Windows Kernel-Mode Object Manager

The Windows kernel-mode object manager component manages objects. Files, devices, synchronization mechanisms, registry keys, and so on, are all represented as objects in kernel mode. Each object has a header (containing information about the object such as its name, type, and location), and a body (containing data in a format determined by each type of object).

Windows has more than 25 types of objects. A few of the types are:

  • Files

  • Devices

  • Threads

  • Processes

  • Events

  • Mutexes

  • Semaphores

  • Registry keys

  • Jobs

  • Sections

  • Access tokens

  • Symbolic links

The object manager manages the objects in Windows by performing the following major tasks:

  • Managing the creation and destruction of objects.

  • Keeping an object namespace database for tracking object information.

  • Keeping track of resources assigned to each process.

  • Tracking access rights for specific objects to provide security.

  • Managing the lifetime of an object and determining when an object will be automatically destroyed to recycle resource space.

For more information about objects in Windows, see Managing Kernel Objects.

Routines that provide a direct interface to the object manager are usually prefixed with the letters "Ob"; for example, ObGetObjectSecurity. For a list of object manager routines, see Object Manager Routines.

Note that Windows uses objects as an abstraction for resources. However, Windows is not object-oriented in the classical C++ meaning of the term. Windows is object-based. For more information on what object-based means for Windows, see Object-Based.