teach-ict.com logo

THE education site for computer science and ICT

3. The Kernel

The kernel has the task of:

  • Loading / Unloading applications from memory
  • Scheduling tasks to run efficiently on the CPU
  • Memory management
  • File storage to and from secondary storage devices such as the hard disk
  • File management
  • Data security

the kernel


As we have already mentioned, there are many different types of operating system. The kernel within each type of operating system might be responsible for a slightly different blend of tasks.

For example, a 'single user, single application' operating system does not have to deal with networking, whereas the kernel in a network operating system would have to.

On the other hand, a device such as a mobile phone will have to have an extremely efficient memory management kernel as memory on a mobile phone is a very limited resource.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: What is a kernel