I am looking for non gui based linux that I can set it up as guest os using Virtual box on Windows 7. Any ideas?

  • I just need the terminal to setup apache mysql php etc – CodeToGlory Oct 23 '09 at 17:06
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    Why non-GUI? You can easily run X inside the Windows 7 virtual box. I have a full install of Ubuntu on mine – Jherico Oct 23 '09 at 17:41
  • Is Linux really necessary for that? There is a package called XAMPP located here that will install all of those tools on a Windows machine: apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html – Natalie Adams Nov 1 '09 at 15:22

I myself am running Arch Linux. It's intended to be as lightweight as possible.

You may like coLinux - it is not a distribution, but rather a special type of a VM - the Linux kernel isn't fully virtualized, so it's a little faster, especially if you don't need an X server. (It's still possible to use Xming or Cygwin/X though.)


I'd go with the Debian netinstaller, and tell it to install a minimal system. Then apt-get install the pieces you need.


Ubuntu Server is probably a really easy to go (though I haven't tried it in Virtual Box). You can have it automatically install LAMP for you during the install process.


There are a TON of choices. I say go with what you're most familiar. I'll throw out CentOS as that's what I'm installing on a headless server as I type this.


It may be worth your time to check out Cygwin. It will allow you to run many Posix-compliant packages natively from Windows.

  • +1 for Cygwin. Cygwin is going to be leaner than a hosted VM, it's easy to install, and it's functionally just as good for non-GUI software. Note that there are native Windows versions of Apache, PHP, etc too. – CarlF Oct 24 '09 at 21:48

Another good server distribution is CentOS. It's similar to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is a good place for people starting out with Linux.

But if all you want is a web server stack, there are Windows versions of the entire Apache, MySQL, and PHP (LAMP) stack. Try Googling for XAMPP or WAMP.


I have been using Portable Ubuntu for awhile: http://portableubuntu.demonccc.com.ar/

Seems to work pretty good.


A lot of distributions that start without a GUI will contain only the bare basis needed to be able to install everything you want. If you would want my opinion then check out Gentoo Linux:

Gentoo Linux, a special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme performance, configurability and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.

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