Administering systems

The kernel

The kernel is the heart of all UNIX operating systems. When you install the system and configure the devices connected to it, a bootable kernel is built in the /unix file. Your kernel will be different from other kernels on other systems to the extent that you have different hardware and software configured.

The configured kernel recognizes the hardware connected to your system, knows how memory is allocated for different system resources, and knows the limits that have been placed on the system (such as how many processes can run simultaneously, or the maximum size a file can be).

Many system owners and administrators can ignore the kernel quite happily. However, as the needs of your users grow more complex, you may want to take advantage of the capability offered by the system to configure and ``tune'' the system for best performance.

Adding new or changed software and hardware to your system sometimes requires that you rebuild your kernel. Though this works automatically when you reboot your system, some system owners and administrators prefer to rebuild their kernel manually. The advantage to this is that you can see if there are any error messages. After you have changed tunable parameters, or added hardware devices, for example, you can rebuild the kernel using the idbuild(1M) command. See ``Rebuilding your system'' for more details.

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 22 April 2004