What is Kernel and how is it different from Operating System?

Operating System

kernel operating system:- If you use computers then you must have heard the name of Kernel. But do you know what is Kernel? Where is it needed? If not then by the end of today’s article you will get to know about all the things related to Kernel. Stay with us for full details.

This kernel is a very important center of a computer operating system (OS). It is a core that provides all the basic services to different parts of the OS. This is the main layer between the OS and the hardware, which helps in process and memory management, file systems, device control, as well as networking.

A kernel is most of the time compared with a shell, which is actually an outermost part of the OS that interacts with user commands. Kernel and shell are terms that are used more often in Unix OSes, in terms of an IBM mainframe or Microsoft Windows systems.

At the same time, do not confuse a kernel with a basic input/output system (BIOS), rather it is an independent program that is stored in a chip in the circuit board of the computer.

That’s why today I thought that why should not you people be provided complete information about what is kernel and how it works. With this you can get to know about the part of this basic C computer. So without delay let’s start.

kernel operating system what is kernel ?

Operating system provides us with a graphic interface so that we can give commands to the computer system. But the system cannot understand these commands directly. Therefore the translation of the code is done in binary language, for which the core component of the operating system is used, it is called Kernel.

We deal with the lowest layer of the User Kernel and the kernel then deals with the system.

Kernel plays the role of a mediator between system hardware and software. This kernel is not an operating system (OS); Rather it is a central module of the operating system. This is the first program that is loaded into the protected memory area during the booting process. It is located in that memory as long as the system is power on.

This kernel is a low-level abstraction layer. User’s operation uses a system to interact with the system. System calls invoke the kernel, and then the kernel executes the user’s operation.

Kernel meanwhile manages other processes of the system such as process management, memory management, device management, I/O management.

What does the kernel do?

Like I have told earlier that a kernel is the core component of the operating system. It acts as a bridge between applications and data processing by using interprocess communication and system calls, which is performed at the hardware level.

When an operating system is loaded into memory, then the kernel is first loaded and it remains in memory until the operating system shuts down again. This kernel is responsible for all low-level tasks such as disk management, task management and memory management.

Overall, a computer kernel interfaces to the three major computer hardware components, and also provides services to the application/user interface, CPU, memory and other hardware I/O devices.

Along with providing this kernel, it also manages computer resources, so that it can allow other programs to run and use these resources. With this, the kernel sets up memory address space for applications, loads files from application code into memory, sets up the execution stack for programs and branches out with it to specific locations for execution within programs.

What are the features of Kernel?

Let us know about the features of the kernel.

  • It is a core component of the Operating System without which the OS cannot work.
  • We can also call the kernel the nervous system of the OS.
  • This is the central core of the Operating System.
  • It controls everything in the OS, including I/O management, process management, etc.
  • It acts as a bridge between the applications and the actual data processing which is happening at the hardware level.
  • It is an interface between user applications and hardware.

What are Kernel’s Responsibilities?

What are Kernel's Responsibilities?

Now let us know about the responsibilities of Kernel.

1. Central Processing Unit: This kernel itself takes the responsibility of how many running programs should be allocated to the processors at what time.

2. Random Access Memory: RAM is used to store both program instructions and data. Whereas often multiple programs want to access this memory, while they want more memory which is more than the available memory in the computer.

In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the Kernel to allocate which memory which process will use, along with it to decide what to do when there is not much memory available.

3. Input/output devices: These Kernels allocate requests from different applications so that I/O can be performed in the correct device, as well as it provides convenient methods to use the device.

4. Memory Management: This kernel has full access to the system’s memory and it also allows them to be safely accessed when they are needed.

5. Device Management: Kernel should maintain a list of all available devices. This list is already configured by the user or it is detected by the operating system at run time (normally it is called plug and play).

Features Which Kernel Provides?

So let us now know what are the features that the kernel provides.

1) Scheduling of Process (Dispatching)
2) Interprocess Communication
3) Process Synchronization
4) Context Switching
5) Manipulating Process Control Blocks
6) Interrupt Handling
7) Process Creation and Destruction
8) Process Suspension and Resumption

definition of kernel

The function manager of the OS process is the kernel. It controls and manages all the primary tasks of the OS.

Memory Management: Kernel provides virtual and physical memory to the processes to complete their execution. If a process is not able to finish in physical memory, then kernel provides a virtual space that too in hard disk so that it can store the operation there.

This concept is called virtual mapping. When a program needs data that is not currently present in RAM, then the CPU signals the kernel for data and then the kernel also responds to the CPU, in which it writes its contents to an inactive memory block. In the disk (a space has been created for this according to the requirement of data) and then it is also replaced by the data which is requested by the program. This scheme is called demand paging.

Scheduler: This kernel acts like a scheduler during execution for the processes. A single process is executed at a time by the processor. This kernel allocates the processor to a program from the list of running applications.

Device Management: Kernel controls the activities of other peripheral devices with the help of device drivers. Device drivers are programs that help the operating system to interact with hardware devices.

Device driver program provides an interface and it helps the OS to deal with other peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, modems, keyboard, mouse, etc. This driver translates operating system function calls into device-specific calls. Device drivers detect installed devices as well as search device drivers when the system is starting up.

This process uses the system call mechanism to deal with the kernel of the operating system. A system call is such a service call to the kernel from which it takes permission to perform the process execution. There is a system call machine code instruction which is used by the application program so that it can get service permission from the operating system.

Memory Management: – This kernel also manages Random Access Memory. It allocates memory for both instruction and data execution. It decides which process is in RAM and how much memory is required to implement a process? This kernel handles many operations by using different mechanism.

Types of Kernel

Let us now know about the different types or types of kernel.

Monolithic Kernels

Monolithic Kernels run all the basic system services such as process and memory management, interrupt handling and I/O communication, file system etc within the kernel space.

Monolithic kernels typically have the highest data throughput compared to all other kernels and are therefore used in large servers or job dedicated servers.

Advantages of Monolithic Kernel

1) They are small in source and in compiled forms
2) Less code means less bugs and less security problems.
3) System calls are used in monolithic kernel to perform operations
4) Execution is very fast
5) In this, all the things happen in the kernel itself, so we do not need any extra mechanism while creating the application to handle I/O and Process.

Disadvantages of Monolithic Kernel

1) Coding is also very difficult in kernel space, because you cannot use common libraries in it.
2) Debugging is difficult in this, because rebooting the computer has to be done again and again.
3) Bugs located in a part of the kernel cause too many side effects
4) Kernels often become large and it becomes difficult to maintain them.
5) It is not portable – Monolithic kernels have to be rewritten repeatedly for each new architecture that is to be used in the OS.

Micro Kernel

Whereas in microkernel, kernel provides basic functionality by which it allows execution of servers and separate programs. Kernel is broken into separate processes which are called as servers. Here some servers run in user space and some in kernel space.

All servers are kept separately and run in different address spaces.
You can typically see Microkernels in real-time systems.

Advantages of Micro Kernel

1) It is easier to maintain as compared to Monolithic Kernel.
2) It is Crash resistant (meaning if one server fails, then other servers are still working efficiently).
3) Portable
4) are smaller in size
5) It contains a small amount of code. This increases both their stability and security.

Hybrid Kernel

In this, the best of both monolithic kernel and micro kernel is mixed.

Like Speed ​​and simple design of a monolithic kernel + Modularity and stability of a micro kernel

It has the qualities of both monolithic and micro kernels, but we cannot tell it to be a specific kernel exclusively.

You can see these kernels typically on desktops, your Windows, Mac and Linux OS.

Nano kernel
This type of kernel only offers hardware abstraction, there are no services in it and kernel space is also in minimum. A nanokernel is the basis of a hypervisor on which you can emulate multiple systems via virtualisation. Nanokernels are great for embedded projects.

This kernel is the smallest. It only offers process protection and resource handling. The programmer who is using this kernel is responsible for correctly accessing the device that he wants to use.

Difference between kernel and operating system

OS is a system software package, while kernel is a part of OS which manages all processes and devices.

Where the operating system is an interface between the user and the hardware. Whereas kernel is an interface between software and hardware.

Kernel helps the program to communicate with other peripheral devices.

Is Linux a Kernel or an Operating System?

By the way, there is a difference between kernel and OS. As I have already told you that Kernel is the heart of OS which manages all its core features, whereas if some useful applications and utilities are added to that kernel, then this complete package is called an OS. Is.

From this it can be said that in an operating system there is a kernel space as well as a user space.

This makes it clear that Linux is a kernel because it does not contain any other applications such as file-system utilities, windowing systems and graphical desktops, system administrator commands, text editors, compilers, etc.

At the same time, many companies add these types of applications to the Linux kernel and prepare their operating systems such as ubuntu, suse, centOS, redHat etc.

What is Kernel Panics?

Since the kernel handles most of the basic functions of a computer, so if it crashes then it will take down the whole computer with it. This undesirable event is called a “kernel panic” in macOS and Unix systems.

This is similar to blue screen death in Windows. To emerge from this situation, you have to restart your computer.

NOTE Kernel panics often arise due to hardware communication issues. Therefore, if your computer is showing issues like kernel panics many times, then you should unplug all unnecessary devices, this can end your problem.


I hope you must have liked my article What is Kernel (What is Kernel in Hindi). It has always been my endeavor to provide complete information about Kernel to the readers, so that they do not have to search any other sites or internet in the context of that article.

This will also save their time and they will also get all the information in one place. If you have any doubts about this article or you want that there should be some improvement in it, then you can write low comments for this.