If you are bored with Knoppix 6.7.1 LiveUSB, since it works so well,
you might want to take a small challenge and try out Ubuntu 11.10.
You can get a fast download of an iso from Ubuntu. You can also get
a fast copy of Pendrive 1,2,3. Using Windows, you can make a fast
Ubuntu LiveUSB with persistence this way. I used a 4 Gb USB, but there
was 3 Gb available for persistence; a 2 Gb USB would likely be OK.

If you have a 'proprietary' wifi, things may slow down at this point
while Ubuntu tries to discover and install an appropriate driver. It
finally found the correct Broadcom STA driver and installed same;
however, it did not initially 'persist' as we say. It remained
'persisted' only after a second, equally clumsy, driver install.
Ubuntu has never got it right when it comes to the driver my Dell
laptop requires. Ubuntu clones are even worse in this regard.
Both Knoppix and PCLinuxOS do an effortless install of the required
driver; for these two, you wouldn't know that might have been a problem.

Finding accessory Ubuntu programs terminal and text editor initially
is a real scavenger hunt. To make things worse, these really don't
persist at all; they get lost at shutdown. This is a real nuisance.

The Ubuntu screen landscape is a unique effort called 'Unity' to simplify
things, which sort of misses the mark, IMO. One aspect of Unity
tries to make all windows use the top panel to arrange all menus.
This fails, embarrassingly when it comes to LibreOffice. Another
aspect seeks to aggregate all program desktop icons in one task panel;
however, the default size of these icons is much too large, and I
haven't found how to change that yet.

Gparted is in the default Ubuntu LiveUSB, but Synaptic isn't.
Control-Alt-Backspace is de-activated by default; I'll miss that.
Whatever Ubuntu's default passwords are, I haven't a clue.

Ubuntu has a nice gui which allows you to select an option to disable
touchpad during typing; I find that handy. With Knoppix & PCLinuxOS
I usually disable the touchpad altogether; I favor a wireless mouse.

Display parameters were correctly set by Ubuntu with no intervention
on my part; video is crisp and colorful, same as for Knoppix. PCLinuxOS
requires some help getting the display resolution right; a surprising
but minor aberration in this otherwise excellent distribution.

Ubuntu provides up-to-date LibreOffice and FireFox in the default
install as, equivalently does Knoppix. PCLinuxOS makes adding
LibreOffice a special case; it's not part of its default install.
At one time LibreOffice installation in PCLinuxOS was, for me,
somewhat difficult, but that is no longer the case.

The overall impression of Ubuntu is that it doesn't like you to
get behind its GUIs. Finding a terminal and some command-line
access requires some fiddling, and all of Ubuntu's departures from
most now-standard desktop conventions are IMO off-putting. Choices
I'm sure were meant to be 'intuitive' seem to me just 'arbitrary'.

In the small Linux LiveUSB world, Knoppix and PCLinuxOS are the best
that I am aware of; Ubuntu is workable, but not in their league IMO.
I've not found any LiveUSB clone of Ubuntu that I like at all.

utu, 10/17/2011