What is the concept of Monolithic kernel?

Kernel is the main part of an Operating System. It is the first program that is loaded after the boot loader whenever we start a system. The Kernel is present in the memory until the Operating System is shut-down.

Kernel provides an interface between the user and the hardware components of the system. Whenever a process makes a request to the Kernel, then it is called System Call.

Functions of Kernel

The functions of the kernel are as follows −

  • Process management

  • Access computer resources

  • Device management

  • Memory management

  • Interrupt handling

  • I/O communication

Types of Kernels

The different types of kernels are as follows −

  • Monolithic kernel.

  • Micro kernel.

  • Hybrid kernel.

  • Nano kernel.

  • Exo kernel

Now let us discuss the Monolithic kernel.

Monolithic kernel

This is a type of operating system architecture in which the entire operating system works in the kernel space.

This monolithic model differs from the other operating system architectures like micro lithic as this provides the virtual interface alone over the computer hardware which makes it more useful.

The operating system is written as a collection of procedures that are linked together into a single large executable program. Each procedure in the system is free to call any other process. Calling any procedure makes the system very efficient

In this structure, there is no chance of information hiding. Every procedure is visible to every other procedure.

Examples − MS DOS and LINUX

The Monolithic Kernel suggests a basic structure for the operating system −

  • Main Function − Invokes requested service procedure.

  • Service Procedures − Carry out system calls.

  • Utility functions − Help service procedures to perform certain task.


The advantages of the Monolithic Kernel are as follows −

  • The execution of this architecture is so fast.

  • All the memory management, file management and process scheduling is performed under one space.

  • The process runs under single address space.

  • This architecture is a single static binary file.


The disadvantages of Monolithic Kernel are as follows −

  • If any service fails the entire system is failed.

  • For adding any type of new service it must be modified by the user.

Architecture of Monolithic is shown below −