[BASIC] Android kernel

As you may know, Android is a very popular mobile platform nowadays. But do we really know everything about it ? This series will help us get into one of the core part of Android, its kernel.

I. What is Android kernel and the difference between Android kernel and Linux kernel

First, I must say that kernel is not something that unique to Android, all other high level operating system have one, Windows has one, macOS and iOS have one, and of course, Linux kernel is the one that Android is using, though it has some differences that you may notice.

For easier for you to imagine, the kernel handles requests from software that tell hardware to do anything, from anything to anything. For example, when you slide the brightness slider, the brightness of the screen changes as you scroll the slider, that the kernel handle the request from the slider to hardware (we can know it is the backlight of the screen that changes the value of itself according to the value of the slider). And this is not the only function of the kernel. For more information, you can take a look at here.

Linux-Kernel-1

Android kernel architecture

The really obvious difference between the Android kernel and Linux kernel is the configuration between those two. Android kernel often control just a limit type of devices (backlight, flash memory, CPU,..) but Linux kernel control more than that. One example you’ll see that Android kernel just limit to one type of device while Linux kernel can run on a vast amount of devices. It happen because every manufacturer will put its driver and build only them, when it comes to another device, different hardware will cause the device not to boot. That’s why you cannot use other kernel than your device’s kernel.

(To be continued)

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