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Operating System (OS)

Operating System (OS):


Software that controls the system software and system hardware resources and thus enables the proper functioning of computer programs is known to us as an Operating System (OS). It handles all of the hardware, software, memory and process of the computer.
It is a very critical part of the system software. It allows the user to interact with the computer system without knowing the language of the computer. Mostly the computer systems come preloaded with the Operating System but it can be modified or replaced by some other version.
The commonly used Operating Systems on PC are :
  • Windows by Microsoft
  • Apple Mac OS X
  • Linux
Latest versions of Operating System use a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This helps to display everything on a screen in form of text and graphics and lets the user control the functions by using just a click of a mouse.
Every Operating System has a different look to its GUI and thus switching from one OS to the other may give a strange feeling and a little difficulty to understand and use. However, all the latest Operating System is designed in such a way that most of the features are similar and easy to use.
Without the Operating System no Application program can be executed and the computer system becomes useless.


Key features of Operating System:


Key features of an OS are:
  • 1. In Order to guide the functioning of hardware such as keyboard, mouse, monitors, the OS contains a technical layer.
  • 2. To be able to manage the files the OS includes a File Management System.
  • 3. An easy command language is provided to the user so as to make the process of controlling their personal programs easy.
  • 4. A variety of tools such as debugger, compiler, editors, etc are provided by the Operating System.
  • 5. Operating System governs the overall functioning of a computer, so every request has to pass through the OS in order to use the memory resources and devices.


Types of Operating System:


Different Types of Operating System:
  • Single-tasking system.
  • Multi-tasking system.
  • Time-sharing system.
  • Real- time system.
Single tasking OS can only execute a single program at a given point of time. Multi tasking OS can execute more than one program simultaneously. This is made possible by the method of time-sharing. Multi-tasking can be depicted in pre-emptive and cooperative types. Pre-emptive is when the OS allots a portion of CPU time among the various tasks (e.g. Linux, Solaris, and other UNIX OS). Cooperative is when the system is dependent on the task to share the processor time with other tasks in a very delineate manner.
Single and Multiple Users:
A Single user system cannot differentiate among users but can execute multiple processes concurrently. A Multiple user OS have the feature of distinguishing the programs, data and memory related to different users. It also allows multiple users to use the system at the same instance.
Importance of OS:
The constituents of an operating system exist to enable the functioning of different parts of a computer together. Every single software program has to pass through the OS, only then it can use any of the hardware, even if it is as simple as a keyboard or as complicated as an internet component.




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