Introduction to Operating Systems
A computer system has many resources (hardware and software), which may be require to complete a task. The commonly required resources are input/output devices, memory, file storage space, CPU etc. The operating system acts as a manager of the above resources and allocates them to specific programs and users, whenever necessary to perform a particular task. Therefore operating system is the resource manager i.e. it can manage the resource of a computer system internally. The resources are processor, memory, files, and I/O devices. In simple terms, an operating system is the interface between the user and the machine.
Two Views of Operating System
- User's View
- System View
Operating System: User View
The user view of the computer refers to the interface being used. Such systems are designed for one user to monopolize its resources, to maximize the work that the user is performing. In these cases, the operating system is designed mostly for ease of use, with some attention paid to performance, and none paid to resource utilization.
Operating System: System View
Operating system can be viewed as a resource allocator also. A computer system consists of many resources like - hardware and software - that must be managed efficiently. The operating system acts as the manager of the resources, decides between conflicting requests, controls execution of programs etc.
Operating System Management Tasks
- Processor management which involves putting the tasks into order and pairing them into manageable size before they go to the CPU.
- Memory management which coordinates data to and from RAM (random-access memory) and determines the necessity for virtual memory.
- Device management which provides interface between connected devices.
- Storage management which directs permanent data storage.
- Application which allows standard communication between software and your computer.
- User interface which allows you to communicate with your computer.
Functions of Operating System
- It boots the computer
- It performs basic computer tasks e.g. managing the various peripheral devices e.g. mouse, keyboard
- It provides a user interface, e.g. command line, graphical user interface (GUI)
- It handles system resources such as computer's memory and sharing of the central processing unit(CPU) time by various applications or peripheral devices.
- It provides file management which refers to the way that the operating system manipulates, stores, retrieves and saves data.
- Error Handling is done by the operating system. It takes preventive measures whenever required to avoid errors.