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Generally speaking, Linux is only a Kernel, while Linux distributions are treated as an OS.
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kvm_read(3kvm) [opensolaris man page]

kvm_read(3KVM)						    Kernel VM Library Functions 					    kvm_read(3KVM)

NAME
kvm_read, kvm_write - copy data to or from a kernel image or running system SYNOPSIS
cc [ flag... ] file... -lkvm [ library...] #include <kvm.h> ssize_t kvm_read(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); ssize_t kvm_write(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); DESCRIPTION
The kvm_read() function transfers data from the kernel image specified by kd (see kvm_open(3KVM)) to the address space of the process. nbytes bytes of data are copied from the kernel virtual address given by addr to the buffer pointed to by buf. The kvm_write() function is like kvm_read(), except that the direction of data transfer is reversed. To use this function, the kvm_open(3KVM) call that returned kd must have specified write access. If a user virtual address is given, it is resolved in the address space of the process specified in the most recent kvm_getu(3KVM) call. USAGE
The kvm_read() and kvm_write() functions are obsolete and might be removed in a future release. The functions described on the kvm_kread(3KVM) manual page should be used instead. RETURN VALUES
On success, these functions return the number of bytes actually transferred. On failure, they return -1. ATTRIBUTES
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes: +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ | ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ |Interface Stability |Obsolete | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ |MT-Level |Unsafe | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ SEE ALSO
kvm_getu(3KVM), kvm_kread(3KVM)kvm_nlist(3KVM), kvm_open(3KVM), attributes(5) SunOS 5.11 2 May 2002 kvm_read(3KVM)

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kvm_kread(3KVM) 					    Kernel VM Library Functions 					   kvm_kread(3KVM)

NAME
kvm_kread, kvm_kwrite, kvm_uread, kvm_uwrite - copy data to or from a kernel image or running system SYNOPSIS
cc [ flag... ] file... -lkvm [ library...] #include <kvm.h> ssize_t kvm_kread(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); ssize_t kvm_kwrite(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); ssize_t kvm_uread(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); ssize_t kvm_uwrite(kvm_t *kd, uintptr_t addr, void *buf, size_t nbytes); DESCRIPTION
The kvm_kread() function transfers data from the kernel address space to the address space of the process. nbytes bytes of data are copied from the kernel virtual address given by addr to the buffer pointed to by buf. The kvm_kwrite() function is like kvm_kread(), except that the direction of the transfer is reversed. To use this function, the kvm_open(3KVM) call that returned kd must have specified write access. The kvm_uread() function transfers data from the address space of the processes specified in the most recent kvm_getu(3KVM) call. nbytes bytes of data are copied from the user virtual address given by addr to the buffer pointed to by buf. The kvm_uwrite() function is like kvm_uread(), except that the direction of the transfer is reversed. To use this function, the kvm_open(3KVM) call that returned kd must have specified write access. The address is resolved in the address space of the process speci- fied in the most recent kvm_getu(3KVM) call. RETURN VALUES
On success, these functions return the number of bytes actually transferred. On failure, they return -1. ATTRIBUTES
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes: +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ | ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ |Interface Stability |Stable | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ |MT-Level |Unsafe | +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+ SEE ALSO
kvm_getu(3KVM), kvm_nlist(3KVM), kvm_open(3KVM), attributes(5) SunOS 5.10 2 May 2002 kvm_kread(3KVM)

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