Terms regarding the OS:

  • Must be installed on pendrive
  • It must contain software for office use
  • Need to save files, GUI settings on it (auto)

So I'm not searching for a LiveCD.

What could be the best choice?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Braiam, slm, derobert, Kevin, Ramesh Jun 16 '14 at 17:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Most “live CD” distributions can be installed on a pen drive instead of a CD. Then you can use the rest of the pen drive (if it's large enough) as storage. For example, for Ubuntu, prepare a “live CD” on a USB pen drive. The pen drive creator utility will let you choose how much space to devote to storage.

Alternatively, just do a normal installation that happens to be on a pen drive rather than an internal hard disk. That way, you'll be able to choose exactly what packages to install. The downside of this approach is that more files will be saved on the USB drive (the live CD doesn't store any transient data on the drive, only your documents and customizations) since the system will be running directly off the drive. Therefore the system will be slower (not necessarily noticeably) and the pen drive's lifetime will be shortened (not necessarily noticeably). On the upside, this way requires less RAM.

  • Gilles has pretty much covered it, but may I suggest Puppy Linux? – boehj May 8 '11 at 17:35

For your requirement, I will suggest you to go with dsl


I heartily recommend Puppy Linux in on of its many derivatives: I use it every day on my computers and found it will simply work, easily.

Also it will fully load in RAM so you don't have to bother with drive speed.

It has all what you ask and works on most hardware also where many other distro fail.

Not recommended if you are scared to running always as root tho...


Have a look at http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ -- they have an installer for putting just about any Linux distro on a USB drive.


Another option is Slitaz, which is tiny (30 MB), runs entirely in RAM and somehow manages to come with a complete Openbox-based desktop and plenty of packages.


Try Slax

It is optimized for flash devices.

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