Ultra minimal Raspbian Image for Pi Zero and Zero W

I wanted to make a ultra lite image that I can quickly drop Go programs onto. This image had a few requirements, be under 300MB, have less than 20MB ram usage idle, startup in under 5 seconds. I will post below everything I did to strip this down so that it can be replicated in the future. Currently with the steps below I have achieved 427MB/16MB, close to my goal for disk and memory usage is below the goal. As for bootup time, I am limited by network connection time 5+ seconds.

Install a fresh Raspbian Stretch Lite image into the SD card (source).

Configure headless SSH and Wi-Fi (if necessary) before starting the SD card (source).

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Raspberry Pi Booting From USB on older models

Booting from USB is easy on a Pi1, Pi2, or Pi3. This can be useful in mamy cases to speed up the performance of your pi when using a slow sd card. It can also provide a reliable location where you operating system data resides. Sd cards are prone to data corruption from writes a operating system ussually does.   Write the latest Raspbian image to an SD card and boot it. [Read More]