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Kernel

Kernel

The kernel is the essential centre of a computer operating system, the core that provides basic services for all other parts of the operating system. The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds as a Minix-like operating system. 

Linux is a monolithic kernel; it is one, single, large program where all the functional components of the kernel have access to all of its internal data structures and routines.  Linux allows you to dynamically load and unload components of the operating system as you need them. Linux modules are chunks of code that can be dynamically linked into the kernel at any point after the system has booted. They can be unlinked from the kernel and removed when they are no longer needed. Mostly Linux kernel modules are device drivers, pseudo-device drivers such as network drivers, or file-systems.

Linux is written in the version of the C programming language supported by GCC (which has introduced a number of extensions and changes to standard C), together with a number of short sections of code written in assembly language of the target architecture.

Linux is now one of the most widely ported operating system kernels, running on a diverse range of systems from the Zaurus (a handheld computer), Asus Eee subnotebook PC to the IBM System z9 (a massive mainframe server that can run hundreds or even thousands of concurrent Linux instances).

Linux 2.6.24.3

Price
Free to download

Size
45MB
License

GNU General Public License

Developer
Linus Torvalds and many others

Website
www.kernel.org

System Requirements

Support Sites:
The Linux Kernel Online book, Anatomy of Linux Kernel, Linux HeadQuarters, Linux Kernel Newbies, Linux Kernel in a Nutshell, Kernel Trap, Linux Kernel Janitor
, Linux Kernel Map

Selected Reviews:
eWEEK

Key features include:

  • True preemptive multitasking (both in user mode and kernel mode)
  • Virtual memory
  • Shared libraries
  • Demand loading
  • Shared copy-on-write executables
  • Memory management
  • The Internet protocol suite
  • Subarchitecture support
  • Threading
  • Hyperthreading
  • Support for NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access) servers
  • Supprt for embedded processors including Hitachi's H8/300 series, the NEC v850 processor, and Motorola's range of embedded m68k processors.

Return to 'Linux Equivalents' Home Page





Last Updated Monday, March 10 2008 @ 03:35 PM EST


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