That's completely up to you. You should use one which doesn't require any knowledge. Maybe you can try Suse, Ubuntu or better Mint.
When I understand you correctly you want to create custom bootable Linux images?
I would recommend to use ISOLINUX as most Linux distributors do. For a short introduction how to use this see here: http://syslinux.zytor.com/wiki/index.php/ISOLINUX
I think it won't become a real alternative for all concerns in the next few years since Microsoft has gotten a great advance over the years and I often stumbled over some missing features, not properly working ones and a lot of bugs. But one advantage that OpenOffice has is that it's more standards compliant than Word (which e.g. implemented ODT very recently whereas OpenOffice's support for this goes years back).
I assume they both will have a good co-existence over the next years but at least for professional use I don't see that OpenOffice will overcome MS Office in the foreseeable future.