An Operating System acts as an interface between the user and hardware. It is a program that manages computer hardware and software resources. It also acts as an intermediary between the computer and the different programs installed on it so that they can interact and function smoothly.
It is essential as it enables a computer to work with different applications and programs. Every computing device needs at least one Operating System to run other programs. An Operating System provides the environment in which different programs function and carry out various tasks.
History of Operating Systems
In the earlier days, computers were built to perform only one function. In the 1950s, scientists began developing basic features of an Operating System. Computers that had these features could efficiently carry out different tasks.
Scientists started developing newer types of Operating Systems in the 1960s. With the passage of time, more features were added, the software was made lighter and more user-friendly.
What is the Role of an Operating System?
An Operating System should ensure the following things:
- Simplification: An Operating System should make a computer easy to use.
- Optimization: It should ensure proper utilization of the computer’s resources.
- Evolution: It should be able to evolve and update itself to keep up with new functional requirements.
- Productivity: An Operating System should ensure the accomplishment of many tasks in a short time without errors or breakdowns.
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Functions of an Operating System
Now that we know the roles of Operating Systems, let us explore their functions. There are five main functions of Operating Systems:
- Provide user interface: By serving as an interface an Operating System helps users access different programs and enhance their experience.
- Manage resources: The resources of a computer are controlled by the OS. The OS ensures efficient usage of available resources.
- Manage tasks: The OS takes instructions, analyses them, and then processes them using the CPU to carry out assigned tasks.
- Manage files: The OS manages the computer’s files and allows users to create, delete, copy, move, and store different files.
- Utilities: The OS enables users to defragment files, compress data, back up their data, etc.
Different Types of Operating Systems
There are different types of Operating Systems programming that fulfill various hardware and user requirements. Let us talk about the five types of Operating Systems.
- Single-user Operating System: It is a type of Operating System that allows only one individual to use the computer at a time. This type of system aims to maximize user comfort and responsiveness instead of maximizing CPU usage.
- Multiprogramming Batch System: This type of Operating System takes over and starts executing one of the tasks from memory. When this task requires I/O operation, the Operating System starts executing another task. In a multiprogramming system, the CPU is never idle and is always working.
- Distributed Operating System: Many central processors are used in distributed systems to support multiple real-time applications and users. Data processing tasks are allocated across the processors according to their capabilities. The processors communicate with one another through different communication channels such as high-speed buses or telephone lines. These systems are known as loosely coupled or distributed systems.
- Time-Sharing Operating System: With the assistance of the time-sharing concept, many processes are performed at the same time in a Multitasking Operating System. So, in a time-sharing environment, we decide on a time called the time quantum. When the computer begins to perform a task, the execution continues for that amount of time. After that, other processes will be initiated and executed for that amount of time.
- Real-time Operating System: A Real-time Operating System can process and react to inputs in a very short time. Examples of real-time Operating Systems include military software systems and software systems used in space.
Some of the most popular Operating Systems in the world include:
Frequently Asked Questions
Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are the three most popular Operating Systems that are used in personal computers.
The top five Operating Systems are Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Most personal computers and other computing devices, workstations, and smart devices use these Operating Systems.
The five types of Operating Systems are as follows:
1. Batch Operating System
2. Time-sharing Operating System
3. Distributed Operating System
4. Embedded Operating System
5. Real-time Operating System
An Operating System is a type of system software. This software manages computer hardware, other software resources, and other applications. An Operating System serves as the interface between the hardware of a computer and the user.
An operating system consists of a kernel, some servers, and some user-level libraries. The kernel enables the Operating System to perform different tasks according to the given instructions. The code that runs in kernel mode shares a single virtual address space called system space.
An Operating System manages the hardware and software resources, allowing them to interact and function properly. Operating Systems enables computers to access various programs and carry out different tasks.
An OS Programming serves as an interface between the user and computer hardware. The earliest Operating Systems were created in the late 1950s. Their role was to handle tape storage. Since then, there have been many advancements. Scientists have developed a number of features that enable computers to perform different tasks and make them more user-friendly.
Batch Operating System, Multitasking or Time-sharing Operating System, Multiprocessing Operating System, Real-time Operating System, Distributed Operating System, Network Operating System, and Mobile Operating System are the different Operating Systems used today.
An Operating System is an integral part of any computing device.