There’s no option during the CentOS 5 install, for a minimal installation. The purpose is quite simple, to keep the attack surface as small as possible.
A minimal installation is performed by doing the following
- During the category/task selection, deselect all package categories, and choose the “Customize now” option at the bottom of screen.
- During the customized package selection, deselect everything ( including the Base group ).
This will yield you 234 packages with the Centos 5.5 installation media. I’ve attached a .txt file containing all the packages for your leisure.