A hybrid kernel (or macro kernel) is a compromise between a microkernel and monolithic kernel, in which integrated for efficiency reasons, some parts of monolithic kernels into the nucleus and therefore not a pure microkernel more, but not enough features has to as a monolithic kernel to. apply

This is not exactly defines which objects are compiled into the kernel and which are added as modules loaded. For example, the graphics system is included with the Windows NT kernel versions 4.0 to 5.2. At the last BeOS beta version, the network drivers compiled into the kernel. Darwin, too, which actually contains a Mach microkernel, binds for performance reasons, a part of the device drivers in the Mach kernel.

The hybrid kernel tries to combine the advantages of the micro - and the monolithic kernel: On the one hand is a hybrid kernel not as prone to error as a monolithic kernel, as for example, do not run any driver in privileged mode and thus can not bring the whole system to crash during a crash. On the other hand, are not as many context switches besides communication necessary as a microkernel, which increases the speed of the kernel.

Operating systems that are based on hybrid kernel

Monolithic kernel | Hybrid kernel | microkernel | Exokernel

  • Operating system theory