TJ: Definitely do a dry run with VirtualBox.. configuring a Linux system for Tor is beyond the remit of this channel.. pick a distro, and then go and hang in the relevant distro channel for install/configuration supporty.
TJ: Please, talk to me here.
TJ: Whilst it's an honorable plan to provide a node for Tor, you really need to be able to configure and maintain it yourself.
Unless, that is, you can find someone trusted to work with, that perhaps assumes sysadmin duties on your behalf. Ideally, though, you want to skipper your own boat!