Operating System Tutorial : A Complete Guide for Beginners6 October 2023
Welcome to the world of Operating Systems Tutorial : A Complete Guide for Beginners. Where we embark on a journey to explore What is an Operating System(OS)? The fundamental and advanced aspects of this critical component of modern computing. It’s like a helpful guide that will make it easier for you to understand how your computer works. If you’re new to this stuff, you already have some knowledge. Preparing for a significant exam called GATE. Our tutorial aims to facilitate your learning.
Think of an operating system as a kind of special software that connects you to your computer’s hardware. It’s like a bridge that makes it possible for you to use your computer without having to understand all the complicated technical stuff.
So, no matter where you’re starting from in your journey to learn about operating systems, our tutorial is here to make it simple and easy for you to grasp. Let’s dive in and explore the world of operating systems together!
What is an Operating System?
An Operating System (OS) is like the middleman between you and your computer. It does lots of important jobs, like organizing your files, managing your computer’s memory. Keeping track of running programs, and making sure your mouse, keyboard, and other devices work smoothly.
Inside the operating system, there’s a core part called the kernel. Think of it as the engine of the OS. It makes sure that all the programs you use can talk to the computer’s hardware without any hiccups. So, in a way, the OS has a double job: it helps programs work with your computer’s hardware, and it keeps an eye on all the computer’s resources, like its memory and processing power.
A variety of Operating Systems exist, with popular examples including the Linux Operating System, Windows Operating System, VMS, OS/400, AIX, z/OS, and many more. Nowadays, Operating Systems can be found in a wide array of devices, ranging from mobile phones and personal computers to mainframe computers, automobiles, TVs, and even toys.
In essence, an operating system is the program that takes charge once a computer is initially booted. It manages all other application programs within the computer. These application programs communicate with the operating system by requesting services through a predefined application program interface (API). Moreover, users can interact directly with the operating system through various user interfaces, including command-line interfaces (CLI) or graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Ultimately, an Operating System acts as an interface connecting users and hardware. Its overarching purpose is to create an environment in which users can execute programs. With utmost convenience and efficiency, handling processes, resource allocation, CPU management. File organization, and a multitude of other essential tasks along the way.
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Why we use an Operating System?
Operating systems bring significant advantages to computer software and development. Without an operating system, each application would have to include its own user interface and extensive code to handle low-level tasks. Like managing disk storage and network connections. Given the wide variety of hardware available, this approach would lead to excessively large applications and impractical software development.
Instead, think of it like this: everyday tasks, like sending things over the internet or showing words on your computer screen, don’t need each individual program to know all the complicated stuff about how your computer works. Instead, there’s a helpful go-between software (like a middleman) that takes care of these tasks. This middleman software makes sure all programs can talk to your computer’s hardware in the same way, so programs don’t have to worry about the technical stuff.
As long as each application accesses resources and services in the same way, this system software, which is the operating system, can support a multitude of applications efficiently. This greatly reduces the time and effort required to develop and troubleshoot applications. Moreover, it allows users to control, configure, and manage hardware using a familiar and standardized interface.
Once the operating system is in place, it relies on a vast library of device drivers to customize its services for the specific hardware setup. For example, when an application needs to use a storage device, it communicates with the operating system. The operating system then utilizes the appropriate driver to translate this request into commands that the specific computer hardware can understand.
Today, operating systems offer a comprehensive platform that identifies, configures, and manages various hardware components, including processors, memory devices, chipsets, storage, networking, and communication ports like VGA, HDMI, and USB. They also handle subsystem interfaces like PCIe.
Types of Operating System
Operating systems have been around since the very beginning of computers, and they’ve changed a lot over time. In this chapter, we’ll talk about some important types of operating systems that most people use.
First, there are Real-Time Operating Systems, which are super precise and are used in things like airplanes and medical devices. Then, there are simple ones like Single-User, Single-Tasking Operating Systems, which do one thing at a time. Multi-User Operating Systems let lots of people use a computer at the same time, like in a big office. And finally, there are Graphical User Interface Operating Systems, which have pictures and icons to make it easy for us to use computers. These different types of operating systems are designed to meet different needs. Let’s see a brief description on all types of Operating System:
Batch Operating System
Batch Processing Operating Systems (BatchOS) are powerful tools for managing multiple tasks in a sequential manner, aimed at enhancing operational efficiency. BatchOS, an open-source operating system built upon the CentOS Linux distribution and licensed under the GNU General Public License, finds utility across diverse fields, including data warehousing, OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), data mining, big data processing, data integration, and time series analysis.
In essence, batch processing refers to a method employed by various industries to streamline and optimize their operations. It functions as an operating system that orchestrates multiple tasks and processes in a systematic sequence. By doing so, it plays a pivotal role in enhancing a business’s efficiency, allowing it to concurrently execute several tasks.
The primary advantage of utilizing a batch-processing operating system lies in its ability to amplify a business’s productivity. It achieves this by efficiently managing tasks and processes, enabling the business to execute numerous operations concurrently. Unlike manual handling, where each task awaits its turn, BatchOS ensures tasks are executed promptly, substantially reducing processing times.
