The kernel is a program which is the core of an operating system. The kernel has complete control over everything that goes on the system. Kernels are different from shells (such as bash, csh or ksh in unix-like operating systems), shells are programs (usually CLIs) that interact directly with users and are the outermost part of an operating system (not the core), whereas the kernel itself doesn’t interact directly with users, but tends to interact with shell and other programs, as well as hardware on the system including the processor (CPU), memory and disk drive.
At boot time, the kernel is the first part of the operating system that is loaded into memory, and will remain in memory as long as the computer is used. Thus, it is important for the kernel to remain as small as possible while still providing the services needed by other parts of the operating system and various application programs.
Because even small errors can have a fatal effect on the entire operating system, the kernel code is loaded into protected part of the memory to prevent it from changing. The kernel has tasks such as: executing processes and handling interruptions. All kernel tasks run in the kernel space while everything a user does, such as writing text using a text editor or running programs using the GUI runs in user space. This separation is made to prevent user data and kernel data from interfering with each other which results in performance degradation or an unstable system (even crashes).
When a computer crashes, the kernel actually crashes. If only one program crashes but the system is still operating, the kernel doesn’t crash. Crash is a condition where a program, whether a user application or part of the operating system stops running the function as expected. The user will see everything in the screen top.
Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux Kernel 5.0.
“I want to show (again) that we didn’t do feature-based releases, and that “5.0” doesn’t mean anything more than that 4.x starts to become bog enough so I run out of fingers and toes. Of course, that doesn’t have features, in fact, “the overall change for all 5.0 releases is far greater.”
Here are some new major changes to the 5.0 Kernel :
- NVIDIA Xavier display support
- Initial support for NXP i.MX8 SoCs
- Raspberry Pi Touchscreen driver
- AMD Radeon FreeSync support
- Support for new VegaM
- x86 laptop drivers improvement
- Realtek R8169 driver improvements
That’s it for now.