What you said at #5 pretty well sums up the Live scenario.
I have used it to perform full installs on my computers roughly as follows:
- All the Mints from 17's to current
- All Ubuntus from 14's to current
- Vinux for the visually challenged
- Fedora 23 (now 25) Workstation
- Ultimate Edition 5
- Peach OSI The Works and BB (Bare Bones)
- AnitX 15/16
- Debian 8
- Mageia 5
- ... and many more - currently have 22 on there
It was hit and miss with OpenMandriva, no joy (so far) with Kali
At http://liveusb.info/dotclear/index.php?pages/os they have a list of Distros supported, if you use Google it will translate to English for you.
You can see at that link that you can also burn apps and packages such as Acronis, GParted, Clonezilla, HirenBootCD, UltimateBootCD and others.
For two years I was carrying around my first ever USB stick (512MB) with Clonezilla and GParted on it under Multisystem (quite handy), but both those products have grown a little with more recent versions and don't fit into that small a space any more. I still use it when currency does not matter.
The software features a .bat which is for Windows, but I have no means of testing that without a Windows.
Also on what punk said earlier - at pendrivelinux, YUMI have been talking for two years about producing their product for Linux, but in recent months they have put that on the back burner or in the too hard basket. Pity, I wanted to try that.
Multisystem allow for the addition of Persistence of up to 4GB (it is fat32-based) on one of the Distros housed at a time, and I think that works best with Ubuntu-based Distros - it will tell you if it does not support a Distro (yet) and if it does not support Persistence. It is a relatively easy matter to take Persistence off one and put it on another as your needs change.
I can do a Tute on Multisystem with videos if there is interest expressed.
@ The OP:
Viper, I put together for rp88 over here https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/629629/linux-mint-on-a-usb-stick-can-i-make-system-images-of-it an 8GB Cruzer with LM 'Rosa' MATE fully installed (which the OP was doing with a larger stick and he wanted to clone or image the Distro to a smaller stick).
Being on only 8 Gig, my stick only has a small amount of space available, as seen in the GParted shot below
I just performed updates on it this morning before this shot. Note that I have it as EXT4, but if you wished to use it on a Windows unit you would try it with NTFS I expect.
I only have 256 MB Swap on it and it runs as slow as a wet week, but otherwise is quite functional.
If you use it on your home PC/s, you can run an update-grub from the Distro you have at the top (or all of them if you wish and are multibooting) and have it included in your Grub Menu, obviating having to use your startup BIOS keys or restructure your boot order. Illustrated below with a screenshot of the bottom part of my Grub in the study, the stick is at the bottom.
If you fully install two or more Distros to the one stick you could choose to adopt a modification of the Grub Later Method, first mentioned by Al1000 at my new Topic here https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/636657/a-new-years-day-a-new-grub-what-are-the-consequences/
You could literally install one or more without installing Grub, then when you decide which Distro you wish to be on top, make Grub and update it?
I have a 32 Gig stick kicking around, I might try it with a few options.
Hope the above is of assistance.