I understand the function of each layer in OSI model but I can not comprehend the inner working at the operating system level. I can't mentally picture the life cycle of data from application layer to physical layer.

  • 1
    an issue is the OSI model is not use in any (current) operating system I'm aware of. What is actually used is the TCP-IP model.
    – JFL
    May 20, 2022 at 8:32
  • OSI model vs an Operating System model is not the same as OSI model vs networking protocols. If the question is allowed the answer would speak about operating systems features highlighting the concept or model of a kernel vs the OSI model. May 20, 2022 at 19:53
  • @RonnieRoyston, host OSes are off-topic here. The linked answer is about what is on-topic here. If the OP has a question about a host OS, the question of that can be asked on the SE site appropriate to the host OS, such as Super User, Unix & Linux, Android Enthusiasts, Ask Different, etc.
    – Ron Maupin
    May 20, 2022 at 19:58
  • The plain fact is that none of the OSes actually implement the OSI model. The IP Services model is much closer to what is implemented in the real world, but even that is just a model, and not everything follows it.
    – Ron Maupin
    May 20, 2022 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


There is no specific "operating system level" in the OSI model. Most commonly, layers 3 and 4 are covered by the OS, but that may vary: functions are offloaded to the NIC (traditionally responsible for layers 1 and 2 only) and augmented by additional protocol handlers.

How the layers interact and work together is well covered in this question and answer.

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