Operating Systems Interview Questions – Part IV

Ankur Kulhari

  1. What is the purpose of an I/O status information?
  2. Ans:I/O status information provides info about which I/O devices are to be allocated for a particular process. It also shows which files are opened, and other I/O device state.

  3. What is multitasking?
  4. Ans:Multitasking is the process within an operating system that allows the user to run several applications at the same time. However, only one application is active at a time for user interaction, although some applications can run “behind the scene”.

  5. What are some pros and cons of a command line interface?
  6. Ans:A command line interface allows the user to type in commands that can immediately provide
    results. Many seasoned computer users are well accustomed to using the command line because they find it quicker and simpler. The main problem with a command line interface is that users have to be familiar with the commands, including the switches and parameters that come with it. This is a downside for people who are not fond of memorizing commands.

  7. What is caching?
  8. Ans:Caching is the processing of utilizing a region of fast memory for a limited data and process. A
    cache memory is usually much efficient because of its high access speed.

  9. What is spooling?
  10. Ans:Spooling is normally associated with printing. When different applications want to send an
    output to the printer at the same time, spooling takes all of these print jobs into a disk file and queues them accordingly to the printer.

  11. What is an Assembler?
  12. Ans:An assembler acts as a translator for low level language. Assembly codes, written using
    mnemonic commands are translated by the Assembler into machine language.

  13. What are interrupts?
  14. Interrupts are part of a hardware mechanism that sends a notification to the CPU when it wants to gain access to a particular resource. An interrupt handler receives this interrupt signal and “tells” the processor to take action based on the interrupt request.

  15. What is GUI?
  16. Ans:GUI is short for Graphical User Interface. It provides users with an interface wherein actions can be performed by interacting with icons and graphical symbols. People find it easier to interact with the computer when in a GUI especially when using the mouse. Instead of having to remember and type commands, users just click on buttons to perform a process.

  17. What is preemptive multitasking?
  18. Ans:Preemptive multitasking allows an operating system to switch between software programs. This
    in turn allows multiple programs to run without necessarily taking complete control over the processor and resulting in system crashes.

  19. Why is partitioning and formatting a prerequisite to installing an operating system?
  20. Ans:Partitioning and formatting creates a preparatory environment on the drive so that the operating
    system can be copied and installed properly. This includes allocating space on the drive, designating a drive name, determining and creating the appropriate file system structure.

  21. What is plumbing / piping?
  22. Ans:It is the process of using the output of one program as an input to another. For example, instead of sending the listing of a folder or drive to the main screen, it can be piped and sent to a file, or
    sent to the printer to produce a hard copy.

  23. What is NOS?
  24. Ans:NOS is short for Network Operating System. It is a specialized software that will allow a
    computer to communicate with other devices over the network, including file/folder sharing.

  25. Differentiate internal commands from external commands.
  26. Ans:Internal commands are built-in commands that are already part of the operating system. External commands are separate file programs that are stored in a separate folder or directory.

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