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Looking for non-bloated but easy-management distro
I'm not new to Linux, but since it's been 5 years since the last time I had a Linux box (Lubuntu on an ancient laptop), I'm pretty much new again. The aforementioned laptop had Ubuntu before it became bloated, and I learned on Mandrake 9.something before it became Mandriva.
After a quick search this morning, Mint and Ubuntu look like they'd be the easiest distros to use, but I was struck by how Ubuntu and Debian brag about the tens of thousands of packages that are bundled with the basic installation.
I'm trying to get away from bloat. What I want most is a distro that will let me install an OS with a fairly small footprint, then let me install only what I want. I'm sure I'll end up with a reasonably large, complex system, but I don't want the distro to fill up my drive with what someone else thinks I should install.
I'm also lazy, so I want a distro with a user-friendly package manager. I'll compile from source when I want to go out of my way to get something, but for the most part I want a system that will manage dependencies, including cleaning them up when I uninstall a program.
I'll be installing this on a 3-4 year old ASUS laptop (Intel graphics) with a brand new 1 TB hard drive.
Any distros or variations come to mind?