Views of the Operating System

The operating system can be observed from the point of view of the user or the system. This is known as the user view and system view respectively. An operating system is a framework that enables user application programs to interact with system hardware. The operating system does not perform any functions on its own, but it provides an atmosphere in which various programs and apps can do useful work. The operating system may be observed from the point of view of the user or the system, and it is known as the user view and the system view. In this article, you will learn the views of the operating system.

Viewpoints of the Operating System

There are mainly two types of views of the operating system.

  • User view

  • System view

User view − The user viewpoint focuses on how the user interacts with the operating system through the usage of various application programs. Some systems are designed for a single user to monopolize the resources to maximize the user’s task.Therefore the Operating system is designed primarily for ease of use with little emphasis on quality and none of resource utilization.

Single user view point

These systems are much more designed for a single user experience and meet the needs of single user where the performance is not given focus as the multiple user systems. Most computer users use a monitor,keyboard,printer,mouse and other accessories to operate their computer system. In some cases the system is designed to maximize the output of a single user. As a result more attention is laid on accessibility, and resource allocation is less important.

Multiple user view point

These systems are designed for multiple user experience and meet the needs of multiple user. when there is one mainframe computer and many users on their computer trying to interact with their kernels over the mainframe to each other.

The client server architecture is a good example where many clients may interact through a remote server, and the same constraints of effective use of server resources may arise.

Handled user view point

In the handled user viewpoint smartphones interact via wireless devices to perform numerous operations but they are not as efficient as a computer interface, limiting their usefulness. Smart phones have given you the best handheld technology ever. However their operating system is a great example of creating a device focused on the user’s point of view. The Touchscreen era has given you the best handheld technology ever.

Embedded System user view Point

The embedded system lacks a user point of view. The remote control used to turn on or off the tv is all part of an embedded system in which the electronic device communicates with another program where the user view point is limited and allows the user to engage with the application.

System view − An operating system can also be considered as a program running at all times in the background of a computer system known as the kernel and handling all the application programs.The operating system may also be viewed as just a resource allocator. A computer system comprises various sources, such as hardware and software which must be managed effectively.The operating system is responsible for managing hardware resources and allocating them to programs and users to ensure maximum performance. In the system viewpoint the operating system is more involved with hardware services -CPU time,memory space, I/O operation , and so on.

From the system point of view, we are more focused on how the hardware has to interact with the operating system than the user. The hardware and the operating system interact with each other for the various purpose some of them are

Resource Allocation

There are many resources which present in the hardware such as register,cache,RAM,ROM, processors,I/O interaction, etc.These resources demanded by the operating system when it is asked by any application program.This resource allocation has to be done only by the operating system which has used many techniques and strategies such that it brings the most out of its processing and memory space.There are various techniques such as paging,virtual memory,caching,etc.

The operating system allocates resources when a program needs them. When the program terminates, the resources are unallocated and allocated to other programs that need them.

There are two resource allocation techniques −

  • Resource partitioning approach − It divides the resources in the system to many resource partitions,where each partition may include various resources -for example ,1MB memory,disk blocks and a printer. Then it allocates one resource partition to each user program before the program's initiation. A resource table records the resource partition and its current allocation status.

  • In this approach the operating system decides beforehand what resources should be allocated to which user program.

  • Pool based approach −In the pool based approach there is a common pool of resources.The operating system checks the allocation status in the resource table whenever a program makes a request for a resource. If the resource is free, it allocates the resources to the program.

Control program

In the control programs it controls how input and output devices (hardware) interact with the operating system.The user may request an action that can only be done with I/O devices, The operating system must also have proper communication, control,detect,and handle such devices.


The user viewpoint is all about how the user has to interact with the operating system with the help of various application programs and from the system point of view we see how the hardware has to interact with the operating system for accomplishing the various tasks.

Updated on: 23-Mar-2023

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