I’ve been looking around, and have found tons of BlenderOS threads suggesting that such a project exists already. Most of them died in 2008.
I just wanted to see some feedback on my current project. I started to fiddle with Linux From Scratch, and got a great idea (which is almost completely done :D): BlenderOS. A Google search shot me down, but further investigation showed that all attempts have failed.
The results are extremely promising for me: my friend’s optimized build (running on an AMD Phenom II X4 clocked at 3.00 GHz with Windows XP) renders the default cube in 0.42 seconds. My BlenderOS build (no gcc optimizations) goes at 0.47 seconds (I am running an AMD Athlon dual core clocked at 2.5 GHz). Also, my boot time (also unoptimized) is ~5.50 seconds.
I was going to cut down size to ~100MB and include a file browser (currently Thunar), an internet browser (Chrome), and Blender (and YafaRay :P). No Desktop, just a startup screen with an icon for each application and minimal window switching.