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Different Operating Systems

Last Updated : 20 Sep, 2023
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MS-DOS which is short for Microsoft Disk Operating System is a non-graphical command line operating system developed for IBM compatible computers with x86 microprocessor. The operating system used a command line interface for the user to input commands to navigate, open and manipulate files on their computer. 

MS Dos 


  • It is a single user operating system meaning only one user can operate at a time.
  • It is a light weight operating system allowing users to have direct access to the BIOS and its underlying hardware.
  • Loads data and programs from external sources and bring them into the internal memory so they can be used on the computer.
  • Enables the computer to perform input and output operations such as taking commands from keyboard, printing information on the screen.
  • It is very helpful in making file management like creating, editing, deleting files, etc.
  • It also controls and manages other external devices such as the printer, keyboard or external hard drive using various drive utilities.


  • It does not allow multiple users to operate on the system.
  • It does not support graphical interface hence mouse cannot be used to operate it.
  • It does not support multiprogramming meaning it can only have one process in the ram.
  • It lacked memory protection which meant no security, and less stability.
  • It has difficulty in memory access when addressing more than 640 MB of RAM.

2. Windows Operating System 

Windows is an operating system designed by Microsoft to be used on a standard x86 Intel and AMD processors. It provides an interface, known as a graphical user interface(GUI) which eliminates the need to memorize commands for the command line by using a mouse to navigate through menus, dialog boxes, buttons, tabs, and icons. The operating system was named windows since the programs are displayed in the shape of a square. This Windows operating system has been designed for both a novice user just using at home as well as for professionals who are into development. 



  • It is designed to run on any standard x86 Intel and AMD hence most of the hardware vendors make drivers for windows like Dell, HP, etc.
  • It supports enhanced performance by utilizing multi-core processors.
  • It comes preloaded with many productivity tools which helps to complete all types of everyday tasks on your computer.
  • Windows has a very large user base so there is a much larger selection of available software programs, utilities.
  • Windows is backward compatible meaning old programs can run on newer versions.
  • Hardware is automatically detected eliminating need of manually installing any device drivers.


  • Windows can be expensive since the OS is paid license and majority of its applications are paid products.
  • Windows has high computer resource requirement like it should have high ram capacity, a lot of hard drive space and good graphics card.
  • Windows slows and hangs up if the user loads up many programs at the same time.
  • Windows includes network sharing that can be useful if user has a network with many PCs.
  • Windows is vulnerable to virus attacks since it has a huge user base and users have to update OS to keep up-to-date with security patches.

3. LINUX Operating System

The Linux OS is an open source operating system project that is a freely distributed, cross-platform operating system developed based on UNIX. This operating system is developed by Linus Torvalds. The name Linux comes from the Linux kernel. It is basically the system software on a computer that allows apps and users to perform some specific task on the computer. The development of Linux operating system pioneered the open source development and became the symbol of software collaboration.



  • Linux is free can be downloaded from the Internet or redistribute it under GNU licenses and has the best community support.
  • Linux OS is easily portable which means it can be installed on various types of devices like mobile, tablet computers.
  • It is a multi-user, multitasking operating system.
  • BASH is the Linux interpreter program which can be used to execute commands.
  • Linux provides multiple levels of file structures i.e. hierarchical structure in which all the files required by the system and those that are created by the user are arranged.
  • Linux provides user security using authentication features and also threat detection and solution is very fast because Linux is mainly community driven.


  • There’s no standard edition of Linux hence confusing for users and also becoming familiar with the Linux may be a problem for new users.
  • More difficult to find applications to support user needs since Linux does not dominate the market.
  • Since some applications are developed specifically for Windows and Mac, those might not be compatible with linux and sometimes users might not have much of a choice to choose between different applications like in Windows or Mac since most apps are developed for operating systems that have a huge user base.
  • Some hardware may not be incompatible with Linux since it has patchier support for drivers which may result in malfunction.
  • There are plenty of forums to resolve Linux issues, but it may not always match the user’s own level of technical understanding.

4. Solaris Operating System

Solaris or SunOS is the name of the Sun company’s Unix variant operating system that was originally developed for its family of Scalable Processor Architecture-based processors (SPARC) as well as for Intel-based processors. The UNIX workstation market had been largely dominated by this operating system during its time. As the Internet grew Sun’s Solaris systems became the most widely installed servers for Web sites. Oracle purchased Sun and later renamed to Oracle Solaris. 

