An Operating System (OS) acts as an interface connecting a computer user with the computer's hardware. An operating system falls under the category of system software that performs all the fundamental tasks like file management, memory handling, process management, handling the input/output, and governing and managing the peripheral devices like disk drives, networking hardware, printers, etc. Some well-liked Operating Systems are Linux, Windows, OS X, Solaris, OS/400, Chrome OS, etc.
Features of Operating System
Here is a list of some significant functions of an Operating System, which is found common in almost all operating systems:
- Resource management: Operating systems manage the computer's resources, such as its memory, processor, and storage, and allocate them to different tasks as needed.
- Memory management: Operating systems manage the computer's memory and ensure that each program or process has access to the memory it needs to run.
- Process management: Operating systems create and manage processes, which are units of work executed by the computer.
- File management: Operating systems manage the files on the computer, including organizing them and providing access for different programs and users.
- Security: Operating systems include security features to protect the computer from unauthorized access and viruses.
- User interface: Operating systems provide an interface for users to interact with the computer, such as through a graphical user interface (GUI) or command-line interface (CLI).
- Networking: Many operating systems include support for networking, allowing the computer to communicate and exchange data with other devices over a network, such as the internet or a local area network (LAN).
- Device management: Operating systems manage the devices connected to the computer, such as printers, keyboards, and storage devices.
- Power management: Operating systems include features to manage the power usage of the computer and conserve energy when possible.
- Software installation and updates: Operating systems provide a mechanism for installing and updating software applications.
These are just a few examples of features commonly found in operating systems. The specific features of an operating system depend on the particular system and its intended use.
Objectives of Operating System
An operating system consists of unique programs that control the execution of software. The OS acts as an intermediary between applications and hardware components. OS can be thought of as having three objectives. These are:
- Convenience: It makes a computer more suitable to use.
- Efficiency: It provides the computer system resources with efficiency and in easy to use format.
- Ability to develop: It should be built in such a way that it permits the efficient development, testing, and installation of new system functions without interfering with service.