Term of the Moment

data exchange format


Look Up Another Term


Definition: kernel


The nucleus of an operating system. The kernel may activate the hardware directly or interface to another software layer that drives the hardware. The kernel orchestrates the entire operation of the computer by slicing time for each system function and each application as well as managing all the computer's resources. The kernel typically resides in memory at all times. See kernel mode, microkernel, monolithic kernel, kernel space and kernel panic.