What Is a Linux Kernel?

The Linux kernel is the lowest level of software that enables the communication between hardware and the Linux operating system.

During system boot, the Linux kernel is the first to load. It then scans for connected hardware and creates a virtual image of each. The virtual images are used to allocate hardware resources to system processes.

The Linux kernel is also responsible for conflict prevention and resolution between processes accessing the same resources.

See also What Is a Kernel.