I am trying to construct a (sort of) minimal Ubuntu installation with i3 as my window manager. My current version of this project may be found at:
Automate setup for Ubuntu with i3wm: (mstaal/i3buntu)
Even if the project itself is not of complete interest to you, the method behind constructing the setup may be. What I basically trying to do is to first install what is usually called Ubuntu Minimal (or Ubuntu NetBoot) which is a stripped down version of Ubuntu that comes only with a minimum of packages and software and which is intended for people who want to install typical Ubuntu desktops over the internet or for people who want to make very custom Ubuntu installations.
When Ubuntu Minimal is installed, I use a shell script to install all packages that I believe are necessary to make the Ubuntu setup that I find to be necessary to achieve a nice experience. However, I may still be needing to add and remove certain packages in order to get a proper and well working minimal installation. Personally, I want a setup that includes easy support for drivers, printers, Bluetooth, network and power management and other typical system utilities. It should come loaded with as little bloat as possible, however, it should be as easy as possible to install most typical software (including what I may personally consider bloat).
The thing is, that I really quite like the core idea behind the i3 window manager and the ease of Ubuntu combined with Ubuntu's huge package selection and community. I just don't want unnecessary software that takes up space and system resources.
So all in all: I do not know if my strategy is of any interest to you. But I have found much fun in making this script which automates my installation setup.
By the way: People are highly encouraged to provide feedback for my project if they have any suggestions.