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Xfce is my daily driver for cloud development. I use Xubuntu running in VirtualBox on a Windows gaming laptop. (I know, I know, Oracle and all that!) Running in seamless mode works quite well. Since I code in Golang, I don't need the fastest machine around for fast compiles. Also, since I run ubuntu VMs on AWS, I have nearly zero mismatches between my development environment and deployment. I can even run my full IDE/debugger (I use Goland) in a deployed environment for debugging.

Which brings me to a segue: This seems like a good place to ask what's the lightest weight developer-cromulent environment possible that would support a GUI? When I bring up an IntelliJ IDE on a VM, I see that I'm using just short of 6.5 GB of disk. Most of that seems to be the OS, which at the moment is Xubuntu. What's lighter weight, but not outdated and annoying? (When I incorporate Docker, 6.5GB is going to be a bit heavyweight.)

Back in the Smalltalk days, the Visual Smalltalk image with some libraries loaded could basically do the same thing as VNC, but with no OS dependencies and with a much smaller footprint. People were already debugging server deployments with a full IDE back in the early 2000's.

It advertises itself as midweight, so of course you can find lighter distros/DEs out there, but the snappiest desktop Linux I've used recently is MX Linux, with comes with a very polished Xfce... Try it, it has a lot of pro-user features!

Link: https://mxlinux.org/current-release-features/

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