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What is Kernel?

Definition – What does Kernel mean?

A kernel is the core component an operating system. It functions includes communicate with hardware and manage a variety of resources including RAM and the CPU. Since the kernel handles numerous fundamental processes, it must be loaded at the start of the boot sequence when a computer starts up. It performs a complete system check and recognizes components, such as the processor, GPU, and RAM. The Kernel also checks for any connected device. As the operating system loads and the graphical user interface appears, this core component keeps running. Even after the operating system has fully loaded, the kernel continues to run in the background and manage system resources.

Glossary Web explains Kernel

There are several types of kernels are available to use, but two popular kernels include monolithic kernels and microkernels. The monolithic kernel is a single codebase kernel or a block of code that offers all the necessary services provided by the OS. It has a simplistic design and designs a well-defined communication layer between the hardware and software.

Microkernels also offer the same functions as monolithic kernels, but they are created to be as small as possible. Instead of handling all the resources from single source code, the kernel handles only the basic functions. It uses modules in order to manage everything else. i.e., typically device drivers are included in the monolithic kernel, but they would be split into different modules in a microkernel. This design is more complicated, but can provide a more effectual use of system resources and helps protect against all kinds of system crashes.

Martin Adler

Martin Adler is a Computer Engineer and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with exciting technologies. He loves to explore technical terms and try to deliver something worth reading.