Gnublin is an embedded linux plattform for developing controls or typical microcontroller application and offers all you need to do this in an easy way. With the gnublin installer one can create SD-cards. The operating system Gnublin uses is Debian, which in their system is called the Gnublin distribution. If neccessarry one can create their own distrubution.
For controling, measuring and regulating Gnublin offers many modules (like motor controler, relay, input, output, analog to digital, digital to analog, temperature sensor and so on) to create a very fast prototype. Together with a very energy efficient Gnublin linux board and the Gnublin api (which allows to write ones own applications in c++, python, php or anything like it) one can easily build their own applications.