Everyone has heard the word called OS of course, OS means Operating System. It is
the manager of the computer, and also which manages all the available resources on a computer from CPU, to
memory, to hard disk. And also it is a software. There are two types of software called system
software and application software. Firstly the system software is a set of programs that coordinates activities
and functions of the hardware and various other programs throughout the computer system. Also there are different
types of systems software include operating systems and utility programs.
Definition of Operating System
An operating system is a set of computer programs or a collection of software that manages and
controls hardware resources. Also, an operating system act as an interface between application
software and hardware. Especially, it gives common services for all computer programs. Of course an operating
system is system software, and application software needs an operating system to fulfill its
Windows XP, Windows Vista, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS are some examples of operating
system. Indeed, Linux is a free and open source operating system. Also it works on several platforms and Linux never
gets slow. Linux has widespread usage and no threat of viruses. Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, SUSE and Debian
are some Linux examples.
Tasks of the operating system
The operating system manages and controls all the parts of computer and hardware resources. Similarly,
it runs applications include word processors, web browsers, games, etc. It manages all data and files in your computer.
Also it helps to organize your computer by doing many things to data like copy, move, delete, rename,
and cut. The operating system acts as an intermediary between the user and computer hardware too.
Performing common computer hardware functions, providing a user interface and input/output
management, providing a degree of hardware independence, managing system memory, managing
processing tasks, providing networking capability and controlling access to system resources are some other
major tasks of an operating system. Certainly operating system acts as a coordinator which mange all
resources and prevents errors and improper use of the computer such as connection failures in the network, power failures, lack of paper in printer and so on.
The first and foremost function is providing a user interface. Especially it allows individuals to
access and interact with the computer. There are two types of the user interface. The first one is a
command-based user interface that requires text commands to be given to the computer to perform
basic activities (e.g. DOS). The other one is a graphical user interface (GUI). GUI uses pictures and menus
that are used to send commands to the computer system (e.g. Windows and Mac OS). The second main
function is hardware independence that provides hardware independence for application software. Application software interfaces with the operating system which interfaces with the hardware. When the hardware changes, the operating system changes so that the application software is not required to be changed. The other main function is the operating system act as a facilitator. It provides standard libraries and makes application programming easier and faster.