Convert your Ubuntu/Debian between different versions, like Desktop to Server

There is a very useful tool under Debian/Ubuntu GNU/Linux called tasksel, which can help us “convert” our Debian/Ubuntu between versions.

Install via apt-get/aptitude:

peter@peter-lab ~ $ sudo apt-get install tasksel
[sudo] password for peter:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
tasksel tasksel-data
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 46 not upgraded.
Need to get 36.0 kB of archives.
After this operation, 385 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
Get:1 http://ubuntu.mirror/ubuntu/ trusty/main tasksel-data all 2.88ubuntu15 [6,366 B]
Get:2 http://ubuntu.mirror/ubuntu/ trusty/main tasksel all 2.88ubuntu15 [29.7 kB]
Fetched 36.0 kB in 0s (363 kB/s)
Preconfiguring packages ...
Selecting previously unselected package tasksel-data.
(Reading database ... 229261 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../tasksel-data_2.88ubuntu15_all.deb ...
Unpacking tasksel-data (2.88ubuntu15) ...
Selecting previously unselected package tasksel.
Preparing to unpack .../tasksel_2.88ubuntu15_all.deb ...
Unpacking tasksel (2.88ubuntu15) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.46ubuntu1) ...
Setting up tasksel-data (2.88ubuntu15) ...
Setting up tasksel (2.88ubuntu15) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.46ubuntu1) ...

and run:

peter@peter-lab ~ $ sudo tasksel

It’ll show you a menu like this:

[bashThen you can select or unselect the “task” you wanna your computer to run (or, have the ability to run), like: unselect “Ubuntu desktop” and select “Basic Ubuntu server”, after that, press “OK” button, wait for a few minutes, maybe it’ll ask you a few questions, it depends on the option(s) you select, then everything will be done easily!

You can also tell tasksel to install or uninstall some package set by install and remove, for example:

peter@peter-lab ~ $ sudo tasksel install lamp-server
peter@peter-lab ~ $ sudo tasksel remove xubuntu-desktop

Wanna know what packages will be installed in a set? No problem, try --task-packages:

peter@peter-lab ~ $ tasksel --task-packages xubuntu-desktop

Now you can easily convert your Ubuntu/Debian GNU/Linux between many different versions or easily mix with multiple different versions!

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