Re: Slim down ubuntu server install after installation (on vps)
No straightforward subtraction method that I'm aware of. Due to the nature of dependencies, it's easy to add things, but hard to subtract. I have the same dilemma: because I like monkeying around with different distros, I install them on VMs. But distros like Knoppix install tons of bloatware that eat up disk space when all I want to do is explore the basic utilities, file structures, etc. I tried nuking the apps individually, but aside from this being a deathly boring and repetitive exercise, it was fruitless because uninstalling would often leave orphaned dependencies behind. This is because most uninstall scripts err on the side of caution and assume that the dependency libraries/apps may be used by other programs. Libraries just take up disk space, but unneeded services, modules, etc. are an attack vector for malware, never mind draining your system resources, so there's a big incentive to get rid of them. Unfortunately, there's no easy way except to painstakingly pick through them. Wish I had better news for you.
Surely, your VPS has a bare-bones or least bloated template? I can't believe that they would only offer GUI-stuffed obese templates. After all, most people run VPSes only because they want a server. If you start with their least bloated offering, it may not be that hard to back out the junk.
Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.