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An operating system is a core component of any computer system. It is a set of very complex and very large programs that act as an interface between the computer hardware and its user. The OS serves two purposes;
- 1) Interpret user program instructions for hardware and
- 2) To provide the necessary coordination services to enable a group of users to share computer system resources efficiently.
In the earlier days the user has to design the application according to the internal structure of the hardware. This eliminates this and enables the user to design the application without detailing the internal structure of the computer. In general terms, we can say that the boundary between hardware and software is transparent to the user.
- Controlling input and output.
- Ease of interaction between computer and user.
- Loading and scheduling user programs.
- Computer operation starts automatically when we turn on the power.
- Providing good security to user programs and their data.
- Using main memory as well as other computer resources
- Controlling the execution and work of the program.
Functions of an operating system:
The main tasks performed by most OS are as follows: –
1. Process Management: –
The process management module of an OS takes care of program creation and deletion. It also schedules different system resources for a different process, and the OS also synchronizes and communicates between different processes.
2. Memory Management: –
The memory management module of an OS not only cares about the allocation, but also the recovery of the memory space of various programs in need of this resource.
3. File Management: –
A computer uses a lot of programs and data that we store on secondary storage devices. In addition, the file management function of the OS helps in tracking all the various files. It also maintains the integrity of the data stored in files, including the file directory structure.
4. Security: –
The security modules of an OS protect a computer system’s information and resources against destruction or any unauthorized access.
5. Command Interpretation: –
The Command Interpretation module of the OS takes care of interpreting user commands as well as directing system resources to handle and manage requests. Subsequently, with this mode of interaction with the system, users do not have to worry much about the hardware details of the system.
6. Input / output or device management: –
Controlling and coordinating various input and output devices is an important function of the OS. This includes receiving requests for I / O devices and returning those request processes.
7. Job Control: –
When the user wants to run an application program, they should communicate with the OS and tell them what to do. It can only do this using the OS Job Control Language or JCL. Finally, JCL consists of several operating system commands, called system commands that control the functioning of the OS.