kernel space and user space

Kernel  space. Linux  (which  is a  kernel)  manages the  machine's
hardware  in a  simple and  efficient manner,  offering the  user a
simple  and uniform  programming interface.  In the  same  way, the
kernel,  and in  particular its  device drivers,  form a  bridge or
interface  between the  end-user/programmer and  the  hardware. Any
subroutines or  functions forming part  of the kernel  (modules and
device  drivers,  for  example)   are  considered  to  be  part  of
kernelspace.

User space.  End-user programs,  like the UNIX  shell or  other GUI
based applications  (kpresenter for example), are part  of the user
space.  Obviously, these  applications  need to  interact with  the
system's hardware . However, they  don't so directly, but
through the kernel supported functions.

source :http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/drivers_linux

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