What is the architecture of Linux?

Posted on in Categories last updated December 18, 2007

Q. Can you explain the architecture of Linux kernel?

A. Linus Torvalds wrote the first Linux kernel way back in 1991.
Linux is a monolithic kernel. It supports:
=> Preemptive multitasking (both in user mode and kernel mode)
=> Virtual memory
=> Shared libraries
=> On Demand loading
=> Shared copy-on-write executables
=> Memory management
=> The Internet protocol suite and networking
=> Threading
=> Inter-Process Communication
=> Virtual File System and much more

Discussion related to Linux architecture is beyond the scope of this FAQ section. I recommend following books and resources for more information:

  • Linux Kernel in a Nutshell – free (Creative Commons license) downloadable book on the Linux kernel
  • Kernel.org – Basic Linux kernel documentation and source code
  • LWN kernel info pagesThis index covers articles published in the LWN.net Kernel Page.
  • Understanding the Linux Kernel [ILLUSTRATED] – This book explains the inner workings of the current 2.6 Linux kernel. I highly recommend this book. You’ll learn what conditions bring out Linux’s best performance, and you’ll see how it meets the challenge of providing good system response during process scheduling, file access, and memory management in a wide variety of environments. This book will help you make the most of your Linux system.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

17 comment

  1. Hi sir/ madam…
    plz suggest me abt linux architecture…bcoz i have make a effective ppt on dis topic…
    hopefully u’ll help me sure……….
    thanking u…..
    from Raj choubey
    (mca) Bhopal

  2. i really love your coments i greatly hope that they will help me change my programming skills and the usage of linux. but incase of any useful information as pertains the linux enviroment,you can just post it on my email. thanks

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