Unless we need a very specific release of a Linux distribution, it's highly probable we'll expect a fully updated system as soon as possible (think security patches and other bug fixes). Similarly, we usually expect a set of tools to be available in the new system. However, things might change, default tools might be removed – better to be safe than sorry. If one of our bootstrap scripts needs
nmap, let's ensure those are present long before the proper configuration management tool starts its job (such as Chef or Puppet). We may also want to reboot the server after applying critical initial packages such as the kernel, or add a custom package repository.
To step through ...