What are the different types of Operating System?

What are the different types of Operating System? Operating system is an integrated set of programs that controls various resources like CPU, memory, I/O devices etc. of a computer system and acts as an interface between the user and the Computer.

Whenever a job is given to computer, it is actually given to the operating system.

Types of Operating System

There are different types of operating systems available which require different types of hardware to run. The main types of operating system are:

1. Single User Operating System:

As the name of operating system implies, this type of OS is designed to manage the computer so that one user program can be supported and executed at any point of time. Microsoft Disk Operating System (MSDOS) is a single user operating system.

2. Multiuser Operating Systems:

This is the type of operating system that allows different user to take advantage of computer’s resources simultaneously. Each user works at terminal connected to the computer.

The operating system assigns each user a portion of RAM and divides the time of computer among various users OS processes the job of one user, then for next user and so on.

As we know that the computer’s processing speed is very fast so every user feels that he has got full control over computer e.g. UNIX.

3. GUI Operating Systems (Interactive OS):

An interactive operating system permits user to interact directly with a computer system. By the term graphical interface means providing an interface that is having pictures, icons and is user friendly.

Previously the user interface for nearly all the operating systems was command based and users were required to remember a predefined set of commands to carry out desired tasks.

But this type of communication was difficult to adopt by non-programmer who wanted to use the computer. For solving this process a user friendly., interface was invented which is referred as Graphical User Interface (GUI).

With GUI, instead of memorizing commands to each stage, a user could select a command from a set of available pictures, icons etc. Microsoft window is one such operating system.

4. Time Sharing Operating System:

This type of operating system works on time sharing In this type of operating system many users are allowed to share the computer on a time basis.

Many programs reside in main memory. Each process is assigned its share of CPU time slots and if the time elapses or an I/O operation is requested, CPU shifts over to the next job waiting and previous program is put to wait state.

In the mean while, if any I/O request is made, then process is either put in wait state or handed over to the I/O handler.

As the CPU switches rapidly but actually a single computer is shared by them.

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5. Real Time Operating System:

Real time operating systems are system that respond to input immediately. This category includes operating systems designed substantially for the propose of controlling and monitoring external activities with timing constraints.

The external processes send interrupt signal to the computer and if the interrupt is not handled instaneously, there may be disastrous results.

In the real time operating system each process or job has a fixed deadline in which the job has to be completed. The two main features of real time operating system are rapid response and reliability.

In case of real time OS if the job cannot be completed with in the deadline, this situation is called deadline overrun. An efficient real OS is that which gives minimum possible deadline overruns.

Real time operating systems are used in nuclear power plants, airline reservations etc.

6. Distributed Operating System:

A distributed system consists of a number of computers ( which may be geographically at far distance) that are connected by a communication network so as to share the job-processing load among the connected computers.

These computers share messages, task, data, programs etc. across network. The individual computers are known as nodes. There operating systems are much more complex and difficult to write.

Examples of distributed operating system are e-mail. a computerized banking system, reservation system.


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