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Hey, I'm Shushi!

Boston MA | Member since July 2017

Shushi Downs's Services

Make you into Pepe!

Make you into Pepe!


Inactive User
Inactive User provided unit of All things computer .... for Shushi
Jul 09, 2017
the kernel is like a traffic cop. It stands between your computer's hardware and the applications that you want to run. It allocates memory, keeps of filesystems on your disk drives, and it divides up time so that each program gets its turn to use your computer's resources. that's the short answer Honestly, I don't think it answers why they are needed. But I will try: Operating systems are mostly about drivers. That's easily more than 90% of a kernel. They provide a common interface to the external world that programs rely upon. The creators of Firefox don't need to worry about the many different network cards that exist, or even the difference between WiFi or Ethernet, or whether you use ADSL or cable - in order to access a website, all they need to do is to fire a syscall. This means that if you buy a new piece of hardware, ideally you should only worry about installing the device driver, which runs in the kernel - not updating Firefox or other programs. Actually, you shouldn't have to install anything, all the drivers should come on the kernel. It should just work. OSes are written in order to make this myth possible - that software "just works". The other work they do is resource management - the thing about virtual memory, scheduling cpu time, managing the filesystem. Those things are important too, but it's a comparatively simpler problem, and much less code is spent on that. And again, the ultimate goal is to make things just work - like, to be able to run two unrelated programs at same time, in ways that were never tested by the authors. Kernels are invisible, and you know about them only when you see the blue screen of death (or kernel panic in Linux). slightly longer versionshow more


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