Introduction to Operating Systems

Ankur Kulhari

What is an operating system?

Before moving ahead, I would like to ask you “what comes in your mind regarding Operating System?”

some of them can be:

  • Windows
  • Ubuntu
  • A complected software
  • Buttons and icons
  • Desktop
  • Folders
  • Media player and so on…..
Operating system

An operating system is a program which provides you:

  • An interface through which you can use hardware like, CPU/RAM/HDD/CD-ROM etc
  • The capability to install an application
  • The capability to start any application
  • Hides complexity of system (underlying hardware) from end user
  • While writing a high level program (like in C/C++/JAVA/python), we never concerned about which type of CPU is installed in the system, how much and which type of RAM is installed, Which controller is installed for DMA (Direct memory access) module.
    But as we know that ultimately, programs will be executed in the CPU
  • The capability to write applications in easy way
  • We like to do multiple tasks simultaneously like: surf websites while listening music, downloading some file, writing report in word etc. We noticed that no two applications interfere with each other. This facility is also provided by Operating System program.
  • etc.

So in short we can say that Operating System is:
A program that controls the execution of application programs and implements an interface between the user of a computer and the computer hardware
Now day’s operating systems are not limited to computers/mobile phones/laptops but they are also used in almost all electronic devices like: automatic washing machine, microwave oven etc.

Components of operating system
  • Process management
  • Main memory management
  • File management
  • I/O system management
  • Secondary storage management
  • Networking components
  • Protection system
  • Command interpreter system
types of operating systems
  • Multi programming systems,
  • Time sharing systems,
  • Multi processing systems,
  • Parallel systems,
  • Real Time systems,
  • Distributed systems,

For complete chapter you can refer following slides:


To learn about process management click here.

What do you think about the article?