Minimal Command Line Distro
So, I want to have a VM of a very minimal x86 Linux install, with networking support so I can download packages. All this VM is going to be used for is to learn NASM assembly, since all of the other Linux installs I have anywhere area all x86_64 installs.
Any distro will have an x86 version. If you really don’t want to run X or anything like that, there are plenty of distros that offer minimal versions. Ubuntu and debian have minimal installs if you want to go that route.
I think what you’ll get the most recommendations for is arch. It’s got a good community with lots of tutorials and recipes for stuff. Also there’s slackware and gentoo
Debian netinstall is really simple to use: http://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/
It may look like it’s hard to use but installer asks you a bunch of questions and all you have to do is to answer them and voila: you will have minimal system (it uses 36-38 mb of ram in idle mode with irssi on my pc without X).