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There is typically a main program that runs in a computer system. It is part of the operating system and controls the running of all other programs and helps them run (by providing certain functions that all other programs can use to do common things like allocate memory, fetch and put data to storage devices (hard disks, floppies, other computers on a network, etc.).

In Linux, that master program is know as the Linux kernel. In dos/Windows I'm not sure I've seen a name applied to it -- it sort of consists of the two (or more) hidden programs on, for example, a bootable dos floppy (IIRC, io.sys, msdos.sys) and the visible file, command.com (although, perhaps command.com is more analogous to a Linux shell.

<The above is my attempt at a definition -- perhaps I should quote or link to another definition.>


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  • () RandyKramer - 07 Mar 2003
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

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Topic revision: r1 - 2003-03-07 - RandyKramer
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