What Is An Operating System?
An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system.
Functions Of Operating System
There are four main functions of an operating system:
- Resource management: The operating system manages and allocates hardware resources such as CPU time, memory, and disk space to different programs and processes. For example, if two programs are running on the computer at the same time, the operating system will decide how much CPU time each program gets and in what order.
- Memory management: The operating system manages the computer’s main memory (also called RAM) and makes sure that each program gets the memory it needs to run. The operating system also manages virtual memory, which is a portion of the hard disk that is used as extra memory when the main memory is full.
- Process management: The operating system creates and manages processes, which are programs that are running on the computer. The operating system determines how much CPU time each process gets, and when a process is finished, the operating system closes it and frees up the resources it was using.
- I/O management: The operating system manages input/output (I/O) operations, which are data transfers between the computer and its peripherals, such as printers and keyboards. The operating system controls the flow of data between the peripherals and the rest of the computer, ensuring that the data is transferred efficiently and without errors.
Examples Operating System
Examples of operating systems include:
- Microsoft Windows: Windows is a popular operating system for personal computers, laptops, and tablets. It is developed by Microsoft and is available in several versions, including Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.
- macOS: macOS is the operating system that powers Apple’s Mac computers and laptops. It is a Unix-based operating system that is known for its user-friendly interface and strong security features. The current version of macOS is called macOS Big Sur.
- Linux: Linux is a free and open-source operating system that is widely used on servers, supercomputers, and other large systems. It is known for its stability, security, and flexibility, and it is available in many different versions, called “distributions,” such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS.
- iOS: iOS is the operating system that powers Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It is a mobile operating system that is known for its smooth performance and user-friendly interface. The current version of iOS is called iOS 15.
- Android: Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google that is used on a wide range of smartphones and tablets. It is known for its customizable interface and the large number of apps that are available for it. The current version of Android is called Android 12.