Recently I decided to try some Linux "Live" isos on usb on my old non-pae cpu Dell laptop. This is the same laptop used in the Linux Adventure3. Except I removed the hard drive. My intention was to give this to a friend who would probably use it mainly for playng Youtube videos. I got the following results.

I ended up not giving the laptop away but found antiX to be the best candidate for this matter.

antiX-17.rc1_386-full.iso
* works - fast, lightweight, has firefox 52 ESR - works for youtube also has SMtube which is a light version youtube browser and works really well and fast playing Youtube videos. Codex and all worked. Nice.

bodhi-4.0.0-32.iso
not work needs PAE capable cpu

bodhi-4.3.1-legacy.iso
* works - fast, lightweight, but only has midori browser (thus no youtube)

Fedora-SoaS-Live-i386-26-1.5.iso
works but not browser - no wireless - demo for kids

KNOPPIX_V8.1-2017-09-05-EN.iso
not tried since won't fit on 4GB usb

LegacyOS2017.iso
not work since not boot from usb boot- cd only image I guess?

Microwatt-R10-32bit.iso
not work - a mini version of wattOS needs pae

Peppermint-8-20170527-i386.iso
not work due to boot issues, menu boots but no graphics after menu selection may be radeon driver issue? or non-pae?

tahr-6.0-CE_noPAE.iso
old version derived from puppy linux * works but only firefox 24 - unsupported by youtube now

trisquel-mini_7.0_i686.iso
not work - needs pae

Zorin-OS-12.2-Lite-32.iso
not work - needs pae

Note that this test was only for using a 4GB size usb thumb drive. And of course as said an old non-pae cpu and radeon 9000m built-in laptop video. Thus it is not that these Distros may not work from a CD or DVD or for other PC's. And in the case of KNOPPIX a larger usb must be needed.

Other than antiX I also really liked Bodhi Legacy. It was a very clean interface and being based on Linux Mint/ Ubuntu / Debian I would highly recommend it for install (not tested) or satisfied with running it live with only the Midori browser.

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See DistroWatch For more information and links to these Distro versions.