I do use linux mint once in awhile on one of my computers. It does seem to work very well.One of my favorites is the Andys Ham Radio Linux live cd. You can download it at https://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/ . They do have a fairly up to date version and it does a really good job. I would suggest checking it out. The other popular linux live distribution I would suggest is the Shackbox. You can download it from this link http://www.shackbox.net/ . I am not sure how up to date this one is.
My best advise is to build a computer to run your linux ham software on. I would just make sure you back it up. I have seen too many people including hams that did not back up their system and the hard drive failed. Now they have lost everything including all the work they put into it.