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Currently, I'm doing web development on my windows machine. Some projects are just easier to run on Linux (like Node.js.) I only need the commandline, so I run Ubuntu in seamless mode. I don't need all the overhead of Ubuntu. Is there lighter distro I could use that still supports seamless mode in VirtualBox?

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Voting to move to serverfault.com –  ChristopheD Apr 2 '11 at 17:18
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 3 '11 at 22:04

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Have a look at Ubuntu JEOS (Just Enough Operating System).

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You can either:

  • Use whatever distro, disable X11 and use PuTTy to ssh into the box. All distros will be equally lightweight- so you might want to continue Ubuntu just as you're used to
  • Use coLinux or andLinux to run a pseudo-Linux process on Windows. If you run it without X11 and use PuTTy to ssh in, it should in theory be even lighter than the previous solution

Basically, if you are just using the command line, you can disable X11 and you're done.

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Most distros have a desktop and server variant so a lot of the time there's no real need to strip X (just start with the server variant). –  ChristopheD Apr 2 '11 at 17:28
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Try Arch Linux. It installs as a very basic system with just a shell and some convenient tools, no DE's, no X11, etc., you just add more packages as you go, if you need them. Plus, it's a rolling release system which means it takes just a full package update to make sure you're running the latest versions of all of the installed software.

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