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Ubuntu Unleashed 2014 Edition: Covering 13.10 and 14.04,Ninth Edition by Paul Hudson, Andrew Hudson, Matthew Helmke

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Types of Kernels

In the early days of Linux, kernels were a single block of code containing all the instructions for the processor, the motherboard, and the other hardware. If you changed hardware, you were required to recompile the kernel code to include what you needed and discard what you did not. Including extra, unneeded code carried a penalty because the kernel became larger and occupied more memory. On older systems that had only 4MB to 8MB of memory, wasting precious memory for unnecessary code was considered unacceptable. Kernel compiling was something of a “black art” as early Linux users attempted to wring the most performance from their computers. These kernels compiled as a single block of code are called monolithic kernels.

As the ...

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