What are the differences between Raspbian Jessie and Raspbian Jessie Lite?

What's better for a Owncloud server: Raspbian Jessie or Raspbian Jessie Lite?

3 Answers 3


If I understand this and that right, the lite distribution is just a Minimal image based on Debian Jessie without the X-server and its components installed. Meaning it uses less space on the SD-card and can run from a smaller SD card. Installing the minimal image will also reduce traffic during updates (as pointed out by Jacob). Any desired package can still be installed by apt-get.

Technically, Jessie Lite should suffice to run an ownCloud server.

The MagPi, Issue 56, put it this way:

Lite is a minimal version of the Raspbian image for the Raspberry Pi. This means it has less software installed on it, and fewer modules will load with the kernel, which results in the operating system using a lot less of the Raspberry Pi’s resources. It will use less electricity this way and perform a little faster for very specific tasks, such as file servers or other uses where it never needs to use a monitor.

  • 4
    If it's a headless server, I would recommend the lite version. Updating will use less traffic and IO, and may save space on logging as well as binary storage.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 20:01
  • 2
    Jessie-Lite is the ultimate OS for a headless Pi, I still prefer Wheezy, but Wheezy isn't compatible with the latest Pi. Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 3:39
  • 1
    Arch is as ultimate an OS as any ;) But Each must live as he sees fit., or as Frederick the Great has put it: Jeder soll nach seiner Façon selig werden.
    – Ghanima
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 8:25
  • @PatrickCook I'm extremely dubious that "Wheezy" isn't compatible with the latest pi. Which one? I've run it on B/B+/2 at some point. Not that I want to encourage people to stay stuck in the past...jessie is generally an improvement.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 12:07
  • 1
    Why isn't it compatible with the Zero? Note that the kernel and the userland are distinct. You can use whatever kernel you want with wheezy, you just have to install it (which raspi-update will probably do).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 16:35

The lite version doesn't have a GUI(Graphical User Interface).

  • Is it correct that you can still use a monitor and keyboard, just without a GUI?
    – Carl Smith
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 7:51
  • 1
    @CarlSmith: yes
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 20:14

Size-wise lite is 1GB smaller (300MB vs 1.32GB)

  • 4
    For lite 300MB is the (approx) size of the compressed image. It's more useful to know the actual image size which is 1.3GB for 2017-04-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img. I don't have a copy of Jessie with PIXEL, but it looks like it's over 4GB
    – JBentley
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 22:18