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What would be the Linux distribution that is minimal? Just enough to run eclipse and the c/c++ compiler.

This Linux will be installed on a VM so I don't want to have a full loaded distribution.

What I need is just: Linux kernel with a GUI, c/c++ compiler, java, and eclipse

*debian base is preferable

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, Chris Down, slm, jasonwryan, Anthon Oct 30 '13 at 3:28

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Any distro would suffice for this. Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora/CentOS. – slm Oct 30 '13 at 2:17
Yes, but it takes a long time to boot and I don't need to have all the desktop software like music player and Office things. – Vincent Oct 30 '13 at 2:28
None of those things make the system boot slowly. A stock Debian system with LXDE would be my recommendation if you don't want a lot of window dressing and want a fast desktop experience. BTW, I use Fedora daily for Ecplise, and a co-worker uses Ubuntu w/ Unity, they're equivalent IMO. Just pick one and go with it. – slm Oct 30 '13 at 2:34
Define a "long time to boot" for us too. A Laptop w/ an SSD Card w/ the OS can boot in 10-20 seconds. – slm Oct 30 '13 at 2:36
ubuntu is bad solution , please use Debian/Sid for development, however, if you want to port your program , you need a VM beside your Debian/Sid, Why Debian/Sid? a developer need a big repository, debian/sid is uptodate and has big repository. – PersianGulf Oct 30 '13 at 3:53

I think you have a misunderstanding here, minimal and eclipse don't mix. There is nothing minimal about a full featured IDE written in Java like eclipse. In order for that to run you will need at least:

  1. A java engine
  2. A GUI, at the very least a simple Xorg but you would probably want to have a Window Manager or Desktop Environment as well.

As soon as you have those, your system is no longer minimalist. If you want a minimal system that can compile and execute C code, all you need is a kernel, a shell, a simple text editor to write the code and the core libraries needed to compile and run C programs. You cannot ask for minimal and expect to be running a full featured IDE.

That said, any Linux at all will be able to compile and run C programs as long as the necessary libraries and compiler are installed. Just pick a Linux that sounds good for you and try it. Have a look at http://distrowatch.com and check out Damn Small Linux for a tiny Linux distro.

If you want a normal distro that can connect to the internet and has a GUI (DSL has both these things mind you) and some basic configuration tools etc, go for Debian or arch or gentoo. Debian might have some programs installed by default that you don't like but it is very easy to remove them. See here for help on creating a minimal Debian. Arch and gentoo make it easy for you to build a DIY system and you can choose what extra functionality you want to include. However, they are not newbie friendly and if you are not already comfortable with *nix I would recommend starting elsewhere.

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I don't think there is one single "minimal" Linux distribution. Many can be made minimal through package flags or options (eg, Gentoo "minimal" flag), though relatively some are bigger than others.

If you are looking for something that is designed to be small and simple, and is also designed for do-your-own-compiling, I suggest Arch Linux.

On edit: Comments on the OP suggest by "minimal" you mean "a desktop without fluff". Consider awesome on Gentoo. Nice thing about it is you don't need a mouse, you can configure menus and commands, and it's super fast.

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