Can operating system work without kernel? I read so in a pdf. If it is possible, how does it happen? I often have doubt about the difference between both of them.

closed as too broad by jasonwryan, janos, Kusalananda, Rui F Ribeiro, JdeBP Jan 6 '17 at 7:51

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    That sounds like they were trying to make an interesting point. Please add a link to that pdf. – glarry Jan 6 '17 at 7:12
  • This is not about Unices nor Linux. – JdeBP Jan 6 '17 at 7:51
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    Can auto may work without engine? No, because any device which makes auto moving will be called engine. Same works for kernel, its just a word to describe OS core functional block, even though it can be very small (such as microkernel). – myaut Jan 6 '17 at 7:59
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    Dos, cp/m, ≤ macos 9, ≤ MS-Windows me (but not NT), Amiga OS, … These did not have a separate kernel, or processes (though some had tasks): Everything shared the same memory space. – ctrl-alt-delor Jan 16 '17 at 11:56
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    There are also (in research at least), some modern operating systems, that have no physical (with hardware support) processes. Instead they use co-operating tasks (so far no different to the bad old days), but when the operating system loads one of these tasks, it first proves that it will behave. To do this the program must be written in a suitable language, and the compiler must export additional information to help the proof engine. This can result in a faster system, that can run on cheaper hardware (no MMU). – ctrl-alt-delor Jan 16 '17 at 12:19

What we call the kernel is the operating system's low level functionality.

On most operating system designs, there is a core component to do that job, even if named differently.

While it is possible to boot to a single process which would take care of everything on its own, it would still be the highest ranked process, not just a regular soldier (kernel analogy).

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