• Roles of an operating system; scheduling, managing concurrency/memory/devices. 11 GEN, 12 ATAR
  • Types embedded, standalone, server, 12 ATAR



What is an Operating System?

  • Background
    • An operating system (OS) is software that makes a computer work.
    • It coordinates all aspects of what you do on a computer.
    • It processes everything by controlling the central processing unit (CPU)
    • It manages the software you use. (by allocating memory to that software) eg typing, browsing, emailing etc
    • It saves your work. (by putting it into memory - primary and secondary) to cpu, cache, SSD, HDD, USB
    • It connects the computer to your printer, USB, and other hardware


  • Role of the OS
    • Scheduling tasks = the OS decides which tasks take priority and allocates processing requirements accordingly (including multitasking)
    • Managing concurrency = the OS manages which processes are running simultaneously and potentially interacting with each other
    • Managing memory = the OS manages memory allocation and memory addresses for running processes
    • Devices = the OS manages hardware devices and other peripherals so that they can interact with the system and each other


Types of Operating Systems

  • Embedded OS
    • An embedded operating system is an OS that is built in and configured to a particular hardware configuration
    • Embedded OS's are designed to be compact, resource efficient and lightweight
    • These types of OS's are designed to run a particular task and run it efficiently.
    • Examples are in Blackberry, Android and iOS smartphones.
  • Standalone OS
    • A standalone operating system is an OS that works on a computer that is by itself.
    • Most OS these days can be standalone AND they can be networked.
    • An operating system can be considered as standalone if it does not require any other library or another OS to boot
    • Standalone is not a common term these days as most major OS's (Mac OS X, Windows and Linux) are standalone by default
    • Example of a standalone OS are Windows 7 and Mac OS X
    • Basic criteria for a standalone system includes:
      • An OS that never exits
      • An OS that loads in to memory
      • An OS that begins its own execution
      • An OS that never fully hands over execution
  • Server OS
    • A server OS is an OS that is designed specifically for a task (usually over a network)
    • It is an Operating System that has special features and abilities required by a client-server architecture
    • Windows, OS X and Linux all have their own versions of Server OS's


Major Operating Systems

  • Apple Macintosh OS X = the default OS used by Apple desktops and laptops
    • Written in C, C++ and Objective-C
    • Based off a Darwin (an UNIX-like OS built by Apple) as well as BSD (UNIX OS)
  • Microsoft Windows = a well known and largely used OS built by Microsoft
    • Written in C, C++ and Assembly
  • UNIX / Linux = a free and opensource Operating System
    • Written in C and Assembly


Step 5 - Further Research

  1. Compare different OS types here


Step 6 - Worksheet and Practice (yet to be added)


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