eli5 What’s the difference between os and an kernel


eli5 What’s the difference between os and an kernel

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The kernel is the program that manages applications, and that applications interact with when they need to use the computer hardware.

The OS is the kernel and all of the tools it needs in order to do its job.

A kernel is part of an operating system. The OS is the interface between the user and the hardware, and a kernel translates user commands into machine language.

An operating system is like the boss of a computer. It tells the computer what to do and how to do it. It makes sure all the different parts of the computer can work together so that everything runs smoothly.

A kernel is like the brain of the computer. It’s a really important part of the operating system that helps the computer communicate with all the different parts of the computer. It’s like a translator that makes sure everyone is speaking the same language and can understand each other.

OS doesn’t have a good definition, its a collection of all sorts of things, always has a kernel, some other tools, a window manager usually (the thing that makes your screen work). A kernel is a lot better defined.

A kernel is THE program that the operating system runs, everything else is run on top of the kernel. How? Usually all the stuff you run on your computer is run as a program, and the kernel provides what this program needs to run.

An operating system’s main job is to run programs and the kernel is the code that actually runs to allow this to happen. Kernels create little sandboxes (this is the technical term btw) for programs to play in and give them all the tools they need to do whatever. The kernel hands over control of the CPU to all the processes so they can run the code they run then yanks it away so that something else can run, it provides RAM as needed so that the program has scratch paper to run, whenever the program has to access a file it asks the kernel to fetch it for it, anytime you press your keyboard or click your mouse the kernel tells the program that the keyboard/mouse was clicked. If a program has nothing to do at this current moment it just gives back the CPU to the kernel so that it can do whatever/hand it over to what needs it next.

Most of the stuff we consider part of the operating system is run on top of the kernel as a normal program. But the kernel is the bedrock of everything.

Car analogy time: if the OS is the car, then the kernel is the engine!

The kernel does a very specific thing of managing resources that lets programs run, but it can’t do much useful without the rest of the operating system.