What is a Linux Kernel: Kernel is the most underestimated but an important term that majority of the computer user doesn’t know.

If you are a normal computer user, then at some point you might have faced the error related to Kernel in your computer.

In this article, we are going to clear all your doubts related to Kernel, its working, its architecture, and different types of Kernel.

So first, let’s start with the definition of Linux Kernel.

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What is a Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel is a core program of Operating System which help in setting up the communication between the Hardware and the Software of the Computer.

Linux Kernel is a very confusing term as most of us can’t differentiate between Linux Kernel and Linux Operating System and use these two terms interchangeably.

However, Linux Kernel is the Kernel of the Operating System and one of the Operating Systems that use Linux Kernel is GNU/Linux.

As you know that there are different types of devices, like – Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Linux with their Operating Systems.

Similarly, different Operating System has their Kernel in it.

For example –

  1. Windows 10 uses Windows NT Kernel.
  2. iOS and Mac OS X uses XNU Kernel.
  3. Android and different Linux Distribution use the Linux Kernel.

Unlike other Kernels, Linux Kernel is the most popular Kernel and is used by most Operating Systems.

It is very popular in Server Technology. Approx. 67% of the Server are using Linux Kernel inside it.

Since Kernel plays a major role in determining the performance of a Machine. So, It is the most important part of every Operating System.

Therefore, lots of companies are working hard to upgrade their Kernel.

What does the Linux Kernel do?

The kernel is used for setting up the communication between the Hardware and Processes of the Computer.

For example – If you are playing any type of High Graphic Game on your Computer, then the Kernel will help the Computer in deciding that which Hardware (Graphic Card) is required to play this game, and then it set up the communication between the Game (Software) and the Graphic Card (Hardware).

The kernel also helps in allocating the resources to all the programs running on your computer.

Kernel decides that How much RAM, CPU, and GPU should be allotted to any particular program of your computer, based on the specifications of your computer.

There are lots of operations that are performed by a Kernel. However, some of the most important ones are:

  1. Memory Management – Kernel helps in managing the memory for every single task that the computer is running.
  2. System Request – It handles all the requests from Processes and send those request to the particular Hardware of the Computer.
  3. Process Management – It allocates a definite amount of CPU resources to every single process.
  4. Device Management – Kernel manages all the peripheral devices that are connected to Computer and allocated those devices to the particular processes.

Where is the Linux Kernel located?

In Linux Operating System, you can find the Kernel File inside the /boot folder.

Inside the boot folder, different files are used for Memory Management, Resource Management, and much more.

Since Kernel is in the shell or core of the Operating System and is the most important program of the computer.

So, the normal user doesn’t have the permission to do the interference or access the space of the Computer, where Kernel is stored (Kernel Space).

Otherwise, the Computer will get crashed.

Different Types of Kernel

Here are 3 different types of Kernels that are used by different Operating Systems:

1. Monolithic Kernel – In Monolithic Kernel, the User Space and the Kernel Space are allocated in the same Memory.

As a result, the speed of the Operating System that has Monolithic Kernel increases.

2. Microkernel – In Micro Kernel, the User Space and Kernel are allocated in different Memory.

Since there are two different spaces for User and Kernel. So, the overall speed of the Operating System that has Microkernel decreases.

3. Hybrid Kernel – Hybrid Kernel is a combination of Monolithic Kernel as well as Micro Kernel.

So, In Hybrid Kernel, there is a separate space for User Space and Kernel Space.

Still, the overall speed of the Operating System that is using Hybrid Kernel is the same as of Operating Systems that are using Monolithic Kernel.


In this article, we have discussed the Linux Kernel, its working, its location in the Operating and different types of Kernel available.

So, Hope you like the article on What is a Linux Kernel. If you have any other points that should be in this article, let me know in the comment section below.

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