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linux is kernel or os?

+3 votes
linux is kernel or os?
posted Apr 8, 2015 by anonymous

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1 Answer

+2 votes

Pretty much correct. To me, "linux" is just the kernel. But it is pretty common to refer to entire distributions as linux. That is what annoys RMS so much. He maintains it should be called GNU/Linux, as he sees distributions as the linux kernel plus the additional software from the GNU project. This makes sense too but I never use the term GNU/Linux. I am either talking about the kernel linux, or "linux distributions", or a specific distribution.

So yes. A distribution is just the kernel (which may include distribution specific patches) plus all the extra programs that make it usable.

The kernel is a central project, and is nominally the same in each distro, but most distros customize it a bit.

And the extra software doesn't just make the kernel more user friendly, it makes it usable at all. A kernel is just interrupt handlers, device drivers, and system calls. It basically virtualizes the hardware and provides a standard environment for programs to work on.

As far as the phrase "operating system" goes, it can be confusing. Some people may say the kernel IS the operating system, and everything else is either a utility or an application or something else. Other people may say the kernel plus some other packages make up the operating system, but most of the software is not part of the operating system. Others may say all the software in the distro forms part of the operating system.

answer Apr 9, 2015 by Vrije Mani Upadhyay
Similar Questions
+2 votes

I am trying to understand whether linux is kernel or os?
From so many sites i have found that linux is just a kernel and Red-hat/Centos/Ubuntu are using Linux kernel and making their own OS.

But from i read that linux is an Operating System.So, i am confused what exactly Linux is?

And Why linux is always associated with GNU. Everytime i see GNU/Linux only instead of Linux.

Can anyone help?

0 votes

for my Linux-kernel build-script I am searching for a reliable check of getting the latest version.
This could be 'v3.x.y-stable' or 'v3.x.y-rcX'.

'git tag' seems to be fast, but not reliable.
'git log --oneline' is slow, but does the job.

For getting v3.x.y-stable this seems to work...

$ git tag | grep ^'v3.[0-9]*' | grep -v '-rc' | sort --version-sort

...but not when listing v3.x.y-rcX, too:

$ git tag | grep ^'v3.[0-9]*' | sort --version-sort | grep ^'v3.10'

I know that v3.10 > v3.10-rcX, but not 'git tag' or 'sort --version-sort' :-). This seems from my poor sed/awk/grep skills to be the most reliable method...

$ time git log --oneline v3.0-rc1.. | grep 'Linux 3.' | awk '{ print
$3 }' | grep ^'3.[0-9]*' | head -1

real 0m10.024s
user 0m5.611s
sys 0m4.857s

...but is slow (even I take v3.0-rc1 as the 1st version-tag of Linux-v3.x series).

Any improvements?

+1 vote

I can add using ifconfig and route. Then I can see kernel route entry table. I reboot system. Then route table is empty.

How to make kernel route entry table permanent.