I've read a pile of suggestions both on this site and elsewhere, but they all seem to be a couple years old, or not quite my situation.
A family member has got a windows PC (with a Pentium 4 w/o hardware virtualization support) that keeps winding up infected and crudding up. As I would like to minimize family IT support time, I figured the easiest thing to do was to wipe it, put Linux on it, install XP pro (they don't want a more recent one) in a VirtualBox virtual machine, and take a snapshot. I'd set up a shared drive on the host where they could store all their stuff, so that when it inevitably gets hosed, all I have to do is roll back to the snapshot.
This leaves me with the question - which host distro would be the best choice? I'm looking for three things - ease of maintenance on my part (updates, configuration, etc.; I have a background in slackware, but have some exposure to Ubuntu), minimalism (so that the bulk of the system's resources can be devoted to the VM), and virtualization-readiness (say, so I can have the computer automatically go from power up to virtual machine power up, thereby minimizing the user exposure to the host).
Obviously, I would like it if it has all of the standard tools that will allow me to do remote maintenance, also.
I've looked at Ubuntu server JeOS, and it seems enticing, but I can't seem to find out whether it can be used on a desktop system, i.e., with a GUI, etc.
Any advice would be appreciated!