Every single update the image size is getting bigger. Not all people have large portable drives, i think that netinst images will be useful.
I totally agree but it’s only for those familiar enough with the packages and apps so they get what they want. It is really bare bones at about 64MB.
For anyone interested, here’s a look at what to expect. This is 16.04 but they should all be similar. Debian has been supplying these for many years.
I would be leery of, say, adding it to a download page.
Install the server edition of Ubuntu and go from there.
Since Ubuntu MATE is officially part of Canonical’s Ubuntu infrastructure, the options are already here.
Netinstall (as in booting over LAN)
As @Bill_MI pointed out. They’re actually part of the
netboot directories, but this page has handy links to acquire them: