An operating system is an interface between a computer user and computer hardware. Every computer should have at least one operating system that can able to run application software and manage hardware as well. Applications like google chrome, ms office, VLC media player, etc need an environment to run that is provided by an OS. Examples – Windows, Ubuntu, MAC OS, Android, IOS, etc.
Functions of an operating system
- Memory Management – Here memory management refers to managing the primary memory or RAM which is less in size and speed is much faster than secondary memory. The primary memory is less in size so the operating system manages it in an efficient and proper way. The operating system keeps track of memory and allocates and deallocates it to processes efficiently.
- Process Management – The operating system manages the process to schedule, execute and terminate it. The operating system uses CPU scheduling algorithms to manage the processes.
- Resource Management – When multiple users need hardware then OS manages it and decreases the load on the resource.
- Storage Management – In storage management, we talk about secondary memories like HDD, pen drives, etc. which are managed by OS using different kinds of file systems like NIFS, NFS, NTFS, and CIFS. The management of tracks and sectors in an HDD is also done by Operating System.
- Security Management – Security is also provided by the operating system to encrypt the data. Users and passwords are also managed by the operating system.
Advantages of operating system
- Graphical User Interface (GUI) that makes it easy to use.
- Creates an environment to run a variety of application software.
- Hide the complication of hardware access use and creates an abstraction to use them conveniently.
- Creates an interface between hardware and application software.
- It provides an interface to manage files and directories without even worrying about the sectors and tracks of the HDD.
- It provides a platform for networking, we can even share hardware resources on the network too.
Disadvantages of operating system
- It is quite costly for small organizations to purchase it.
- If any kind of issue occurred and the operating system is not able to start, you may lose your data too.