Today we're detailing four no-install distributionsDamn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, Xubuntu, and Fedoraand helping you decide which might work for that spare thumb drive you've got lying around, or as just a part of your multi-gig monster stick. Read on for a four-way faceoff of bootable Linux systems.
Read it here
Damn Small Linux 4.4.6
Ultra-small (and efficient) Linux distribution using an older version of the Linux kernel (great for real old hardware, not so hot for the newer stuff).
Min. requirements: 486 Intel processor with 24MB RAM.
Image size: 50MB (forever, according to project leaders).
Boot time: 23.1 seconds.
Features: Firefox and super-slim Dillo browser both available. Access to tons of built-in, geeky tools like SSH/FTP servers; Built-in Conky display. Right-click access to nearly anything.
Needs improvement: Cluttered menus (necessarily so, perhaps). Hardware detection is tricky – missed, or just didn't set up, my ThinkPad's USB mouse, Intel Wi-Fi card, and integrated sound. Graphics are definitely old-school VESA, which might grate on some.
Who would like it: Anyone with really, really old hardware, or those who feel comfortable at a command line or in networking jargon.