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Interactive Operating System

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Interactive operating systems are computers that accept human inputs. Users give commands or some data to the computers by typing or by gestures. Some examples of interactive systems include MS Word and Spreadsheets, etc. They facilitate interactive behavior. Mac and Windows OS are some examples of interactive operating systems.

What is an Interactive Operating System?

  • An interactive operative system is an operating system that allows the execution of interactive programs. All PC operating systems are interactive operating systems only.
  • An interactive operating system gives permission to the user to interact directly with the computer. In an Interactive operating system, the user enters some command into the system and the work of the system is to execute it.
  • Programs that allow users to enter some data or commands are known as Interactive Operating Systems. Some commonly used examples of Interactive operating systems include Word Processors and Spreadsheet Applications.
  • A non-interactive program can be defined as one that once started continues without the need for human interaction. A compiler can be an example of a non-interactive program.

Properties of Interactive Operating System:

  1. Batch Processing: It is defined as the process of gathering programs and data together in a batch before performing them. The job of the operating system is to define the jobs as a single unit by using some already defined sequence of commands or data, etc.
    Before they are performed or carried out, these are stored in the memory of the system and their processing depends on a FIFO basis. The operating system releases the memory and then copies the output into an output spool for later printing when the job is finished. Its use is that it basically improves the system performance because a new job begins only when the old one is completed without any interference from the user. One disadvantage is that there is a small chance that the jobs will enter an infinite loop. Debugging is also somewhat difficult with batch processing.
  2. Multitasking: The CPU can execute many tasks simultaneously by switching between them. This is known as Time- Sharing System and also it has a very fast response time. They switch so Fastly that the users can very easily interact with each running program.
  3. Multiprogramming: Multiprogramming happens when the memory of the system stores way too many processes. The job of the operating system here is that runs these processes in parallel on the same processor. Multiple processes share the CPU, thus increasing CPU utilization. Now, the CPU only performs one job at a particular time while the rest wait for the processor to be assigned to them. The operating system takes care of the fact that the CPU is never idle by using its memory management programs so that it can monitor the state of all system resources and active programs. One advantage of this is that it gives the user the feeling that the CPU is working on multiple programs simultaneously.
  4. Distributive Environment: A distributive environment consists of many independent processors. The job of the operating system here is that distribute computation logic among the physical processors and also at the same time manage communication between them. Each processor has its own local memory, so they do not share a memory.
  5. Interactivity: Interactivity is defined as the power of a user to interact with the system. The main job of the operating system here is that it basically provides an interface for interacting with the system, manages I/O devices, and also ensures a fast response time.
  6. Real-Time System: Dedicated embedded systems are real-time systems. The main job of the operating system here is that reads and react to sensor data and then provide a response in a fixed time period, therefore, ensuring good performance.
  7. Spooling: Spooling is defined as the process of pushing the data from different I/O jobs into a buffer or somewhere in the memory so that any device can access the data when it is ready. The operating system here handles the I/O device data spooling because the devices have different data access rates in order to maintain the spooling buffer. Now the job of the buffer here is that acts like a waiting station for the data to rest while the devices which are slower can catch up.

Example of an Interactive Operating System:

Some examples of Interactive operating systems are as follows:

  1. Unix Operating System
  2. Disk Operating System

Advantages of Interactive Operating System:

The advantages of an Interactive Operating System are as follows:

  1. Usability: An operating system is designed to perform something and the interactiveness allows the user to manage the tasks more or less in real-time.
  2. Security: Simple security policy enhancement. In non-interactive systems, the user virtually always knows what their programs will do during their lifetime, thus allowing us to forecast and correct the bugs.

Disadvantages of Interactive Operating System:

  1. Tough to design: Depending on the target device, interactivity might be proved challenging to design because the user must be prepared for every input. What about having many inputs? The state of a program can alternate at any particular time, all the programs should be handled in some way, and also it doesn’t always work out properly.
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Last Updated : 18 Nov, 2022
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