good Ubuntu/Debian distro for a development/coding VM?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – I have a Windows laptop, but I like to use Linux as a development/coding environment. Currently I am currently running Ubuntu 12.04 as a guest OS with VirtualBox. Some of the issues with this setup are: I need a lighter-weight distro - Ubuntu installs too many extraneous packages I like to work in VirtualBox's "seamless" display mode - GNOME Terminal is the app I use the most. I'd like to find a window manager which gives me more vertical real estate. The GNOME desktop manager (the classic version) works pretty well, but I don't need the top menu bar or bottom task bar, and I could do with s (HowTos)