LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 09-11-2003, 02:47 AM   #1
unixbrain
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 33

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question What is a kernel?


This may be a silly question, but I need to have a clear view of it. So, what is a kernel? And how the Linux kernel is different form the Windows kernel (if windows has one). Please suggest some sites that will explain about the kernel, how it works, some useful code, and anything that you think will benefit. Thanks!

Last edited by unixbrain; 09-11-2003 at 02:49 AM.
 
Old 09-11-2003, 03:07 AM   #2
dalek
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Mississippi USA
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 2,058
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 79
Exclamation Yep, windoze has something similiar

Bill Gates won't let you see it from what I have read. The kernel is what tells the OS how to recognize the components in your system. Maybe someone else can explain it better but it is the very root of the Linux OS. Can't run with out it. Like deleting the registry on windoze. Instant death.

Confused yet? Better ideas from a long time guru maybe.

 
Old 09-11-2003, 04:08 AM   #3
scott_R
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 746

Rep: Reputation: 31
A kernel is pretty much a device driver. Unlike other device drivers, however, the kernel tends to focus on the cpu and other "basic components". The kernel also makes judgement calls on the priority of jobs, including sorting them into their most efficient order. (More so now than in the past.)

Think of it this way. The kernel, in Linux or windows, is the part that loads before you can use the computer. If you can interact with your system at all, you are beyond the kernel stage. (There are exceptions, but not for the faint of heart.)

In fact, in Linux, as well as windows, much of the kernel proper, is written in assembly, with C binding the peices together. Most of the code has nothng to do with anything you'd care about. Most of it consists of moving numbers from one register to another in the CPU (or around in memory), which (over the long run) does fun things.

The difference between Linux and windows is that Linux's kernel is very much seperate from the rest of the OS. On the other hand, Windows' kernel contains stuff that shouldn't be there, including but not limited to, multimedia instructions, GUI instructions, networking instructions (not just drivers, but garbage that applications normally handle). Essentially, windows/dos is bolted together, and to maintain some semblance of effeciency, MS has found it necessary to make their kernel a jack of all trades.

The downside is that when your applications crash in linux, you get upset. When the same happens in windows, there is a good chance that your entire system might lock up as well. The upside is that you have your software "partners" by the balls.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 12:20 AM   #4
unixbrain
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 33

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
How do for eg, Red Hat, put GUIs and use the kernel? How is it coded?
Is there anyway to compile the kernel in Windows, probably using a certain type of compiler.
Can I install the kernel only? How? Is the the harware requirement: pentium MMx 166 MHz, 16 Mb RAM enough to install the kernel?
 
Old 09-15-2003, 12:46 AM   #5
Demonbane
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 47
If you can do programming why not grab a copy of the linux kernel source and see how its coded.
Having the kernel without other components of the operating system is like having only the engine of a car, with no wheels, chassis etc. you're not gonna get anywhere.
Yes p166mmx+16mb is enough to run linux, provided that you don't run memory intensive applications such as X.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 12:50 AM   #6
eltongeoff
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Posts: 76

Rep: Reputation: 15
im not sure if u guys understand this, but linux is the kernel. gnu and linux and a few other compnents make up the actual OS, most likely, for wut ur using. the kernel communicates with hardware. windows runs off of the NT kernel.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 02:31 AM   #7
unixbrain
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 33

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I don meant coding as the kernel coding. I meant that is it necessary to put some codes to the kernel so that it will work with the GUI components. Or do we code the components to work with the kernel. I hope this is not confusing.
About installing linux in p166mmx+16mb computer, what should I choose to install? I have tried to run the installation disk, but at the very beginning, it pops up a message saying that the hardware requirement is not enough. I've tried on Red hat ver 8 and ver 7.1.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 03:17 AM   #8
evilpants
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
OK, here we go:
The kernel is what handles all basic functions of the OS (in either Windows or Linux), such as handling memory, I/O tasks, CPU usage, etc. Different distributions may use slightly different versions of the kernel (one might use 2.4.18 while another uses 2.4.20), but distributions don't have their own kernel, but simply choose which packages/drivers/extra stuff that comes with the kernel. And now that you're probably throughly confused, you can't recompile a Windows kernel because Micro$oft doesn't make the source code of their kernel available.
 
Old 09-15-2003, 06:17 AM   #9
davholla
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: London
Distribution: Linux Mint 13 Maya
Posts: 711

Rep: Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by unixbrain
I don meant coding as the kernel coding. I meant that is it necessary to put some codes to the kernel so that it will work with the GUI components. Or do we code the components to work with the kernel. I hope this is not confusing.
About installing linux in p166mmx+16mb computer, what should I choose to install? I have tried to run the installation disk, but at the very beginning, it pops up a message saying that the hardware requirement is not enough. I've tried on Red hat ver 8 and ver 7.1.
Try vector or peanut linux for old hardware like that
 
Old 09-16-2003, 04:30 AM   #10
unixbrain
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 33

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks everyone!
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kernel 2.4 in Zipslack (Waring: unable to open an initial console | Kernel Panic...) kurtamos Linux - General 2 05-10-2006 01:58 PM
Kernel-Patch Debian Logo 2.6.2 not correctly working for custom kernel 2.6.11 smp deepclutch Debian 3 06-27-2005 04:59 AM
kernel panic: try passing init= option to kernel...installation with Red Hat 9 kergen Linux - Hardware 1 09-30-2004 04:28 AM
Unable to build NVIDIA kernel module / determin kernel version Night Ink Fedora 2 05-31-2004 05:54 PM
Kernel 2.4.23 compile causes kernel panics on ATA RAID-1 (mirror) array Raptor Ramjet Slackware 3 12-18-2003 02:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:08 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration