I have created several new Virtual Appliances from common Linux flavors and packaged them in OVA format for you use and enjoyment:
During the build, I like to practice KISS with a view on real world use. For example, I have installed and configured the basic packages and utilities that I would (and do) use on a daily basis, but not added a bunch of garbage.
SSH is configured on all of the Appliances, but not for direct root access. You must first logon as: administrator, then use: su – to become root.
One other thing is that I have NOT used LVM to create the disks and I have put everything into a single partition (/dev/sda). This is NOT a best practice so much as it is a reality of knowing that people will need to extend these disks if these Virtual Appliances are to be of any use. YOU can either add more disks suitable for whatever you want or extend /dev/sda with gParted.