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What are Kernel Times?

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    I've recently noticed that there is a 'Show Kernel Times' option in Windows XP's Task Manager under the 'Performance' tab. This shows up as a red meter over the green 'CPU Usage' meter.

    I gathered that the Kernel is a piece of software that allows the operating system to multi-task but what exactly is the 'Kernel Times'?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2005 #2
    I'd imagine its the percentage of resources (CPU/Memory) spent on the kernel and not user level processes.

    The kernel is the coure part of the operating system that handles process/thread scheduling, memory management, and device I/O, among other (not as critical) tasks.
  4. May 23, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the reply so-crates, I suppose that would indeed make sense: the portion of the processor used by the kernel. It doesn't seem like the kernel shows up as a process under the 'Processes' tab though, unless it's under some odd name.
  5. May 24, 2005 #4
    It is the percentage of processor time taken as system calls to the Operating System.
  6. May 25, 2005 #5
    I don't think it would just be user-level calls to the OS (things like file access) Remember that in a modern preempted multitasking OS, the kernel process (or processes, in some cases) interrupts (i.e., "preempts") other processes in the middle of what there were doing so it can do thread scheduling among other things.
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