Operating Systems and Software: Discuss the role of operating systems and software in managing computer resources and enabling user applications

Operating Systems and Software: Discuss the role of operating systems and software in managing computer resources and enabling user applications

Do you want to know what is Operating System? Operating system (OS) is software that acts as an interface between computer hardware components and the user. In fact, you can call it a medium through which the user and different parts of the computer can communicate with each other. Operating system is also called system software. Most people also call it “OS” by its short name.

It is also called the heart of the computer. Operating system is a system software, which acts as an interface between the user and the computer hardware. Let me explain this sentence directly, whenever you run the computer, this operating system itself gives you the means to use the computer. Like you listen to a song, click on a .mp3 file, double click on a word document, open three or four windows, write something on the keyboard, and save some files in the computer, etc. So, this is all you know about what is an operating system without it.

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Operating system is a software with the help of which you run your computer. Therefore, whenever you buy a new computer, first of all you get Windows 10 or Windows 11 loaded on it from the shopkeeper. And after that you take the computer or your laptop to your home. Otherwise, without Operating System you can never even turn on your computer. This is also a question why it is called System Software more often. If you want to run user software i.e., application software in computer, then it can never run without OS. This OS helps in using the computer hardware properly. Operating System mainly does some work like takes some input from the keyboard, processes the instruction, and sends the output to the computer screen.

You see this operating system only when you turn on the computer and then when you turn off the computer. You have many software like Games, MS Word, Adobe Reader, VLC Media Player, Photoshop etc. inside the computer. To run them, a program or big software is required which we call Operating System. The name of the OS used in mobile is Android which everyone knows about. You must have come to know what Operating System is, so let us know about some of its functions.

Examples of Operating Systems

Different operating systems are used for different tasks. Here I have shared with you the list of names of which most people like to use.

Microsoft Windows It is a popular operating system used on personal computers, laptops, and workstations. Some versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 10.

MacOS An OS developed by Apple Inc. that runs only on Apple’s Macintosh computers. Some popular versions of macOS are: macOS Sierra, macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, macOS Catalina, and macOS Big Sur.

Linux It is an open-source operating system, whose code can be modified and distributed by any developer or user. There are many distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Arch Linux.

Android This is a mobile operating system developed by Google. Android is made for smartphones and tablets, such as devices from Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi.

iOS Apple Inc. is a mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. that runs only on Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

Chrome OS A lightweight operating system developed by Google, which runs on Google Chromebooks. Chrome OS focuses on cloud-based applications and services.

UNIX It is a powerful, multi-user, multitasking operating system that runs on mainframes, workstations, and servers. Some popular versions of UNIX are: BSD, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris.

These are all examples of very large operating systems. Although there are many different names in these, but most of the people know them by these names.

Operating System Functions

Although the computer does a lot of work, but first of all when you turn on the computer, the Operating System is first loaded into the Main Memory i.e., RAM and after that it allocates whatever hardware the user software needs.

Memory Management

Memory management means managing primary and secondary memory. Main memory means RAM is a very big array of bytes. Meaning, there are many small slots in memory where we can keep some data. Where each slot has an address. Main memory is the fastest memory which is used directly by the CPU. Because all the programs that the CPU runs are in the main memory only.

Operating System does all these things.

  • Which part of the main memory will be used, which will not be used, how much will be used, how much will not be used?
  • In multiprocessing, the OS decides which process will be given memory and how much memory will be given to whom.
  • When the process asks for memory, the memory is given to it by the OS (Process means a task or a small work which is done inside the computer).
  • When the process completes its work, the OS takes back its memory.

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