I have recently being looking to get a memory stick which boots Linux, so that I can develop websites and write programs in a contained environment.
I also wanted to get Beryl (now Compiz) working on the stick. I tried Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy, 7.04 Feisty, 6.10 and 6.06 – however Compiz only partially worked on some of them and each were very slow to boot. Also my network card was only detected in 7.10 which seamed to hang on the grub loader then kick into life(bout 3 min boot time).
I then tried pendrivelinux’s version of Mandriva http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/02/13/pendrivelinux-2008-install-from-windows/ – the install was fast and painless and the boot time was 30 – 45 seconds which is great!
The best thing about this OS build was the amount of software already installed and all my hardware “just worked” on both my laptop and my desktop – even Bluetooth and wireless worked straight out of the box.
Compiz comes pre-installed too with Intel and ATI drivers, so all I needed to do was install the NVIDIA driver and I was all set!
I now find myself using the USB pendrive more than my installed operating system because of the speed and flexibility. Big thanks to www.pendrivelinux.com!