Do you want just the command line interface (cli) for the linux box or do you want the gui? If you just want the cli, use something like SecureCRT or another terminal emulator. It supports telnet and SSH. My apologies in advance if my suggestion isn’t what you are looking for.
ideally i want my linux box to be running with minimal resources, minus gui if possible, but i’d still like to be able to connect to if from my windows pc, and run a linux gui session. is this possible? thanks
Yes. You’ll still need XWindows stuff (libraries etc) installed on the linux box, but you don’t have to run the GUI itself.
The thing you want on Windows is called an “X11 server” (yes, server. Counter-intuitive but true). Googling “windows x11 server” turns up lots of them, but I haven’t used one for like ten years so I can’t recommend any.