Batch processing operating systems specialize in automating the execution of numerous, similar jobs or tasks without requiring user intervention. This feature makes them invaluable in scenarios demanding the processing of a large volume of jobs in a specific predetermined order. They excel in business and scientific applications, where the need for systematic, efficient, and timely job execution is paramount.
In summary, Batch Processing Operating Systems like BatchOS serve as indispensable tools for organizations seeking to enhance their operational efficiency. By efficiently managing tasks, automating job execution, and reducing processing times, they contribute significantly to the smooth and productive functioning of businesses across various industries.
Time Sharing Operating System
Time-sharing is a computing technique that allows multiple users, working from different terminals, to utilize the same computer system simultaneously. It’s essentially an extension of the concept of multiprogramming, where the processor’s time is divided among multiple users.
The key distinction between Multiprogrammed Batch Systems and Time-Sharing Systems lies in their primary objectives. Multiprogrammed batch systems aim to maximize processor utilization, ensuring that the CPU is always busy. In contrast, Time-Sharing Systems prioritize minimizing response time, focusing on providing quick and immediate interactions for users.
In Time-Sharing Systems, the CPU handles multiple tasks by rapidly switching between them, allowing users to receive instant responses. For instance, in transaction processing, each user’s program is executed in short bursts, known as computation “quantums.” If there are n users, each user gets a time quantum. When a user submits a command, the response time is typically just a few seconds.
To achieve this, the operating system employs CPU scheduling and multiprogramming to allocate each user a small time slice. Many computer systems originally designed for batch processing have been adapted to support time-sharing, reflecting the evolution of computing to meet the demands of multiple users requiring rapid and concurrent access.
Real Time Operating System
A real-time system is a type of data processing system where the time it takes to process and respond to inputs is extremely short, enabling it to exert control over its environment. This quick response time, known as the “response time,” is significantly shorter than that of traditional online processing methods.
People use real-time systems when they have strict time requirements governing the operation of a processor or the flow of data. They frequently employ them as control devices in specialized applications. To function effectively, a real-time operating system must adhere to well-defined and fixed time constraints; otherwise, the system may fail. Examples of applications for real-time systems include scientific experiments, medical imaging systems, industrial control systems, weapon systems, robots, and air traffic control systems.
There are two primary types of real-time operating systems:
- Hard Real-Time Systems: Designers create hard real-time systems to ensure that they complete critical tasks within their specified timeframes. Typically, these systems possess limited or no secondary storage, and they store data in read-only memory (ROM).Hard real-time systems rarely employ virtual memory.
- Soft Real-Time Systems: Soft real-time systems offer more flexibility compared to hard real-time systems. In a soft real-time system, critical tasks receive priority over other tasks and retain that priority until they finish. Soft real-time systems have a wider range of applications but are not as stringent as hard real-time systems. Examples include multimedia, virtual reality, advanced scientific projects like undersea exploration, and planetary rovers.
Network operating System
A Network Operating System (NOS) is like a manager for a special computer called a server. This manager helps the server do important things like handling data, managing users and groups, keeping things secure, and running applications. The main job of a network operating system is to let lots of computers in a network, like the ones in an office or a school, share files and printers.
Some examples of network operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS X, Novell NetWare, and BSD.
Distributed Operating System
Distributed systems rely on several central processors to handle various real-time applications and serve multiple users. They distribute data processing tasks among these processors.
These processors interact with each other using different communication lines, like fast buses or telephone lines. This setup is often called loosely coupled or distributed systems. The processors in a distributed system can differ in size and their roles. People often refer to these processors as sites, nodes, computers, and so forth.
In conclusion, the world of operating systems (OS) is a diverse and dynamic one, catering to a wide range of computing needs and environments. We’ve explored the fundamental concept of an operating system, which serves as the crucial intermediary between users and computer hardware.
In this article, we talked about different kinds of computer systems, each made for different jobs. Some, like Batch OS, do tasks one by one. Real-Time OS does jobs super fast and perfectly on time, and Time-Sharing OS lets many people use a computer together at once.
We also looked at Distributed OS, which makes lots of computers work together on a network, and Network OS, which helps devices talk to each other and share things easily.
Understanding these distinct categories of operating systems is essential in selecting the right one for a particular computing environment or application. The choice of OS can significantly impact the efficiency, security, and overall functionality of a computer system, making it a critical decision for both individuals and organizations.
In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the role of operating systems continues to adapt and expand, enabling us to harness the full potential of our computing resources and connect with the digital world in increasingly sophisticated ways. As technology advances, we can anticipate further innovations and new categories of operating systems to emerge, driving progress and enhancing our digital experiences.
Hey there, I’m Anshul Pal, a tech blogger and Computer Science graduate. I’m passionate about exploring tech-related topics and sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired. With two years of industry expertise in blogging and content writing, I’m also the co-founder of HVM Smart Solution. Thanks for reading my blog – Happy Learning!