Linux is a clone of the Unix kernel, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance. It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix kernel, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and TCP/IP networking.
Recovery Is Possible (RIP) is a CD or USB boot/rescue/backup/maintenance system. It has support for many filesystem types (Reiserfs, Btrfs, Ext2/3/4, HFS+, ISO-9660, Squashfs, UDF, XFS, JFS, UFS2, CIFS, MS DOS, NTFS, and VFAT) and contains several utilities for system recovery. It also has IDE/SCSI/SATA, RAID, LVM2, and Ethernet/Wireless network support.
Gentoo Linux is a versatile and fast Linux distribution for x86, PowerPC, Sparc, and Sparc64 that's geared towards Linux power users. Unlike other distros, it has an advanced package management system called Portage. Portage is a true ports system in the tradition of BSD ports, but is Python-based and sports a number of advanced features including dependencies, fine-grained package management, "fake" (OpenBSD-style) installs, path sandboxing, safe unmerging, system profiles, virtual packages, config file management, and more.
Devil-Linux is a special secure Linux distribution which is used for firewalls, routers, gateways, and servers. The goal of Devil-Linux is to have a small, customizable, and secure Linux system. Configuration is saved on a floppy disk or USB stick, and it has several optional packages. Devil-Linux boots from CD, but can be stored on CF cards or USB sticks.
Coyote Linux is a mini distribution designed for setting up network utility services such as Internet connection sharing, firewalling, or wireless access points. The goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible to set up a Linux system with only a minimal amount of Linux knowledge.
DirectFB is a thin library that provides developers with hardware graphics acceleration, input device handling and abstraction, an integrated windowing system with support for translucent windows and multiple display layers on top of the Linux framebuffer device. It is a complete hardware abstraction layer with software fallbacks for every graphics operation that is not supported by the underlying hardware.
fli4l is a single-floppy Linux-based ISDN/DSL/ethernet-router. It features configuration with some simple ASCII-files, several possible connection-flavors (in/out/callback, and raw IP/PPP), channel bundling (an extra channel can be added through a Windows/Unix-client), configuration of multiple networks, least-cost routing, automatic choice of provider, display/calculation of connection times and costs, and a Windows/Unix client to control dial/hangup, monitor traffic and monitor incoming calls on ISDN (see screenshot).
Owl (Openwall GNU/*/Linux) is a small security-enhanced Linux distribution for servers. Owl also makes a good base system for customized virtual machine images and embedded systems, and Owl live CDs with remote SSH access are good for recovering or installing systems (whether with Owl or not). A single Owl CD includes the full live system, installable packages, the installer program, as well as full source code and the build environment capable of rebuilding the entire system from source. Owl supports multiple architectures (x86, x86-64, SPARC, and Alpha) and offers some compatibility for packages developed for other Linux distributions. The primary approaches to security are proactive source code review, privilege reduction, privilege separation, careful selection of third-party software, safe defaults, and "hardening" to reduce the likelihood of successful exploitation of security flaws.