I was thinking of throwing out windows from a little laptop with an i386 processor and putting linux on, to make better use of the hardware. I'm not sure how the process works, seeing as there is no disk drive, and I'm not sure which distribution of linux would be a good fit for it. It has a few USB slots, of course, but no disk drive. I know that some linux distributions run from USB, but I don't know the details. Can someone fill me in on how to boot linux on there? I'm hoping to try it out using a live distribution first, but I'd have to know how to prep a usb peripheral to make my laptop boot it, and anything else needed.
Also, there is a program I am hoping to install (racket). It has a few linux binaries for download, two of which are the right architecture, but one is for Ubuntu, the other is for Fedora. I understand that each linux works differently with these things, but how might I install it if I wanted to install debian, for example? For other programs, how does it work? can some unix source codes be compiled for linux?