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Operating System, in general, is defined as the software that controls the hardware. It manages resources of computer hardware and also provides common services to computer programs. All application programs need an operating system to work properly. Some examples of operating systems are Windows, UNIX, and LINUX etc.
Operating systems has many responsibilities and they are:
- It performs mundane tasks like tracking of files and directories on the disk, identify inputs from the keyboard, transmitting output to the monitor or display screen, and controls devices like printers and disk drivers which are also called peripheral devices.
- It ensures in maintaining the concurrency between the applications or various programs. It ensures that no two programs interfere with each other causing a deadlock.
- It helps to run application program on top of a software platform.
- It hides the details of the hardware with the help of abstraction. It also enforces security through abstraction.
- It provides the effective and pleasant user- interface to the user to interact with itself. The user also needs the “look and feel” of the operating system to be the best.
Operating Systems of 5 types and following are the details:
Real Time: Real time operating systems are multitasking operating systems which executes real-time applications. The main purpose of this system is that it guarantees the quick response to events. To achieve this, special algorithms are used and have an event driven or time-sharing design or both.
Multi-user: It allows many users at the same time to access a computer concurrently through the sharing of time. Example of this type of OS is UNIX, where it is possible for two users to use the system at a same time.
Multi-tasking vs. Single-tasking: When an execution of single program is allowed at a time it comes under the category of single-tasking systems whereas when multiple programs are allowed to run it comes under Multi-tasking.
Distributed: This type of OS manages a group of computers and makes it look like a single computer. This can be helpful when the computers are in a network and needs to communicate with each other.
Embedded: They are used in embedded computer systems such as Minix 3 or Windows CE.
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