Date: Around 1995
I have heard about the DOS Kernel, and Windows Kernel. And I guess you need
a "shell" to use (access?) it. What exactly is the Kernel (why is it called
kernel)? Does UNIX have a Kernel?
I have never heard of DOS and Windows as kernels. UNIX has a Kernel.
Basically, a kernel refers to the basic code that is used to start a
computer. It is the OPERATING SYSTEM or O/S. The kernel is the part of the
O/S that is loaded when the machine boots. It contains information on the
specifics on the hardware and environment that the O/S is running on and
configures the O/S to run on that machine.
In my limited knowledge about the specifics about the DOS and UNIX O/S from
a working standpoint, I do not think DOS would be considered to have a
kernel. The same files are used to load the O/S for all systems. If it has
one, it would be the same for all systems. Windows is not an O/S. It runs
on top of DOS (the O/S). But, Windows does have a set of files which act
like a kernel. So, even though it might not be called a kernel, Widows does
have something like it.
Click here to return to the Computer Science Archives
Update: June 2012