I have a few programming classes at school (we're learning Python) where we use rather old hardware. They run Windows XP, and usually they all somehow have a few issues (no HDD at boot, unexpected reboots, permissions errors on user folders, and so on…)

I don't like bringing my laptop, so instead I was using Ubuntu on a live-usb, but sometimes, I wasn't able to download a few libraries (the school seems to be blocking a few URLs). Last time this happened, I X-forwarded a python IDE from home to the school computer from within the Ubuntu Live-USB by SSH, and it was very smooth. Both Internet connections were fast enough to make the experience look like I was using the software locally. From home, my Debian-running computer was able to download all libraries I needed, and any frustration was gone.

Is there any sort of live-usb running linux that has the minimum software required to properly run an X-forwarded SSH session? I don't need a whole UI like Unity or XFCE. Just a Terminal prompt and an X window manager supporting X-forwarded windows would be perfect.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure why you don't use the Ubuntu one you already have since that seems to work but you can find great information on Linux on USBs at the aptly named http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ site.

The classic one suggested for this type of thing is Damn Small Linux. It actually has a window manager (FluxBox) but it is extremely light and, well, damn small.

  • Nice! I had heard of Damn Small Linux before, but I didn't know it could be that convenient. I thought it was just a very small version of linux. I have a few more questions: Is FluxBox installed by default? Is there any kind of permanent storage (to keep some packages I might add)?
    – LaX
    Sep 24, 2014 at 17:43
  • Yes, fluxbox is installed by default. I don't know if they do persistent versions (that keep installed software) but have a look at pendrivelinux.com they have a number of articles explaining how to do that.
    – terdon
    Sep 24, 2014 at 18:00

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