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I'm planning to install a variety of Linux distributions on VMware Player to get more experience with Linux (I've only used Fedora back in university). I'm starting with Debian 6.0.5 Squeeze, and have already downloaded the small CD i386 netinst image.

In the new virtual machine wizard, it's asking me for the maximum disk size of the image. It says that the recommended size for Debian 6 is 8 GB. However, I'm trying to figure out what is the absolute minimal size that I can get away with, since I'm only testing it out with very few software installations (mainly testing web server applications).

UPDATE: After allocating 5 GB disk space this is the output of df :

df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             4.7G  3.5G  958M  79% /
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                  247M  188K  247M   1% /dev
tmpfs                 252M     0  252M   0% /dev/shm
share|improve this question
wow, it is too huge; on my home box (i have a lot of dev packages installed, including compilers/cross-compilers/ides/etc) the 'system' part (everything except /home) occupies ~4.5GB (taking into account that kernel and mesa compiled sources alone take >750MB). Concerning size optimizations i only use localepurge and don't install recommended packages by default. – barti_ddu Oct 2 '12 at 7:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is the output of df from my VPS (32-bit, no X, java + tomcat production installation):

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/simfs             20G  684M   20G   4% /
tmpfs                 1.5G     0  1.5G   0% /lib/init/rw
tmpfs                 1.5G     0  1.5G   0% /dev/shm

Here is df output for another installation (64-bit, X with WindowMaker, java + tomcat + ocaml + ocsigen):

df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             4.0G  1.1G  2.8G  28% /
tmpfs                 490M     0  490M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                  488M  124K  488M   1% /dev
tmpfs                 490M     0  490M   0% /dev/shm

Hope this gives you some insight.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for sharing barti. The second installation you have seems to closely match my own.With the amount of space I'm using after installing everything I need, I think this is a good enough template to use for my other linux installations as well. – Mohamed Abobakr Oct 1 '12 at 13:37
@MohamedAbobakr: and if you want to shave-off several hundred MB more without much effort, you can install (this package will purge unused translations automatically). – barti_ddu Oct 1 '12 at 17:59

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