I agree re Amazon Linux, I started using it when I was learning Linux. It works fine, but getting software onto it is time consuming. The repository has a lot less software in it than the Ubuntu one.
This is another viable option, one I have used and its been quite effective for work. But the easiest way to get this up and running is to use AWS, rather than run it on Virtual Box.
Its easier to get started by getting an ISO of ubuntu, and installing it into a VirtualBox VM.