Prof. Nix writes "I have been given the opportunity to redesign the Linux course for the community college I work for. This course will be taking students from the 'What's Lee-nux?' stage to (hopefully) Linux+ Certifiable in about three to four months. However, one issue I haven't solved is finding a semi-stable, highly portable, and readily accessible platform the students may pound on, and have root access, independently of their peers. The powers-that-be have already vetoed any sort of server environment accessible from off campus. We've already tried live USB drives, but we ran into many issues with non-supported hardware on students' home computers. So I'm left with the idea of virtual machines run from flash drives. My ultimate goal is to have some sort of portable system that students can use with equal ease on lab systems and personal laptops — regardless of hardware. Preferably this system would be installable on a 4GB flash drive and run an Ubuntu- or Fedora-derived OS. So I ask the people who have been in the trenches a lot longer than I — what distros should I look at?"