I choose to use Debian Linux, its free and without the graphical user interface it has a very low memory footprint. The rest of this post I will describe how I set up Debian with Suns Virtual Box. In the next post I will describe how to install Oracle XE on the Debian server.
Like I said my goal was to setup a virtual server running Oracle XE so I could access the database from Mac OS. My most important goal was to keep the memory footprint as low as possible (and cheap as possible). So setting up a virtual server running Windows was not an option!