Difference Between Kernel and Shell

Kernel Vs. Shell: Know the Difference Between Kernel and Shell

Both of these are used in a computer system for establishing communication and operating the system. But there is a fundamental difference between shell and kernel. A shell is basically an interface present between the kernel and the user. It allows all of its users to establish communication with the kernel. A kernel is the very core of a typical OS. It functions to control all the tasks that come with a system. Let us know a bit more about each of these individually.

What is a Shell?

It refers to a special user program or an environment that provides a user with an interface for using the services of the operating system. A shell executes various programs on the basis of the input that a user provides.

What is a Kernel?

A kernel is basically the core and the heart of an OS (Operating system). It functions to manage the operations of the hardware and the computer. A kernel basically acts as a bridge between any user and the various resources offered by a system by accessing the various resources of a computer, such as the I/O devices, CPU, and various other resources.

Difference Between Shell and Kernel

Let us talk about the differences present between Shell and Kernel.

Parameters Shell Kernel
Basics A shell is basically an interface present between the kernel and the user. A kernel is the very core of a typical OS.
Meaning A shell is a CLI (command-line interpreter). A kernel is a type of low-level program that has its interfacing with the hardware on top of which all the applications run (disks, RAM, CPU, etc.).
Uses and Purpose A shell allows all of its users to establish communication with the kernel. A kernel functions to control all the tasks that come with a system.
Types Korn Shell, C Shell, Bourne Shell, etc., are types of shells. Hybrid kernel, Micro-kernel, Monolithic kernel, etc., are types of kernels.
Functions We can use shell commands such as mkdir, ls, and many more for requesting the completion of the specific operation to the operating system (OS). A kernel carries out the commands on a group of various files by specifying the pattern that can match.
Management A shell performs memory management. A kernel performs process management.
Layer of OS The shell forms the outer layer of the operating system. The kernel forms the inner layer of the operating system.
Machine-Understandability A shell interacts with all of its users and then interprets into a language that is understandable by the machine. A kernel interacts with the hardware directly because it accepts the machine-understandable language from the available shell.

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