Operating system - An Introduction

An operating system (OS) is essentially an interface between a user and computer hardware - a software that manages hardware. Operating system manages various components of a computer. These components are also known as resources – objects that can be allocated, such as memory, Input / Output (I/O), files etc. Therefore an OS is basically a resource manager.

Some of the common functions of OS are listed below:

  • Memory management ( Primary & Secondary)
  • Processor management
  • Device management (I/O devices)
  • Information management (File system)

To access a resource, the OS checks the following:

  • Is the resource free
  • Can this be given to this program
  • Allocate resource
  • De allocate resource (after its use)

We next discuss some of the important OS concepts and terminologies:

  • OS objectives
  • Processes and Multiprogramming
  • Context Switching
  • Master / Slave operation

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