A monolithic kernel is an operating system architecture where the entire operating system is working in kernel space. The monolithic model differs from other operating system architectures (such as the microkernel architecture) in that it alone defines a high-level virtual interface over computer hardware. A set of primitives or system calls implement all operating system services such as process management, concurrency, and memory management. Device drivers can be added to the kernel as modules.
Modular operating systems such as OS-9 and most modern monolithic operating systems such as OpenVMS, Linux, BSD, SunOS, AIX, and MULTICS can dynamically load (and unload) executable modules at runtime.
This modularity of the operating system is at the binary (image) level and not at the architecture level. Modular monolithic operating systems are not to be confused with the architectural level of modularity inherent in server-client operating systems (and its deri