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Must be the morning for questions about minimal distros. Check out
ttylinux on http://www.minimalinux.org/ it's different from
what I'm used to (Slackware 10), but the docs are pretty good as far as
installation. And I set up a support board for it a couple weeks ago. I
have to admit that I do some of the work on the site. I don't have
anything to do with the actual ttylinux distribution though.
You list Debian as a distribution you use.
I think a Debian base install makes a good starting point for a useable text/console install. Apt-get any additional needed software. A Debian base install is around 200MB. The install is a Debian install though.
The Slax Frodo Live CD might be something you are interested in.
Distribution: OpenSuse 10.2, Slackware 11, Solaris 10
Linux from Scratch, is a distro which you make yourself.
It's essentially a book which guides you through the process of making a linux distro.
Since you make it yourself, you have absolute control over it www.linuxfromscratch.org/