How does that make the kernel not "sexy"? In terms of the original poster, the kernel is sexy because it's necessary and something that every developer uses. In my terms, it's sexy because there's nothing quite like playing that close to the hardware. All those limitations add to it being sexy; there's no room to drop a megabyte array on the stack, you can't just toss in libbloat to simplify a problem, if you screw up, it's going to crash your system and possibly trash your filesystems to boot. Difficult and dangerous is very much sexy.