Computer - Operating System


It is a program with following features:

  • An operating system is a program that acts as an interface between the software and the computer hardware.

  • It is an integrated set of specialised programs that are used to manage overall resources and operations of the computer.

  • It is specialised software that controls and monitors the execution of all other programs that reside in the computer, including application programs and other system software.

Objectives of Operating System

  • To make a computer system convenient to use in an efficient manner

  • To hide the details of the hardware resources from the users

  • To provide users a convenient interface to use the computer system

  • To act as an intermediary between the hardware and its users and making it easier for the users to access and use other resources

  • To manage the resources of a computer system

  • To keep track of who is using which resource, granting resource requests, according for resource using and mediating conflicting requests from different programs and users

  • To provide efficient and fair sharing of resources among users and programs

Operating System

Characteristics of Operating System

  • Memory Management -- keeps tracks of primary memory i.e. what part of it is in use by whom, what part is not in use etc. and allocates the memory when a process or program requests it.

  • Processor Management -- allocates the processor(CPU) to a process and deallocates processor when it is no longer required.

  • Device Management -- keeps track of all devices. This is also called I/O controller that decides which process gets the device, when, and for how much time.

  • File Management -- allocates and de-allocates the resources and decides who gets the resources.

  • Security -- prevents unauthorized access to programs and data by means of passwords and similar other techniques.

  • Job accounting -- keeps track of time and resources used by various jobs and/or users.

  • Control over system performance -- records delays between request for a service and from the system.

  • Interaction with the operators -- The interaction may take place via the console of the computer in the form of instructions. Operating System acknowledges the same, does the corresponding action and informs the operation by a display screen.

  • Error-detecting aids -- Production of dumps, traces, error messages and other debugging and error-detecting methods.

  • Coordination between other software and users -- Coordination and assignment of compilers, interpreters, assemblers and other software to the various users of the computer systems.