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What is an Operating System?

  • Last Updated : 16 Jun, 2021

Operating System lies in the category of system software. It basically manages all the resources of the computer. An operating system acts as an interface between the software and different parts of the computer or the computer hardware. The operating system is designed in such a way that it can manage the overall resources and operations of the computer. It is a fully integrated set of specialized programs that handle all the operations of the computer. It controls and monitors the execution of all other programs that reside in the computer, which also includes application programs and other system software of the computer. Examples of the operating system are Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc.

Diagram of the operating system:

Objectives:

Let us now see some of the objectives of the operating system, which are:



  1. Convenient to use: One of the objectives is to make the computer system more convenient to use in an efficient manner.
  2. User Friendly: To make the computer system more interactive with a more convenient interface for the users.
  3. To provide easy access to users for using resources by acting as an intermediary between the hardware and its users.
  4. For managing the resources of a computer.
  5. Controls and Monitoring: By keeping the track of who is using which resource, granting resource requests, and mediating conflicting requests from different programs and users.
  6. Providing efficient and fair sharing of resources between the users and programs.

Characteristics:

Let us now discuss some of the important characteristic features of operating systems:

  • Device Management: The operating system keeps track of all the devices. So, it is also called the Input / Output controller that decides which process gets the device, when, and for how much time.
  • File Management: It allocates and de-allocates the resources and also decides who gets the resource.
  • Job Accounting: It keeps the track of time and resources used by various jobs or users.
  • Error-detecting Aids: It contains methods that include the production of dumps, traces, error messages, and other debugging and error-detecting methods.
  • Memory Management: It keeps track of the primary memory, like what part of it is in use by whom, or what part is not in use, etc. and It also allocates the memory when a process or program requests it.
  • Processor Management: It allocates the processor to a process and then de-allocates the processor when it is no longer required or the job is done.
  • Control on System Performance: It records the delays between the request for a service and from the system.
  • Security: It prevents unauthorized access to programs and data by means of passwords or some kind of protection technique.

Types of the operating system:

  • Batch Operating System: This type of operating system does not interact with the computer directly. There is an operator which takes similar jobs having the same requirements and groups them into batches.
  • Time-sharing operating System: This type of operating system allows many users to share computer resources. (Max utilization of the resources).
  • Distributed operating System: This type of operating system manages a group of different computers and makes appear to be a single computer.
  • Network operating system: This type of operating system running on a server and provides the capability to manage data, users, groups, security, applications, and other networking functions.
  • Real-time operating system: This type of operating system serves real time system and the time interval required to process and respond to inputs is very small.

Sample Questions

Question 1. Operating system is which type of software?

(A) System software

(B) Application software

(C) Both a and b

(D) None of the above



Solution:

The correct option is A, i.e., System software

Question 2. Which of the following is not an example of operating system?

(A) Windows 

(B) Linux

(C) Mac OS

(D) MS-Word

Solution:

The correct option is D, i.e., MS-Word

Windows, Linux, Mac OS, all 3 are examples of operating system whereas MS-Word is an example of application software.

Question 3. Which characteristic property prevents unauthorized access to programs and data?

(A) Security

(B) Data Management

(C) Device management

(D) Control on system performance

Solution: 

The correct option is A, i.e, Security

Security prevents unauthorized access to programs and data by means of passwords or some kind of protection technique.

Question 4. Which characteristic property allocates and de-allocates the resources and also decides who gets the resource.

(A) Security



(B) File Management

(C) Device management

(D) Control of System performance

Solution:

The correct option is B, i.e., File management

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

Question 5. _____________  is designed in such a way that it can manage overall resources and operations of the computer. 

(A) Operating System

(B) File Management

(C) Device management

(D) None of the above

Solution:

The correct option is A, i.e, Operating System

The operating system is designed in such a way that it can manage overall resources and operations of the computer. 

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