Compare monolithic and micro-kernels

Mumbai University > Information Technology > Sem5 > Operating System

Marks: 5M

Year: Dec14

Feature Monolithic kernel Microkernel
Approach Older Newer
Definition A monolithic kernel is one single program that contains all of the code necessary to perform every kernel related task. A Microkernel is a kernel design,that provides no OS services at all, only the mechanisms needed to implement those services.
Size of OS Large Quite small
Hardware Abstraction Provides powerful abstractions of the underlying hardware. Provides a smaller set of simple,hardware abstractions.
Speed Faster Slower
Memory Management In kernel space In user space
Security and Stability Because of the "hardwiring" of system processes and the resulting,dependency of the monolithic,approach, it is assumable that other,processes will also crash, resulting in a system-wide halt. Excluding system processes from kernel space overcomes these problems. Also, It is easier to ensure the correctness of a small kernel, than a big one. That way, stability issues are simpler to solve with that approach.
Inter Process Communication Uses signals and sockets Uses message queues
Extensibility and Portability Adding new features to a monolithic system means recompilation of the whole kernel, often including the whole driver infrastructure. As the services are isolated from each other through the message,system, it is enough to re-implement the new memory,manager.
Example Unix, MS-DOS and the early Mac OS AIX, BeOS, Mach, Mac OS X,,MINIX, and QNX. Etc
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