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Old 24. May 2009, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Linux kernel, in simple english?

The kernel is the core of an Operating System.
It provides the following functions:
Process Control - everything runs as a process, this includes background startup programs as well as every program/script you or others kick off.
If your familiar with Windows XP/Vista/etc...
move your mouse down to the taskbar and right-click. Then select Task Manager the second TAB is called Processes these are the processes that the Windows kernel is controlling. Process Control is very important to the stability of a Operating System.

Networking - way too much info to explain here

File System and Peripheral access - this would be low level communication, but does include drivers. When people re-compile the kernel it's usually to add support for an unknown device.

Now, why do we care?
Well we don't really , it does the above functions so we don't have to care!!
Kernel is a techno buzz word, which we should NOT hear too often unless something major is wrong. Remember the Blue Screen of Death, the error displayed was typically some type of exception (error) in kernel at some ridiculous address.

The kernel is what Linus Torvalds wrote and maintained (w/revisions).
The same kernel (platform dependent) is at the core of every different distro out there (shhhh... ).

There is really no need to have a deep understanding of the kernel, others have done that for us.
When was the last time you worried about the Windows kernel?
Well linux is no different in that respect.

Here is some additional info and source code if your interested:
http://kernel.org/
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Old 24. May 2009, 02:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
rikmayell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debtboy View Post
The kernel is the core of an Operating System.
It provides the following functions:
Process Control - everything runs as a process, this includes background startup programs as well as every program/script you or others kick off.
If your familiar with Windows XP/Vista/etc...
move your mouse down to the taskbar and right-click. Then select Task Manager the second TAB is called Processes these are the processes that the Windows kernel is controlling. Process Control is very important to the stability of a Operating System.
ted:
A process doesn't run, threads do. A process is a place holder for the highest level parts of a program. Under Windows the process data structure cannot be swapped out. This leaves between 400 and 800 bytes per process, depending on the version of Windows.

The OS kernel provides driver and low level process scheduling. Were it to provide user level scheduling then any 'fault' at that level would compromise the whole system. The reason for removing user level scheduling from the kernel should be obvious.

This was true for 'green screen' Unix System V, back when I was a post grad, it still holds true now. If you don't believe me, I can easily tell you how to 'trash' your system by sticking you nose into what goes on at this level. 'No Jacket Required.'

Last edited by rikmayell; 24. May 2009 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 24. May 2009, 03:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikmayell View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by debtboy View Post
The kernel is the core of an Operating System.
It provides the following functions:
Process Control - everything runs as a process, this includes background startup programs as well as every program/script you or others kick off.
If your familiar with Windows XP/Vista/etc...
move your mouse down to the taskbar and right-click. Then select Task Manager the second TAB is called Processes these are the processes that the Windows kernel is controlling. Process Control is very important to the stability of a Operating System.
ted:
A process doesn't run, threads do. A process is a place holder for the highest level parts of a program. Under Windows the process data structure cannot be swapped out. This leaves between 400 and 800 bytes per process, depending on the version of Windows.

The OS kernel provides driver and low level process scheduling. Were it to provide user level scheduling then any 'fault' at that level would compromise the whole system. The reason for removing user level scheduling from the kernel should be obvious.

This was true for 'green screen' Unix System V, back when I was a post grad, it still holds true now. If you don't believe me, I can easily tell you how to 'trash' your system by sticking you nose into what goes on at this level. 'No Jacket Required.'
Ha! Ha! Ha!
Why thanks for clearing up those important details,
you obviously have a deeper understanding of the kernel than I.

Which brings me to another part of my post:
Quote:
There is really no need to have a deep understanding of the kernel, others have done that for us.
When was the last time you worried about the Windows kernel?
Well linux is no different in that respect.
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Old 24. May 2009, 05:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the debate. This one needs to play out for some time! process: a light beam along a glass fiber.
Has got to be fast....... Fast has an accurecy problem, only if the data interpurters get it wrong.

Cheers
Wdhpr
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