How to modify Ubuntu distribution to run a Linux appliance?

I'm building a Linux appliance (hardware) that I would like to run with Ubuntu, for which I will need only a subset of all the packages/programs that come in a standard distribution.

I would like to include only the bare minimum of code required to run the appliance, and eliminate the rest, creating an appliance-specific "distribution" that I can include with the hardware.

Any suggestions on how best to undertake such an ubuntu hack? I'd rather not do it by trial and error, and any texts or internet sources on how I can learn this would be very much appreciated!
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  1. Removing "core" packages from Ubuntu is a pain; if you remove anything which was installed as a dependency of another package, that package will also be removed, I once tried to remove gcc from Ubuntuit proceeded to remove EVERY dependency including the boot loader!

    An easier route would be to install Debian and add the packages you want, or have a look at the LFS project; or maybe start with a server build of Ubuntu...

    It depends on what sort of application you are targeting.
  2. Is your appliance ARM, MIPS, PPC or x86? Or something even more exotic perhaps?

    If it's a server-type appliance Debian, RHEL or CentOS would probably be a good choice.

    If you need cutting edge software that is updated very frequently Fedora or Ubuntu may be a better choice.

    How much and what kind of storage does your appliance have?

    GL :)
  3. Forgot to ask! What are the full specs?

    You won't be able to run the modern desktop/server distributions if you only have, say, 32MB of RAM.

  4. As MrLinux suggested, LFS ( Linux from scratch ) may be a good option but it may require quite a bit of work.

    If your CPU is an MCU then look at uClinux.

    Good luck :)
  5. Ya... if you only have experience with say the Ubuntu distro then just download Ubuntu server edition.
  6. Great suggestion geeky :)

    Ubuntu is great but may not be right for everybody.
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