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What is the architecture of Linux?

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.
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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • surendra June 7, 2007, 10:26 am

    hay is linux monolitic kernel?
    or modular kernel?

  • Raj February 7, 2008, 8:53 pm

    Linux is a module-loading monolithic kernel

  • malini devi April 2, 2008, 7:58 am

    please send me the related documents of linux.

  • Mike August 2, 2008, 10:38 am

    Man, this site has an excellent “ad to actual content” ratio. Why bother with something like this? The design is horrible.

  • franklin September 1, 2008, 2:32 am

    what is x_86 architecture,plz send me ssiirr

  • Kumud Raj April 12, 2009, 6:05 pm

    What is inode ?
    How to run java program in linux?
    What is mono program in linux?

  • hari August 6, 2009, 4:35 am

    i want details on commands .

  • beagma September 7, 2009, 8:02 am

    i want a diagram of a linux in an airline booking system or a general diagram of a linux please

  • swathi.k October 1, 2009, 6:35 am

    i want linux basics and some information how to start learning linux file systems and scripting and all one by one plz reply me

  • Umer Rasheed Dar November 3, 2009, 3:54 am

    Is linux a layered architecture? What r the names and functionality of each layer?

  • Raj choubey December 12, 2009, 5:59 am

    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

  • swapna August 18, 2010, 7:26 am

    i want linux basics and some information how to start learning linux file systems and scripting and all one by one

  • praveen May 25, 2011, 10:25 am

    i want to know what type raid layout will be implement in linux server for overriding the fault and not making the server to down. Can anyone tell me this thing.

  • bekky September 9, 2011, 8:10 am

    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

  • Sudhamaheswari September 10, 2011, 8:08 am

    Plz, send me the architecture of Linux?

  • priyanka lodariya February 21, 2012, 5:06 am

    i want fully concept of linux architecture.

  • mayur jadhav March 14, 2013, 3:05 am

    Sir plz send me architecture of linux on my email..

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