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Basic Concepts of Operating Systems

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Last updated date: 17th May 2024
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What is an Operating System?

An operating system serves as an interface between the program and various computer hardware or software components. The operating system is made to be able to control all of the computer's resources and activities. It is an entirely integrated collection of specialised applications that manage all of the computer's functions. All other programs that are installed on the computer, including applications and other system software, are controlled and monitored by it. 


Microsoft Windows OS Logo


Microsoft Windows OS Logo


Examples of Operating systems are listed below:

  • Microsoft Windows 

  • Linux 

  • Mac OS.


Classification of the Operating System

Classification of Operating System can be done as follows:

  • Multiprocessing: 

Supports running a program on multiple CPUs within a single computer system.

  • Multitasking: 

This allows you to run more than one program at the same time.

  • Multi-User: 

This allows multiple users to run the program in the same fraction of time.

  • Multithreading: 

Allows every module of a single program to execute simultaneously.

  • Real-Time:

Response to the input is immediate.


Main Layers in an Operating System  

The software that acts as an interface between various computer parts is referred to as layers in an operating system. A clear benefit of layering is evident in an operating system. Each layer may be designed independently and interacted with as needed. 


The following five-layer model is often used in an Operating System:

  • Kernel:

It links a computer's hardware with application software. As a result, it controls how applications in the RAM access memory. Additionally, it decides when each program will execute and allots processing time and memory to each application.

  • Memory Management:

It is in charge of restarting the computer's physical memory between processes and managing programs that need more memory than is physically accessible.

  • Input/Output:

This layer manages all physical interactions with other devices, including the keyboard, printer, display, and disc drive. The I/O layer receives a request if a higher layer needs access to a device.

  • File Management System:

It also goes by the name "file system." It is in charge of planning and overseeing the data storage on long-term storage devices including hard drives, and floppy disc drives.

  • User Interface:

It is referred to as the area where human and machine interaction takes place. There are two different types of user interfaces: the icon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI), which is used in Windows and Apple Mac OS, and the text-based Command Line Interface (CLI), which is used in MS-Dos and LINUX.


Main Layers in an Operating System


Main Layers in an Operating System


Different Types of Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows

It is a form of an operating system that comes in 32 and 64-bit variants Microsoft Windows. Microsoft was the one that created it. It offers a Graphical User Interface (GUI), the ability to manage virtual memory, multitasking features, and compatibility for a wide range of peripheral devices.


Different Versions of Microsoft Windows


Different Versions of Microsoft Windows


  • UNIX

The most capable and well-liked operating system for multiple users and tasks is Unix. It is a group of applications that serve as the user's interface with the computer. Dennis Ritchie later contributed to Ken Thompson's original UNIX code. Unix systems are built around a core kernel that manages the system and the other processes.


UNIX Operating System Logo


UNIX Operating System Logo


The following are the major features of UNIX:

  • A hierarchy of files

  • Independence from devices

  • Multi-tasking

  • Multi-user functionality

  • Tools and utilities for creating tools

  • The portability

  • Integrated Networking


  • Linux

One of the most widely used variations of Unix OS is the LINUX Operating System. It is an open-source operating system that is freely available online and whose source code is editable by anybody who uses it. Its functionality list resembles Unix in many ways.


LINUX Logo


LINUX Logo


The major features of Linux operating systems are listed below:

  • Better security is provided by the LINUX Operating System, which is also seldom harmed by computer viruses.

  • A LINUX-operated computer won't hang, so anyone may use it for days or even months without having to restart it. The majority of internet servers use the LINUX Operating System for this reason.

  • The user can use four desktop screens at once on the LINUX-powered PC. A user can change between desktop screens at any moment.

  • The Linux kernel can be installed on any kind of hardware platform.


  • Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS GNU/Linux) 

It is an Indian Linux distribution derived from Debian. BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions), a Debian-based Linux distribution called GNU/Linux, was created by CDAC and is tailored to the digital landscape of India. The majority of Indian languages are supported.


Important Points to Remember

  • The operating system is made to be able to control all of the computer's resources and activities.

  • Microsoft Windows is the most widely used OS.

  • Linux and UNIX is an open-source form of operating systems.

  • Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS GNU/Linux) is an Indian Linux distribution.

  • The most capable and well-liked operating system for multiple users and tasks is Unix.


Summary 

An operating system serves as a link between a computer's software and hardware. Typical examples of operating systems are Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and UNIX. An operating system is composed of five layers: the kernel, input/output, memory management, file management system, and user interface. Most current computers utilise Microsoft Windows, a type of operating system that is available in 32- and 64-bit versions. Unix is the operating system that can handle most users and tasks simultaneously. The LINUX OS is one of the most popular Unix OS variants. It is a cost-free open-source operating system. In particular, for the Indian user base, Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS GNU/Linux) is an Indian Linux distribution derived from Debian.


Learn by Doing:

1. Which of the following is not an operating system?

  • Windows OS

  • UNIX

  • UNIMIX

  • LINUX


2. What is the full form of BOSS LINUX?

  • Bharat Operating System Solutions

  • Bharat operations system seldom

  • Bitcoin operations system solutions


3. Which one of the following is the oldest operating system amongst the given options?

  • Windows 3.1

  • Windows 95

  • Vista

  • Windows 8


Sample Solved Questions

1. What is an operating system?

Ans: A system for controlling a device is referred to as the operating system, which is a self-explanatory word. A piece of software known as an operating system acts as a bridge between computer hardware and end users. The main goal of an operating system is to make computers simple to use.


2. Give an example of an operating system that is free to use.

Ans: LINUX is an open-source operating system that is freely available online.


3. What is BOSS LINUX?

Ans: Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS GNU/Linux) is an Indian Linux distribution derived from Debian. It was created by CDAC and is tailored to the digital landscape of India. The majority of Indian languages are supported.

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FAQs on Basic Concepts of Operating Systems

1. Can Linux be used on any hardware?

Yes, Linux OS can be installed and used on any hardware whatsoever.

2. Why is Linux OS so popular?

Linux os is really popular given the fact that it is a very helpful and user-friendly operating system as it is free to use, does not hang, and is not easily targeted by viruses.

3. Why is layering so important in operating systems?

Layering provides a distinct advantage in an operating system. All the layers can be defined separately and interact with each other as required.