Solaris OS


  • Solaris is known for its scalability. It can handle a large workload and still delivers indisputable performance advantages for database, Web, and Java technology-based services.
  • Solaris systems were known to their availability meaning that these operating systems hardly crashes at anytime and because of its internet networking oriented design and broad scope of features it makes the job of adding new features or fixing any problems easy.
  • It is built for network computing as it provides optimized network stack and support for advanced network computing protocols that delivers high-performance networking to most applications.
  • Solaris has advanced, unique security capabilities which includes some of the world’s most advanced security features, such as user rights management, cryptographic Framework and secure by default networking that allows users to safely deliver new solutions.
  • Provides tools to enable seamless interoperability, test new software and efficiently consolidate application workloads.


  • Solaris is quite expensive since it’s an enterprise operating system. Also, Solaris doesn’t provide updates for free.
  • Solaris lacks a good graphical user interface support and is not user friendly.
  • Hardware support is not nearly as good as many other operating systems.
  • Performance would degrade considerably since Solaris cannot make use of different hardware that efficiently.
  • Solaris sometimes becomes unstable and crashes due to total consumption of CPU and memory.

5. Symbian Operating System

Symbian OS was the most widely-used smartphone operating system in the world based on ARM architecture, until it was discontinued in 2014. It was developed by Symbiant Ltd, which was a partnership among PDA devices and smartphone manufacturers like Psion, Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia. The Symbian Operating System was developed of two sub system where the first is the microkernel-based operating system with its associated libraries, and the other being interface of the OS with which the user interacts. It was explicitly developed for smartphones and hand held digital devices since this operating system consumes very low power, battery-based devices and also for ROM-based systems. 

Symbian OS 


  • Its kernel known as EKA2 features preemptive multithreading, scheduling, memory management system and device drivers.
  • Allows third party software to enhance the platform for better performance of the operating system.
  • Symbian Interface is easy to use and very user friendly.
  • Applications for Symbian are normally written in C++ or Symbian C++ using Symbian Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • Symbian can also run applications written in Python, Java ME, Flash Lite, Ruby and .NET.
  • Connectivity is lot easier and faster.
  • Symbian OS has good efficiency and stability.


  • Responsiveness is not smooth and sensitive as other operating systems.
  • The Symbian OS is very vulnerable and can be easily affected by a Virus.
  • Lack of virtual memory.

6. Android Mobile Operating System

Android is a Google’s Linux based operating system it is designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. The hardware which can be used to support android is based on three architectures namely ARM, Intel and MIPS design lets users manipulate the mobile devices intuitively, with finger movements that mirror common motions, such as pinching, swiping, and tapping making these applications comfortable for the users. 



  • The android operating system is an open source operating system means that it’s free and any one can use it.
  • Android offers optimized 2D and 3D graphics, multimedia, GSM connectivity, multi-tasking.
  • Android OS is known for its friendly user interface and exceptional customizable according to the user’s taste.
  • Huge choice of applications for its users since Playstore offer over one million apps.
  • Software developers who want to create applications for the Android OS can download the Android Software Development Kit(SDK) to easily develop apps for android.
  • Android would consume very little power but deliver extreme performance since its hardware is based on ARM architecture.


  • The design and coding of intuitive modern user experiences and interfaces poses a difficulty because of its dependency on Java.
  • Most apps tend to run in the background even when closed by the user draining the battery.
  • Performance is bound to take a hit as multiple programs run simultaneously in the background at any given time.
  • Android phones overheat especially when indulged in hardcore productivity tasks or heavy graphics.
  • Apps have lower security profiles and make users more susceptible to data breaches.

7. iOS Mobile Operating System

iOS which is short for iPhone OS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware like A12 Bionic chip that presently powers many of its mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The iOS user interface is based upon using multi-touch gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch. The purpose of these finger actions is to provide the user with fast responsive inputs given from multiple fingers to the multi-touch capacitive screen display.



  • It is written in C, C++, Objective-C and Swift and is based on the Macintosh OS X.
  • Has excellent and intuitive user interface and very fluid response.
  • Performance of iOS is unbeatable.
  • iOS comes with a lot of default apps, including an email client, web browser, media player and the phone app.
  • Availability of higher quality apps which can be downloaded from the Appstore.
  • Apple has provided its own iOS software development kit (SDK) for the developers to create applications for Apple mobile devices.
  • iOS is much safer than other mobile operating systems and has fewer security breaches as well.
  • Provides regular updates and security patches.


