How does the kernal handle process management in windows xp? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there people im currently attending university and doing an assignment on kernal's...... To be perfectly honest im kinda struglling with the whole thing of understanding what exactly a kernal is and what exactly it does. Am i correct in saying the kernal  is part of the OS that than manages how software runs and works with the hardware???

    if anyone could help me with the following areas or provide any good websites to help me i would be very grate full!!

    1.what is a kernal?
    2.what does a kernal do?
    3. why do we need kernals?
    4. how does the kernal handle process management?



    Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:29 AM

All replies

  • The kernel is the core of the operating system: it is a software layer that provides secure and controlled access to the machine's hardware (by creating a hardware abstraction layer that provides a uniform interface to the underlying hardware so to simplify developers' job in writing applications) to all the running processes as well as scheduling processes and executing them in a multitasking environment.
    The process management is different from OS to OS, so it's not a simple question to answer to: basically, the kernel manages a list of all the running process and uses some algorithm to schedule process and thread execution, but the details of this algorithm and the way the kernel performs this operations can vary substantially in any different OS and kernel implementation.

    In Windows, the kernel consists of a set of functions (written in C, with some portions in assembly code) in Ntoskrnl.exe that provide fundamental mechanisms (such as thread scheduling and synchronization services) used by the executive components, as well as low-level hardware architecture-dependent support (such as interrupt and exception dispatching) that are different on each processor architecture.

    If you want to know something more about the Windows system architecture internals, read the book "Windows Internals, 4th Edition", written by Mark Russinovich and published by Microsoft Press: read more about this book at the following web address



    Luigi Bruno - Microsoft Community Contributor 2011 Award
    Friday, September 30, 2011 6:48 PM