Operating System - Computer Education

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Operating System

Operating System  :-
Operating system (OS) is a system software. Operating system lies between the hardware and the application software. The OS is a program that conducts the communication between the various parts of hardware like the video card, sound card, printer, the motherboard and the applications. In order to use computer hardware in an efficient manner, each computer must have an operating system in it. An operating system is a program that acts as an intermediary between a user of a computer and the computer hardware. It is a master control program that runs the computer and acts as a sheduler. It controls the flow of signals from the CPU to various parts of the computer. It is the first program loaded into the computer's memory after the computer is switched on. The purpose of the operating system is to provide an environment in which an user can execute programs conveniently so, an OS helps to use the computer hardware in an efficient manner. Eg- DOS,Windows and Unix, Linux etc.


DOS :- MS-DOS ( Microsoft Disk Operating System) is an Operating System commercialized by Microsoft. It is an Operating System with command line interface that is used to control many internal computer functions, such as running programs and organizing and maintain files. It was the most widely used member of the DOS family of Operating System and was the dominant operating system for the PC compatible platform during the 1980s. It has been gradually replaced on desktop computers by various generations of the Windows operating system.

A command prompt is a sequence of one or more characters used in a command line interface to indicate availability to accept commands. Command prompts usually end with one of the characters $, #, : , > and often include other information, such as the path of the current working directory.

In MS-DOS there are two types of commands-internal command and external command. An Internal Command is a command embedded into the command.com file and an External Command is not embedded into command.com file and therefore requires a separate file to be used. For Example, if the computer does not have fdisk.exe and we try using the fdisk command, we would receive an error "Bad Command or File name". Fdisk is an external command which will only work if fdisk.exe is present. However, as long as MS-DOS is running on the computer internal commands such as the CD command will always be available and does not require any other files to run.

Windows :- Windows is the name of several families of proprietary operating systems by Microsoft. They can run on several types of platforms such as servers embedded devices and most typically on personal computers. It is an operating system using graphical partition of screen for user interface. It is designed by Microsoft corporation of USA. Eg- Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 etc.

The term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft Operating system products. The early versions are Windows 2.0, Windows 2.1x. Then Windows 3.0 and 3.1 Next Windows 95,98 and Me, then Windows NT, next Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10. The first Version i.e, Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system, rather, it extends MS-DOS. The Windows 2.0 was slightly more popular than its predecessor. Microsoft  Windows 3.0 was the first Windows Version to achieve broad commercial success, selling 2 million copies in the first six months. It featured improvements to the user interface and to multitasking capabilities. Windows NT was the first windows version to utilize preemptive multitasking.

Unix :- Unix is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell's Lab. Today Unix systems are split into various branches, developed over time byAT&T as well as various commercial vendors and non-profit organizations.

Unix operating systems are widely used in both servers and workstations. The Unix environment and the client-server program model were essential elements in the development of the internet and the reshaping of computing as centered in network rather than in individual computers. Unix was designed to be portable multitasking and multiuser in a time sharing configuration. Unix operating system consists of a master control program which is called the Kernel. The Kernel provides services to start and stop programs, handles the file system and other common low level tasks.

Linux :- Linux is a Unix like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open sourse software development and distribution. Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86 based personal computers. It has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. It is a leading operating system on servers and other mainframe computers and supercomputers. Linux also runs on embedded systems (devices where the operating system is typically built into the firmware and highly tailored to the system) such as mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, television and video game consoles.


The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration - the underlying source code may be used modified and distributed commercially or non-commercially by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as Linux distribution for desktop and server use. Linux distributions include the Linux Kernel, supporting utilities and libraries and usually a large amount of application software to fulfill the distribution's intended use.

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