What is kernel_task?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I'm running 10.3.9 on a 500 mhz ibook.

Recently it's been feeling slow. I looked in the activity monitor and at the top of the list is kernel_task. It's using 38 megs of physical ram and running 33 threads. It's been like that consistently for a week or two now.

What is it doing? Is this normal? Could this be why my system is feeling slower than normal.

Thanks for the help.



  • Reply 1 of 3
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    I'm running Safari and Tomato Torrent on a 1.42 mini and kernel_task is eating up 50.52MB with 40 threads. So I don't think it's unusual.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Kernel_task using 250 MB real memory here, 41 threads. Using 1.7% CPU.

    It's normal.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member

    What's the kernel you say? It's the most basic part of the OS that everything else hangs off of. When you boot up, you start the kernel and it provides all the really, really low level communications services that all the more advanced higher level modules of the OS use to get along and play nicely.

    Kind of like your bodies cardio-vascular system, not very sexy, but nothing else would be able to run without it.
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