Is Android an OS or software stack?


The settings given by Google for Android


"Android is an open-source software stack for a wide range of mobile   devices and a corresponding open-source project led by Google. "

and by American Wikipedia


"Android is an operating system based on the Linux kernel with a user   interface based on direct manipulation, designed primarily for   touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet   computers [...] "

left me in doubt about the platform's goals.

Perhaps a response that explains the difference between SO and software stack will bring to the reader an understanding of these two concepts.

asked by anonymous 19.05.2014 / 21:20

1 answer


The operating system is the central core of the system and Software Stack is the software above the kernel that enhances and extends system functionality.

On Linux, the kernel is the operating system. The Software Stack can include things like:

  • The X Window System.
  • The Gnome window manager.
  • Applications for system management.

So things like a control panel application to edit system settings are not part of the operating system. They are part of the Software Stack on top of the operating system.

See the following chart for a better understanding.



  • Android software stack
  • What is difference between Software Stack and OS?
  • Stack Software
  • 19.05.2014 / 21:39