Help choosing distro for persistent USB install
I want a Linux distro that I can install to USB stick with persistence - i.e. the ability to make changes to the OS which stay for next boot: package management and changing settings etc...
I have an 8Gb USB stick so size is not so much of an issue, but I want the OS to be fast. I've been using Puppy for the past few months, and a week or so ago I booted into Fedora XFCE and found that too slow by comparison.
Here is my criteria:-
1. Speed & Power. I want something AT LEAST 80% of the speed of Slacko 5.3. I want a file manager that opens folders instantaneously. The PCs I will be using my portable USB install on will all have at least 3Gb RAM and be quad cores, and I want to be able to run Libre Office, VLC, Chromium and Full Tilt Poker through Wine simultaneously with no problems.
2. Stability. Much as it saddens me, Puppy is not as stable as I want it to be. With Slacko I experience X server crashes, with 5.4 I have big problems with the RAM-to-savefile process, and with NTFS permissions. I've not yet found any OS that is bug free, and this is the main reason I've distro-hopped so much in the last 18 months, but for me I simply won't use an OS once I've encountered a problem with it that is not easily solvable by searching on forums, and/or using my intuition.
3. Packages. I need to be able to run VLC, a Jabber client, Skype, a Torrent client that can handle magnet links (and integrate with the file manager), Libre Office, Wine, Calibre and GIMP. I may in the future want the ability to install other things, but those are the most important. I don't really fully understand packaging systems, and have good and bad things to say about DEB-based systems, RPMs, PETS and the like. One thing I will say is that the distro needs to have an easy way of installing stuff because installing from source sucks balls.
4. Ease of installation. There is no good me considering a distro that can do all of the above if there is no easy way of me putting it onto the USB. With Puppy, I run the live CD and use the Bootflash app to install the OS to the USB disk. With Fedora Live-USB creator, for example, one has to have a running Fedora install (not Live) to be able to put the ISO onto a USB. Even then, I've not fully explored whether persistence works properly on this.
Any suggestions would be most welcome. Some I know about and will try are: Bodhi, AntiX, Lubuntu, Crunchbang, Peppermint, Slitaz. Anyone with experience of a persistent USB install of any of these, or any other suitable distro, I would love to hear your thoughts.
[EDIT: I should say that I don't care so much about how the OS looks, as long as its not uglier than Puppy. It doesn't have to look like Gnome Shell ;) ]