With a standard PC architecture I would not expect there to any problems running most Linux distributions on this hardware.
Trying out Tiny Core 5.2 it booted from a pen drive and ran without problems.
In July 2018 I heard from Vlad in Vienna. His email included the comments below on running Debian on his t5550. FYI he used a IDE-to-SD card adapter to increase the amount of flash in his system and had installed 4GB of RAM.
My impressions about Debian: system is smooth. I have installed three Desktop Environments: XFCE, LXDE and i3 and find that all of them run well.
- XFCE is feature rich and runs well.
- LXDE is very snappy and feels a tad faster than XFCE.
- i3 is the new type of minimalist window manager. It is fast but you need to get familiar with it otherwise you can end up staring at an empty screen wondering what to do.
The t5550 has no problems running Libre Office and certainly can handle straight forward tasks like editing small documents and running small spreadsheets - it could be easily be used as a mini desktop computer from that perspective.
However I did notice that web browsers were not as responsive as they might be. Under Debian I have checked both Chromium and Firefox. With 4GB of system RAM there is no problem with lack of memory, but the small VIA processor is being worked hard. I'm still looking for a solution be it a matter of configuration or an alternative browser (but not going so far as to use Lynx!)
I would like also to mention that I have tried other OS-es and all of them ran without any problems. These were xubuntu, mint, bodhi, and wattos.
I wonder if Vlad's comment about browser speed is a reflection of Richard's comments on the current state of the OpenChrome driver which hopefully will be upgraded at some point in 2018.
Any comments? email me. Added June 2014 Last update July 2018