What is an Operating System?

Operating System –

The connecting interface between the hardware of the computer and the end user or his actions is called operating system.

Operating system carries out tasks asked to implement by end user, or supporting tasks to provide functionality to end user with the help of computation power and support provided by hardware of the system.

In simple words, Operating System is the primary software of the system that manages interaction between the software and hardware system of the computer.

Examples of popular operating systems are –

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Android etc
What is an operating System
What is an Operating System Examples

General Tasks carried by OS –

  1. Handling UI
  2. Handling input/output
  3. Process management
  4. File Management
  5. Memory Management
  6. Security
  7. other devices control like printer, SD card

History of Operating Systems

  1. Some first operating systems were digital calculators which could only support series for single tasks
  2. Then Mainframes came in place which could implement bulk requests in parallel re computers used primarily by large organizations for critical applications; bulk data processing, such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning; and transaction processing
  3. Micro Computers came into mid 1980’s, these are what our computers have Intel, AMD, Snapdragon are examples of such as the Commodore 64 was one of the most popular microcomputers of its era, and is the best-selling model of home computer of all time.
    A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU).It includes a microprocessor, memory, and minimal input/output (I/O) circuitry mounted on a single printed circuit board. The OS can be patched up onto these and work on top of these computing devices.
    1. Systems like Android, Windows MacOS are example of modern days OS.

Main Jobs handled by OS

  1. Device Management
  2. File Management
  3. Memory Management
  4. Process Management
  5. UI Management
  6. Storage Management
  7. Application Handling

Below you will find short brief about them, we will discuss this in detail individual posts of these.

Device Management

The following tasks under device management are performed by the OS –

  1. Selection of device for a given process and time allocated to it
  2. Listing of all devices, I/O controller is responsible for running such jobs for OS and monitor the status of all such devices like – printer, storage drives and other peripherals.
  3. Deal with allocation of different devices in an optimised way by prioritising and de-prioritising them with logic.
  4. Deal with de-allocation of devices in priority in case of interruption or completion of process.

File Management

File management is basically to keep the data in the most optimised format possible and also to support quick updates, access and modifications.

  1. Files are also resources since they are basically data.
    1. The OS allocates file access
    2. Deallocates them
    3. Prioritises access or revocation.
    4. Keep the track of all the files in the system and monitors them their access, authority, file system structure.

Memory Management

  1. Allocates memory to requesting process
  2. Deallocates memory to requesting process
  3. Prioritises process by various scheduling algorithms
  4. Keeps track of all the processes in different queues and stages.

Process Management

  1. Curating a system that allows multiple processes to run in parallel
  2. Giving intelligent priority to various system activities of the computer
  3. Starting, pausing, ending, various processes.

UI Management

  1. Rendering UI of the system
  2. Getting various system values to be rendered in the UI, example Free space available in system to be displayed alongside drive icons.

Storage Management

  1. Permanently storing or erasing required data of the system/user

Application Handling

  1. Making sure that vital communication between various applications are done correctly.