Operating system

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(Redirected from Computer operating systems)

An operating system (abbreviated to OS) comprising of a subset of basic programs which act as an interface between hardware and user and provide them with a set of tools enabling program design, application programming, execution of applications while managing the system's resources for efficient operation. Operating systems offer an environment in which a user can execute other applications (e.g. Management information system) in a comfortable and efficient manner.

Topology of operating systems according to type

Operating system can be divided according to type into:

  • on-line processing systems - interactive systems
    • users and the system can interact directly
    • user activities are immediately executed after being fed in
  • off-line processing systems - batch processing
    • there is a noticeable delay after a task has been fed in and executed
    • a user cannot interfere with a task already in execution

Typology of operating systems according to applications

  • Mainframe operating systems: These are designed to run on large, centralized computer systems and handle high-volume, transaction-oriented processing. Examples include IBM's z/OS and Unisys' MCP.
  • Server operating systems: These are designed to run on servers and handle multiple users and tasks simultaneously. Examples include Microsoft Windows Server, Linux, and Unix.
  • Desktop operating systems: These are designed for use on personal computers and laptops. Examples include Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Mobile operating systems: These are designed for use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Examples include Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
  • Embedded operating systems: These are designed for use in embedded devices such as industrial control systems, medical equipment, and consumer electronics. Examples include VxWorks, QNX, and ThreadX.
  • Real-time operating systems: These are designed to provide deterministic, real-time performance for applications that require immediate and accurate processing of data. Examples include VxWorks and QNX.
  • Cloud operating systems: These are designed to run on cloud-based infrastructure and provide scalable, on-demand computing resources. Examples include OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, and Windows Azure.

Other classification:

  • Non-multitasking - new tasks cannot be executed until previous one has finished
  • Multitasking - many tasks (processes) can run concurrently, sharing the time of central processing unit (CPU) according to a given schedule

Other types of operating systems

  • Real-time systems - process data to meet a certain deadline
  • Network and distributed systems - enable management of a number of distributed processing systems, which together form a computer network but each have their own private resources
  • Embedded systems - for small scale systems such as PDA or mobile phones, in which resources are very limited.

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Author: Anna Opalińska