1999's picture

for the 7 machines I run at home - I use old ones for the kids and browsing - and its worth it just for the fun of showing someone how fast a full install can be from a proxy on the local network.
I might have a look at the squid-dep-proxy though as I'm not sure apt-cacher-ng has failover...

Quick poll on CDs like the image above...

Gumnos's picture

Just curious how many folks have CDs that look like the above (Sharpie-scrawled with just a distro, version#, architecture, and nothing else) and how many such CDs are in your immediate area.

A quick shuffling of piles on the desk shows I have such install CDs for Debian Stable Netinst (32 and 64-bit), some semi-recent Ubuntu install, OpenBSD 4.9 netinst, and FreeBSD.

How many do you have at hand?

just one

tacra's picture

One current CentOS CD to build a new machine from if mine ever dies.

One, its written on it a

MarkoK's picture

One, its written on it a "Arch Linux install 2008 32bit"

Since then, zero disks, zero USB-sticks, zero re-installs. Just rolling updates in when I want and how I want. Maybe once a month I do update.

No package conflicts, no missing depencies or problems that I have old version of the application what I need. Everything has just worked now littlebit over 3 years and on three computer.

I use to have those disks before I moved to Arch. And now, I don't even care to test any new distributions as they don't offer anything new what I don't already have, unless it is distribution specific (like YaST, MCC or example Unity).

Ditto, except that the distro

cyberpunkrocker's picture

Ditto, except that the distro is Gentoo.

Preference for older version is key reason

maconulaff's picture

Consider 10.04 LTS will not EOL until April 2013 and has a desktop that my users know and like, I would prefer to stick with it. That said, I do agree that installing the most current version of 10.04 out of the box does make sense.

...installing outdated Ubuntu

Gerald Clement's picture

What if the outdated Ubuntu works better and more reliably than the the later Ubuntu?

You sound like Bill Gates..."...why can't the just use Windows?"

Debian Mint

tacra's picture

That's why I considered Debian Mint before settling on CentOS. They're staying with Gnome 2 so the project says. Nearly went with them too.

No unity

sto's picture

Personnally, I will stay with 11.04 (classic mode) until ubuntu drops unity or gnome produces a fully functionnal gnome2 equivalent.

These won't probably happen, so i will switch to Mint.

I Agree Or else go for

Kunal's picture

I Agree
Or else go for xubuntu

I agree

Tom Gosse's picture

I'm using Xubuntu 11.10 and very happy with it.

Better yet: squid-dep-proxy

Patrick Gill's picture

A great alternative to mirroring is squid-deb-proxy if you have multiple machines on the same network. Make one (or two) machines a squid-deb-proxy server and the rest the clients. Configuration is automatic, and all apt updates coming into your local network will be cached locally, transparently, securely, and with failover to the public repositories.

Seriously - check it out - it's awesome for large deployments of *buntu: