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What is a kernel?

is linux a kernel or an OS ? what are other differences between kernel and OS?

Hi Chang,

Thank you for reaching out! We are happy to hear from you.

Strictly speaking, Linux is a kernel and not an Operating System. Kernels are part of the OS and are closer to the hardware. They provided low-level services like:

  • device driver
  • process management
  • memory management
  • system calls

OSs include applications like the user interface (shell, GUI, tools, and services).

So some modern flavors of Linux such as Kali and Ubuntu are full OS’s though.

If you have any further queries, please let us know.