ethwireck can detect if the physical layer of the Ethernet is up. Laptops which use dynamic IP address assignment via DHCP have the problem that the boot process is much longer when no wire is connected to the Ethernet card. This is because the startup scripts have to wait for the DHCP request to time out. ethwireck can be used in the init script for your network card to determine whether or not an interface should be brought up. In other words, a timeout is avoided.
Ficl (Forth inspired command language) is an ANS Forth interpreter written in C. Unlike traditional Forths, this interpreter is designed to be embedded into other systems as a command/macro/development prototype language. Ficl provides object extensions that can be used to wrap methods and structures of the host system without altering them.
Finit is a small SysV init replacement with process supervision similar to that of daemontools and runit. Its focus is on small and embedded GNU/Linux systems, although it is fully functional on standard server and desktop installations. Finit is fast because it starts services in parallel; it then supervises and automatically restarts them if they fail. This can be extended upon with custom callbacks for all services, hooks into the boot process, or plugins to extend the functionality and adapt Finit to your needs. Finit is not only fast, it’s arguably one of the easiest to get started with. A complete system can be booted with one simple configuration file.
Firewall is a set of scripts (firewall, fwup, and fwdown) that implement an ipchains firewall and various forms of network address and port translation. All you have to do is read the policy file and edit it to reflect your topology and filtering policy. It supports many different types of network topology (single host, traditional forwarding, masquerading, port forwarding, alias port forwarding and NAT), up to 10 untrusted interfaces each with their own policy, and over 50 network applications. It also supports centralised administration of multiple remote firewalls (meta-firewall).
gBootRoot makes the construction and development of distributions fun and simple with its Root Methods (Yard) and user-mode-linux test bed. Finish the product with a Boot Method (2-disk compression supported). Normal (non-root) users can make root filesystems and boot disks. It includes the make_debian script to create a testable user-mode-linux base Debian system, add-ons to enhance methods, and an MTD Emulator useful for running distributions made with the jffs/jffs2 filesystem.
Gendist is a live CD generator system. It has nice features like multi-distribution CDs, support for grub, isolinux, and gfxboot boot managers, and a modules system for configuring your distribution in live mode. This system is independent from the kernel version (but need unionfs and squashfs support). It only works on Debian Sid or Ubuntu Dapper.