- A monolithic kernel is a type of operating system in which the complete operating system runs in kernel space. In contrast to other operating system architectures (such as the microkernel architecture), the monolithic model is the only one that defines a high-level virtual interface over computer hardware.
- All operating system services such as process management, concurrency, and memory management are implemented using a set of primitives or system calls.
- Modules for device drivers can be added to the kernel. Most modern monolithic operating systems, such as OpenVMS, Linux, BSD, SunOS, AIX, and MULTICS, may dynamically load (and unload) executable modules at runtime, as can modular operating systems like OS-9.
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