I installed Vector light under VMware with the intent of creating a virtual machine that I could distribute to co-hobbyists that were interested in using the Xastir software package. Basically the idea was to pre-install Xastir in a Vector Light virtual machine and let folks download it and use it without needing to install it themselves. Xastir is an open source software application used by ham radio operators to plot positions of participants using the automatic position reporting system (APRS).
Previously pre-installing Xastir in a virtual machine had been done with Xubuntu - the idea being to make it relatively lightweight. However the Xubuntu version is set up to use 256MB of RAM, and I thought it would be good to try to build a virtual machine with VL light and set it to use only 128MB of RAM. It worked, and I ended up with a virtual machine that runs nicely using only 128MB.
Here's the unexpected problem, however. Xubuntu installed clean took up a bit over 2GB of space, i.e. the VMware virtual disk was about 2.1GB if I recall correctly. After loading all the needed libraries and compiling Xastir, the virtual disk ended up at about 2.7GB in size. Although VL light installed clean only used about 1.4GB of space (if I recall correctly again), by the time I found and installed the equivalent libraries, the virtual disk had expanded to 3.5GB! Although I ended up with a good performing virtual machine that used minimal memory, it was much larger than I expected, and basically blew up any plans to distribute.
To show what libraries were loaded, below is a link to the HowTo for Ubuntu - installing from CVS is what was done to the Xubuntu virtual machine. I used the Ubuntu HowTo as a high level guide to install the same packages for VL. Although I didn't quite find all of them, I found enough to compile a very useful version of Xastir. Why does VL take up so much disk space?