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Operating System and Types



An operating system is the most important and major program that runs on a system (computer). Every computer system must have an operating system in order to run different programs. The operating system is collection of software’s which manages various computer hardware resources. It additionally provides common services to different computer programs.

An operating system performs several tasks such as:

  • Recognize input from a keyboard
  • Send output to a display screen (monitor)
  • Keep track of files as well as directories on a disk
Control various peripheral devices like hard drive, printer, video or sound card etc

A figure named as “Operating System & its Interfaces” shows the above basic concept in a clear way:


Figure 1: “Operating System & its Interfaces”

      An operating system generally acts as an “ interaction” between computer user and computer hardware. The most observable feature of an operating-system is its interface. The operating system basically provides an environment where users can execute different programs.

      As soon as a user turn-on or boot a computer, the operating system is loaded into memory automatically. The term booting basically refers to the complete process of loading any operating system into a computer’s memory. This process is usually done through a program (commonly known as boot-strap loader) which is permanently stored in a computer’s electronic circuitry (generally on a ROM-chip).

Types of Operating System

1. Graphical User Interface (GUI) Operating-System

      A GUI operating-system basically provides a graphical-user-interface to its users in order to communicate with system/computer. In this interface, the icons, menus or graphical objects are being used for issuing commands. The users of GUI operating systems don’t need to memorize different commands while interacting with computer. The examples of GUI operating-system include:
  •           Windows (The windows (operating system) are very popular among all others).
  •           Linux etc.
2. Command Line Operating-System
A command line operating-system basically provides a command-prompt in order to type different commands. The users use these commands while their interaction with computer. The users of command line operating systems need to memorize different commands for performing various tasks. The examples of command line operating-system include:

  •          DOS

  •          Unix etc.

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