In NRK, the kernel-level scheduler is a coarse-grained scheduler that allocates CPUs to processes. Processes make system calls to request for more cores and to give them up. The kernel notifies processes core allocations and deallocations via upcalls. To run on a core, a process allocates executor objects (i.e., the equivalent of a "kernel" thread) that are used to dispatch a given process on a CPU. An executor mainly consists of two userspace stacks (one for the upcall handler and one for the initial stack) and a region to save CPU registers and other metadata. Executors are allocated lazily but a process keeps a per-NUMA node cache to reuse them over time.

In the process, a userspace scheduler reacts to upcalls indicating the addition or removal of a core, and it makes fine-grained scheduling decisions by dispatching threads accordingly. This design means that the kernel is only responsible for coarse-grained scheduling decisions, and it implements a global policy of core allocation to processes.

The scheduler uses a sequential hash table wrapped with NR to map each process id to a process structure and to map process executors to cores. It has operations to create or destroy a process; to allocate and deallocate executors for a process; and to obtain an executor for a given core.