What's It?

by LJ Staff

kernel Heart, or core, of the Unix operating system. Called the traffic cop since it is responsible for managing all the elements that make up the system. Manages the interface between user programs and input/output system. Only portion of the Unix operating system which interacts with the hardware. Therefore, the only part of Unix which is modified for use by different computers.

interrupt Either a hardware- or software-generated signal that causes a temporary break in the normal flow, or context, of a running system. When an interrupt is detected, the kernel blocks off (and thus prevents) lower priority interrupts, saves the context of the process being run and services the interrupt. After servicing the interrupt, the kernel restores the process context and resumes execution. If the interrupt detects an error condition, e.g., a divide by zero, the kernel may simply abort the process and select another for execution. or use interpreter, which you already have; use any two that fit.

Copyright 1994 William H. Holt. Reprinted with permission from UNIX: An Open Systems Dictionary, by William H. Holt & Rockie J. Morgan, published by Resolution Business Press.

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