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Executive Services

Executive Services is simply a label given to a diverse set of components that provide the basics of an operating system. These basic services offered by the kernel executive include the following:

  • Virtual Memory Manager—This component of the Executive is responsible for managing the 4GB virtual address space for each process, as well as paging in and out of physical memory all the pages of memory the operating system or an application needs at any particular time.

  • Local Procedure Call Facility—This component is responsible for interprocess communications. This component is necessary because each process uses the same virtual address space.

  • Process Manager—When it comes time to start or shut down a process, this component of the Executive is responsible for creating the necessary memory structures and starting up the threads of the process. From that point, other components of the Executive, such as the Virtual Memory Manager, become involved in controlling how a process functions and uses system resources.

  • Object Manager—Windows XP uses the concept of an object for many different things. Consider an object as a basic unit that can be managed by the Executive. For example, system resources such as ports are considered objects. An object provides an interface that the application program can use to interact with a system resource in a uniform manner.

  • Security Reference Monitor—This is a very important part of the Executive. The Security Reference Monitor is that component which controls all security mechanisms that are implemented in the operating system. This includes such things as the initial logon, validating a user's password, and checking whether a user can be granted access to a resource such as a disk file.


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