I love the minimalist Linux distributions out there and have tried a half-dozen of them so far. The slackware based minimalist distributions especially are very good, being very stable, fast, friendly, and easy to play with. Also, I HIGHLY recommend PCLinuxOS LXDE (a Mandriva-based distro), I have it installed on one of my computers and just love it for it’s speed and stability.
Just yesterday though I found out that it’s possible to easily install a minimalist Debian setup with the fluxbox WM. In fact, this “how to” will be over before you know it. :) If you have installed Debian before, then you will be on familiar ground. If not, then follow these steps for an easy setup. To have a minimal installation, make sure to only check the option for “Standard System” (last option).
When you are done with the installation, reboot and you will be taken to the command line where you have to log in. Once logged in, run the following:
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install xorg xterm wdm fluxbox
That’s it, you now have a very fast base system to play with.
BTW, here’s a sweet gift for my Linux loving friends, it’s a picture that I took in Washington D.C., and it came out pretty sweet.