The kernel is a computer program that is the core of a computer’s operating system, with complete control over everything in the system. It handles memory and peripherals like keyboards, monitors, printers, and speakers. A kernel connects role of operating system pdf application software to the hardware of a computer. The critical code of the kernel is usually loaded into a protected area of memory, which prevents it from being overwritten by applications or other, more minor parts of the operating system.
The kernel performs its tasks, such as running processes and handling interrupts, in kernel space. In contrast, everything a user does is in user space: writing text in a text editor, running programs in a GUI, etc.
This separation prevents user data and kernel data from interfering with each other and causing instability and slowness. The kernel’s interface is a low-level abstraction layer. When a process makes requests of the kernel, it is called a system call.
Kernel designs differ in how they manage these system calls and resources. A monolithic kernel runs all the operating system instructions in the same address space for speed. A microkernel runs most processes in user space, for modularity. This central component of a computer system is responsible for running or executing programs.