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The Linux Kernel’s Impact on the Desktop User Experience

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Linux

It’s a cliché that most computer users care more about bells and whistles than how software performs “under the hood.” And while there may be some truth in such a view, it’s also clear that the backend affects users in important ways, whether they realize it or not. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at some recently introduced features in the Linux kernel, and what they mean for the desktop user experience.

The overall experience for all but the geekiest of Linux users, of course, has a lot more to do with which distribution they choose and which desktop environment they run than with the kernel itself. The kernel mostly only provides a platform for everything else, and doesn’t define the way the computer is used.

But that doesn’t mean the kernel is irrelevant, not even on the desktop where graphical applications are much more important to most people than process tables and module interfaces. Indeed, consider the following recent developments in kernel code destined for release in the near future, and their impact on end-users:

Process Groups




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