What is operating system? Explain different functions and objectives of operating systems.

Subject: Operating System

Topic: Operating System Overview

Difficulty: Medium

1 Answer

Operating System

  • An operating (sometimes abbreviated as "OS") system is a program that acts as an intermediate party between a user of a computer and the computer hardware.
  • An operating system is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all the other programs in a computer.

The Objectives of OS are:

  • Convenience: Make the computer more convenient to use making the user to focus on his main purpose (e.g. focus on document editing rather than spend time learning the commands).
  • Efficiency: Allows computer system resources to be used in an efficient manner.
  • Ability to evolve: Permit effective development, testing and introduction of new system functions without interfering with service.

The functions of OS are:

  • Facilitate creation and modification of program and data files through an editor program

  • Provide access to compilers to translate programs from high-level languages to machine language

  • Provide a loader program to move the complied program code to the computer’s memory for execution,
  • Assure that when there are several active processes in the computer, each will get fair and non-interfering access to the central processing unit for execution (scheduling)
  • Provide routines that handle the intricate details of I/O programming
  • Take care of storage and device allocation
  • Provide for long term storage of user information in the form of files
  • Permit system resources to be shared among users when appropriate, and be protected from unauthorized or mischievous intervention as necessary.
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