If you see that the Linux is named after its kernel i.e. Linux Kernel. This means that the main power of Linux operating system is its Kernel which is developed by Linus Torvalds.
The Linux Kernel manages the process control, networking, peripherals and the File System Access and Device drivers are either integrated directly in kernel or added as a module. This is a background of linux which is very powerful. Now we talk about the front end i.e. the user interaction with OS.
The Linux provides both CLI(Command Line Interface) and GUI(Graphical User Interface). For CLI there is Linux shell, an another powerful tool in Linux called bash. There are lot of commands in bash and others can also be installed. In Linux, the software installation is allowed directly from the source code i.e you can compile the source code on your system and on compilation software will be installed according to the system configuration with best possible performance.
For GUI there are lot of desktop environments like GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Xfce etc. The screen shots of these environments are shown here…
The Linux has wide applications like is desktops, laptops, all major servers, mobile phones, PDAs etc. The Linux provides a lot options to configure according to the requirement which can be made in order to supply the ultimate performance.
**# **Google runs its web servers on Linux.
**# **The Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar Supercomputer, which was the world’s fastest supercomputer in November 2009, uses Cray Linux Environment as its operating system.
# The Palm’s WebOS, Google’s Android and Nokia’s Maemo smartphone operating systems are built on top of the Linux kernel.
# The first major film produced on Linux servers was 1997’s Titanic. \n8. Director James Cameron again chose Linux servers for box-office smash [Avatar](http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Two-Disc-Blu-ray-DVD-Combo/dp/B002VPE1B6?ie=UTF8&tag=timet05-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969)!(http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=timet05-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B002VPE1B6).
# Linux powers 446 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers.
# Last year, 75% of Linux code was developed by programmers working for corporations.
# The Indian state Kerala made it mandatory for all of its high schools to run Linux on their computers.
# In 2002, The Register claimed Microsoft spent $421 million just to fight Linux.
# Under the GPL, any person or group distributing the Linux kernel must make the source code available to the recipient of the package.
# In December 2009, IBM announced a new mainframe system designed for Linux.
# IBM chose Linux for what is expected to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Sequoia, due in 2011.
# Ubuntu was the first Linux distro to be offered by a major OEM (Dell) to desktop users.
# Red Hat was one of the first commercial Linux distributions to truly cater to the enterprise.
# The first commercially-produced, live-CD distribution of Linux was Yggdrasil, released in 1992.
# The Xandros distribution helped make the netbook craze possible when it was chosen by ASUS for the first iterations of the EeePC.
# GOOG has contributed about 1.1% of the code in the current Linux kernel.
Above listed distributions are the popular Linux distributions and have different features of their own.
More Linux distributions can obtained at [Linux.org](http://www.linux.org/).
More info on Linux can be obtained on [Linux.org](http://www.linux.org/).