I'm building a linux DE called MXLDE(Modern X Lightweight Desktop Environment) using a combination based on openbox window manager if all goes according to plan for my os Modern X at modernxblog.wordpress.com

Please tell me what is the best somewhat lightweight linux distro can be installed in virtualbox and has a similar package selection to openSUSE or Ubuntu.

Thank you to all who answer.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Jeff Schaller, Archemar, Christopher, countermode, Rui F Ribeiro Oct 28 '16 at 12:25

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.


I would use Debian

  • It is pretty lightweight see here
  • It is an universal operating system and a lot of other distro are based on Debian so whatever you develop on Debian. it will be easier to port on other distro and even other platform (ARM,RISC, and other)
  • It can be install without DE or even X sever so you will have no issue developing your own Linux DE
  • It has a really good package choice and package manager
  • It is well maintained and pretty stable

For all this reasons it would be my choice

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