Mac OS X has the
Darwin 10.6.0 Kernel, and Ubuntu has the
Linux 2.6 Kernel, so in Windows what is it called?
The kernel file itself is
ntoskrnl.exe. It is located in
If you view the properties of the file, you can look on the Details tab to see the true version number running. You can see other versions of the kernel on your system under
C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-os-kernel*. My current kernel, for example, on Win 7 x64 is
6.1.7601.17592. 6.1 indicates Windows 7.
7601 indicates SP1 (RTM lists 7600). The final number is the current revision. If your system has multiple processors or multiple cores in the processor, the details panel will also show that the original file name is
ntkrnlmp.exe. The "mp" here means "multiple processors". At one point Windows used different kernels for a system if it had one or more than one processor. I don't know if this is still the case and the internal filename is still kept this way for historic reasons, or if the single processor core version still exists. I don't have a single core system to test on, currently.
In the WinSXS directory, my system currently has quite a few revisions of the kernel (most from the RTM version of Windows 7): 6.1.7600.16385, 6.1.7600.16539, 6.1.7600.16617, 6.1.7600.16695, 6.1.7600.16792, 6.1.7600.20655, 6.1.7600.20738, 6.1.7600.20826, 6.1.7600.20941, 6.1.7601.17514, 6.1.7601.17592, 6.1.7601.21701.
You notice that my system is not using the highest version of the kernel on the system (6.1.7601.17592 vs 6.1.7601.21701). However, it is using the version which was the last one to be digitally signed so even though the final version number is lower, the file is newer. I'm not sure how MS determines what that final version number is going to be.
Windows 7 - Click Start or the Windows logo -> right click Computer -> then click Properties. Look in System.
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 - Click Start or the Windows logo depending on what you have -> then click Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> System. You could also try Clicking Start or the Windows logo -> then if you have a "Start Search" field type winver -> then Double-click winver.exe from the results. If you had a run box instead of search just click Run -> type winver -> click OK.
Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - Click Start -> Run -> Type winver then click OK. You could also try typing msinfo32 or sysdm.cpl if you like. Lastly you might try typing dxdiag. Windows might prompt you to verify drivers click No.