Tom Radcliff recently put me on to Puppy Linux, a live CD Linux distro that he is using where he teaches high school. I got a chance to test it out, and I am really impressed. Check out the mission statement:
* Puppy will easily install to USB, Zip or hard drive media.
* Booting from CD, Puppy will load totally into RAM so that the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
* Booting from CD, Puppy can save everything back to the CD, no need for a hard drive.
* Booting from USB, Puppy will greatly minimise writes, to extend the life of Flash devices indefinitely.
* Puppy will be extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
* Puppy will boot up and run extraordinarily fast.
* Puppy will have all the applications needed for daily use.
* Puppy will just work, no hassles.
* Puppy will breathe new life into old PCs
Beyond the speed (it puts both my OS X and XP machines to shame in this department), I really like the idea that this Linux distro is as small as it is … only 60(ish) MBs. As stated above, users can actually use the other 590-640 MBs to store files as the OS setup allows you to use the existing CD-R space for file storage. Thus, no hard disk drive necessary. Those features, and the fact that the minimum requirements for use are PC’s with Pentium 200MMX and 64MB RAM (with swap partition), make Puppy Linux something that should be seriously considered for student/school use.