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A kernel is the core component of an operating system. Using interprocess communication and system calls, it acts as a bridge between applications and the data processing performed at the hardware level.
When an operating system is loaded into memory, the kernel loads first and remains in memory until the operating system is shut down again. The kernel is responsible for low-level tasks such as disk management, task management and memory management.
A computer kernel interfaces between the three major computer hardware components, providing services between the application/user interface and the CPU, memory and other hardware I/O devices.
The kernel provides and manages computer resources, allowing other programs to run and use these resources. The kernel also sets up memory address space for applications, loads files with application code into memory, sets up the execution stack for programs and branches out to particular locations inside programs for execution.
The kernel is responsible for:
There are five types of kernels: