I have few years of experience on Linux, mainly Ubuntu (dual-boot). Now I am shifting to Windows, and installing Linux in VirtualBox, Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). I am looking for a light-weight distribution for a development machine setup. I thought of using debian-unstable-minimum, and installing build-essentials, openbox (or a little more feature light-WM, ps recommend), ssh-server, Ethereal, iptables, Nmap (maybe), Vim, Python 3. That is all what I can think of now mainly.
Options I can think of --
Debian-unstable minimum, and then using apt-get to do the rest. Is there also a recommended version of Ubuntu Lite? I read Ubuntu Lite is not good, some others are also not that good.
Arch Linux, reading a great deal about it. Wikipedia says it is mainly a binary-based distribution, but everywhere on the Internet/community only talk about its source-based approach. If it is binary, I think I can have a quick setup. For guest OS Arch Linux guys in VirtualBox, is your guest-additions working fine in Arch Linux?
FreeBSD 8, is it possible for a minimum install? And recommended.
Recommendations for other i686 optimized Linux, if any, or let's say i386 is also fine, as I will only use it for coding.
For system administrators: I would like to know if Arch Linux keeps the potential to penetrate companies for production systems, and replace Red Hat Linux/Debian/BSD in servers for hosting applications/portals.
Addition: Just a thought- is there any distribution which helps you to be a better programmer, developer or analyst, in terms of the way things should be done? I don't know if I am over-generalizing it :).