Linux Misc

What is the Linux kernel and what is it for

September 2, 2021

What is the Linux kernel and what is it for

In this post, you will understand what the Linux kernel is, better known as the core or heart of the Operating System.

What is the Linux kernel capa

What is the Linux kernel?

We can think of the kernel as the heart of the Operating System.

This component is the one that will access the machine’s hardware through what was programmed in it.

We can say that the kernel will make the bridge between the applications we use in Linux to the computer hardware.

Core Kernel Functions

  • Memory management: checking how much memory is being used, where and how;
  • Process management: Which processes will use the CPU, when and for how long;
  • Device drivers: The bridge between applications and hardware;
  • System calls and security: Receives requests for service through the executed processes;

We can say that the kernel is the most important part of the system.

Because it allows the user to work on a more superficial layer (software) to access hardware.

curiosity: The Linux kernel is a C and Assembly programmer.

An important fact is that if an application or program we are using on Linux for some reason breaks or fails.

The kernel can manage this by keeping the system in full use despite this issue.

But otherwise, if the kernel ever fails, depending on the severity the OS might stop and crash the computer completely.

Separating the Linux Layers

For a simplistic view to better understand the kernel, we can separate Linux into 3 layers:

  1. Hardware: the physical parts of the machine;
  2. Kernel: The kernel itself, which stands between hardware and software;
  3. Processes: From the software running on the machine to user actions;

See that the kernel is exactly in the center, as we talked about earlier it orchestrates the user actions that would come into contact with the hardware and vice versa.

Thus the kernel abstracts the complexity of dealing with low-level language, for clicks or high-level instructions.

Translating all this through what was programmed in it to the hardware.

And of course, the hardware responses are translated in a human-readable way, that is, in a way that we can understand them.


We can conclude that the kernel is the most important part of Linux.

As soon as the computer is turned on, it starts to perform its functions in the most varied ways.

Managing memory, processes, and also devices.

And that’s it for today, until the next post!

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