Introduction to a Kernel

  • The kernel is the core component of the Operating system and is responsible for process management, I/O management, file sub-system, memory Management, scheduler, secondary storage management, interrupts handling etc.
  • It is the first program that is loaded after the bootloader and remains in the memory until the operating system is shut-down.
  • The major aim of the kernel is to manage communication between software i.e. user-level applications and hardware i.e., CPU and disk memory.
  • The process calls appropriate system call to avail services provided by the kernel.

Core Functions of an Operating system kernel:

Some basics functions of the kernel are:

Process Management:

The kernel is the one that makes sure that resources are properly distributed to each process. It is also responsible for communication and synchronization among processes.

Memory management:

Each process has to be in the main memory for its execution. The decision of freeing or assigning memory to any process is performed in memory management, and the kernel is responsible for this.

Device Management:

One of the most core functions of OS is to manage all the devices associated with the Operating system. It manages all the hardware, software, storage and input/output devices.

Interrupt handling:

An interrupt is a signal sent to the kernel upon a request by a system call. The kernel is responsible for handling such interrupts and calls appropriate system call system routine.

I/O communication:

The request from any hardware devices, specifically the input and output devices is sent to the kernel first which then sends it to the appropriate hardware. Kernel acts as an interface between user applications and hardware(device drivers).

Diag-1: Kernel

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