  • The OS is closed source instead of open source hence beta testing taking a lot of time since its only available to limited developers.
  • The amount of memory space the iOS applications occupy is very large when compared with other mobile platforms.
  • Lack of customization compared to other operating systems.
  • Doesn’t allow third party installations.
  • Having intense graphics and animations consumes more power and causes battery drains.
  • iOS is resource intensive operating system due to which older devices struggle to run it.

8. FreeBSD 

FreeBSD is a free and open-source operating system based on the Unix operating system. It is widely used as a server operating system, but it can also be used as a desktop operating system. 

Free BSD

Some of the key features of FreeBSD include:

  • Robust and stable: FreeBSD is known for its robust and stable nature, making it a popular choice for servers and other mission-critical applications.
  • Performance: FreeBSD is designed for performance, and its use of advanced memory management and process scheduling algorithms results in fast and efficient system performance.
  • Security: FreeBSD has a strong focus on security, and includes many features to help secure a system, such as security-enhanced kernels, mandatory access controls, and secure levels.
  • Flexibility: FreeBSD is highly flexible and customizable, allowing users to configure the operating system to meet their specific needs.
  • Large repository of software: FreeBSD has a large repository of software packages available, making it easy for users to install and use the software they need.
  • Networking: FreeBSD is designed for networking, and includes a range of advanced networking features, such as support for IPv6, TCP/IP, and virtual networking.
  • BSD license: FreeBSD is released under the BSD license, which allows users to freely use, modify, and redistribute the operating system as they see fit.


Like any operating system, FreeBSD has some drawbacks and limitations. Some of the most notable ones are:

  • Limited hardware support: While FreeBSD has a wide range of hardware support, it may not support some of the latest or most cutting-edge hardware devices, especially when compared to other operating systems like Windows or macOS.
  • Complexity: FreeBSD is known for its advanced features and technical capabilities, but this can also make it a more complex operating system to use and set up compared to other options, especially for less experienced users.
  • Smaller community: While the FreeBSD community is dedicated and active, it is smaller than some of the other open-source communities, such as those around Linux or Ubuntu. This can make finding help or support more challenging for some users.

Overall, FreeBSD is a powerful and versatile operating system that is well-suited for use as a server or desktop operating system, particularly for users who value stability, performance, and security.

9. Chrome OS

Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system developed by Google. It is primarily designed for use on Chromebook laptops, although it can also be run on other devices such as desktop computers and tablets. Chrome OS is designed to be simple and fast, with a focus on web-based applications and cloud-based storage.

Chrome OS


  • Speed and simplicity: Chrome OS is designed to start up quickly and be easy to use, with a simple and clean user interface.
  • Web-based apps: The majority of applications used on Chrome OS are web-based, accessed through the Chrome web browser.
  • Integration with Google services: Chrome OS integrates seamlessly with Google services like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar.
  • Automatic updates: Chrome OS is designed to receive automatic updates, ensuring that the operating system and its security features are always up-to-date.
  • Security: Chrome OS is known for its strong security features, including automatic updates, built-in virus protection, and secure boot.


  • Limited offline functionality: Chrome OS relies heavily on an internet connection, and many of its applications and features may not work properly without an internet connection.
  • Limited software options: While the selection of web-based apps available for Chrome OS is growing, it is still limited compared to other operating systems like Windows or macOS.
  • Limited hardware compatibility: Chrome OS is designed to work best on Chromebooks, and may not work as well on other devices, especially those with limited hardware specifications.
  • Dependence on Google services: If you use Chrome OS, you are heavily dependent on Google services, which may not be suitable for everyone.

These are some of the features and drawbacks of Chrome OS. While it may not be the best operating system for everyone, it is well-suited for users who prioritize speed, simplicity, and security and rely primarily on web-based applications.

10. Mac OS

macOS is a proprietary, Unix-based operating system developed by Apple Inc. It is the primary operating system for Apple’s Mac computers and laptops. It was first introduced in 2001 as Mac OS X, and was later renamed to macOS in 2016.

Mac OS


  • User-friendly interface: macOS has a clean and intuitive graphical user interface, making it easy to use for both beginners and advanced users.
  • Integration with Apple’s ecosystem: macOS integrates well with Apple’s other products, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, allowing for seamless connectivity and data transfer between devices.
  • Built-in applications: macOS comes with a range of built-in applications, such as iMessage, FaceTime, and Safari, making it possible to perform a wide range of tasks without having to install additional software.
  • High-quality software: Apple is known for its focus on quality, and macOS is no exception. The operating system includes high-quality applications and is known for its stability and reliability.


