Eli5 Kernel version.


Hi. I need to know what a kernel version is. Like what is 5.10 or 4.14 after a kernel in an Android. Thank you.

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It’s the innermost part of software that deals with hardware — controlling the screen, dealing with user input, storage, etc.

Android uses a somewhat customized version of the Linux kernel. You can find them on [kernel.org](https://www.kernel.org/), but have in mind it’s a highly technical piece of software, and most people gain little from it.

On Android I don’t think you can do very much with this knowledge, because it all comes as a part of the firmware update. You’re not going to deal with the kernel personally unless you’re actually a developer working on building Android itself, but in this case you wouldn’t be asking this question.

The kernel is the layer (i.e. “kernel space”) between the hardware and the “user space” of the OS. It is the lowest level of software and provides an interface for the user space to interact with the hardware.

In general your kernel regulates hardware usage of subscribers in the user space (ex: apps or programs) , and in a similar method provides security through isolation of resources.

For example, the kernel ensures App A cannot read from memory data that is being used by App B.

If two different apps want to use Bluetooth, it ensures both apps have access without one hogging it from the other.

As for kernel updates, they are very likely not going to make a noticeable difference on your end. Many updates are just providing new security features, support for hardware standards, improvements for different models of computers/phones, etc.

This page shows the patch notes for the most recent Linux kernel: https://kernelnewbies.org/LinuxChanges#Linux_6.3.Graphics

It’s an insane amount of changes, but gives you an idea of what actually is changed (it’ll sound mostly like gibberish for the unfamiliar).