Removing pre-installed applications on Dreamhost dedicated server


I’m new to Dreamhost and I recently signed up for a dedicated server. I was a bit surprised that there seems to be a lot of pre-installed applications running on the server including apache, nginx, courier, mysql, proftpd and bunch of other stuff that I’m not sure are required for basic operation or maintenance of the server. I was hoping for something a little more barebones that I could build up from.

My questions is this: Can I safely remove the installed versions of apache, courier, mysql and other stuff and start with my own installations of this software? I’ll feel better using software I installed myself, knowing where it came from and what patches, options and anything have been applied when it was installed. I’m fine with taking responsibility for the proper configuration and security of the applications I install. I just don’t want to start removing things and suddenly find myself with a non-functioning server because I’ve removed something that in most circumstances wouldn’t be associated with being required to keep the server running.

I obviously would be careful to not remove stuff that looked to be related to Dreamhost managment of the hardware. But, I guess one can never be certain.