How to convert a minimal Ubuntu installation into a normal one

From minimal to normal Ubuntu installation

Ubuntu and some of its flavors have long offered normal and minimal installation. The first is what the developers of a distribution consider normal, but in reality it has useful software and other not so useful software that we could also label as bloatware. To avoid having extra software we can opt for the minimum option, but then we may realize that it is too basic. How can we fix it without reinstalling?

Ubuntu is the base operating system used by the main edition with GNOME and the rest of the official and unofficial flavors. What we usually see after installing from scratch is the customization of each project, including the desktop and the applications. Edubuntu and Ubuntu Studio are still a little less than that, since they are installed on top of Ubuntu and Kubuntu. metapackages for education and content generators respectively. They are also customized a little, but what interests us here is knowing the existence of packages that are a group of packages.

Install the recommended package over the minimum installation

The disassembly process is usually easier than the assembly process, but in this case it is the opposite. If we want to convert a minimal installation into a normal one, all we will have to do is install the recommended ones and wait a moment. The command would be the following:

sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop --install-recommends

You don't even need to reboot when all the packages are installed, since they are all programs and nothing important is touched. Now, I won't be the one to tell you not to restart, since it doesn't hurt.

Among the packages it installs we find some such as Cheese, all LibreOffice, Remmina, Rhythmbox and some games. To see a complete list of what to install, in the command above you can add the flag --simulate before "ubuntu-desktop".

This is the way to turn the minimal installation into the normal one, and nothing more, at least until delete it. If you are not looking for exactly that, you can install the necessary software manually. And if you want everything recommended except a package, such as the minesweeper game, you can uninstall it from the App Center or the terminal.

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