  • Price: macOS is a proprietary operating system, and Mac computers are typically more expensive than other types of computers.
  • Limited hardware compatibility: Because macOS is only available on Apple’s Mac computers and laptops, users are limited in terms of hardware compatibility, especially when compared to other operating systems like Windows or Linux.
  • Proprietary software: Many of the applications and software available for macOS are proprietary and only available from Apple’s App Store, which can limit user choice and flexibility.
  • Lack of customization: Unlike other operating systems, such as Linux, macOS has limited customization options, making it less flexible for advanced users who want to change the look and feel of their operating system.

In conclusion, macOS is a high-quality operating system with a user-friendly interface and tight integration with Apple’s ecosystem. However, it is more expensive and less customizable than other operating systems, and is limited to Apple’s hardware.

Applications and their suitable Operating Systems: 

These are explained as following below. 

1. Database and Web Server Management: The best suitable operating system for database and web server management is SOLARIS, is Unix Operating system, which itself is designed for enterprise web servers where robust applications and database is deployed where throughput is very high and needs the server 24×7 up and less down time.

  • Solaris has Zettabyte File System(ZFS) which is a revolutionary file and logical volume manager that control the storage and retrieval of data which is not found in any other operating system.
  • Solaris is provided with a Service Management Facility (SMF) that is responsible for management of system and application services that improves the availability of a system by ensuring that essential system and application services function normally without any troubles even in the case of hardware or software failures which is also known as Oracle Solaris Predictive Self-Healing capability.
  • Solaris provides awesome observability utilities which can be used to find performance bugs, functional bugs and kernel bugs.
  • Solaris scales well on multi-socket multicore systems with large number of cores due to Solaris’ broader CPU support but also to the architecture of the OS itself. Solaris you can mix and match vertical and horizontal scalability whereas most of the other operating systems only provide vertical scaling.
  • Solaris has always provided strict security providing additional barriers and immune systems to prevent any data breaches to their servers.

Hence since Solaris is reliable, very stable, extremely fast, and secure operating system comparing to other OS which have raw performance and security problems it is the ideal operating system for any database management systems like SQL and web service servers . 

2. Cluster Computing: Clustering is a technique where multiple computers, storage devices and redundant interconnections are used to create a single highly available system. Each computer in it is a node. The best preferred operating system for cluster computing is LINUX which is a UNIX based open source freely distributed operating system which offers many robust network features.

  • Since Linux operating system is highly customizable, which plays an important role in resource management and performance optimization which makes it most convenient for building or setting up large, multi-processor clusters while such modifications are very limited or in some cases restricted in other operating systems like windows.
  • Management of storage access is often troublesome when multiple computers are organized to form a cluster, this where Linux’s clustered file system may be come in handy to organize data storage and access across all of the cluster nodes connected.
  • Linux clustered file systems will employ utilities to actually power down the faulty node.
  • Linux is scalable hence making it easy to add resources to the cluster.
  • Linux has the added advantage of availability of most scientific and engineering software and compilers readily through package managers and they can be easily configured and compiled without hassle.

Since clustering applications are such that they require an OS with utmost portability, performance, scalability and serious computational power, Linux distributions like Redhat or CentOS are best suited for these computer cluster like Beowulf cluster.

3. Productivity and Daily Tasks: The best suitable operating system for productivity is WINDOWS because it is intuitive, cohesive, functional and very user friendly. Windows offers best selection of software and can run on widest variety of hardware that the user has.

  • Windows operating systems offer a suite of built-in utilities and applications like text processors, e-mail clients, calendars, calculators, image and video viewers, editors, snapshot tools, voice recorders, and web browsers, and apps for maps, cameras, news, weather, and contacts and many more can be installed from the internet if the user desires.
  • Windows provides a suite of productivity applications under Office suite like Word, Presentations, Spreadsheets etc.
  • Microsoft’s cloud storage platform OneDrive which helps the users to backup files and use them in any device anywhere.
  • Windows provides a huge range of interface customization options.
  • Windows 10 had full touch screen support, and it offers a Tablet mode that lets users to switch between using the pen and keyboard for inputs to increase productivity.
  • Windows even provides a voice assistant that is capable of tasks like opening apps and web pages, informing the weather, etc.
  • Windows OS makes it easier to arrange windows on the screen and lets users to create multiple virtual desktops for multi-tasking applications.

Hence for creative, productive and daily tasks of users like creating presentations, editing images, surfing the internet, etc Windows is the best operating system.

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