There are lots of functions of an operating system but there are two types that compressed all under them, the main function of an Operating Systems is as follow:
- Resource Management
- User Interface Management
Operating System Function As Resource Manager
- Every component of a computer can be viewed as a resource. This is the main function of the operating system.
- Operating Systems control the usage of all the resources.
- For instance, which program should be loaded in the memory, where, and when is controlled by the operating system.
- What should happen if a mouse is double-clicked or a button is pressed on the keyboard is decided by the Operating system? Operating Systems manage the resources in the most efficient manner.
Some function of an operating system are below:
1) Processor Management
Computers are designed around a number of processors. One of these processors is the Central Processor Unit. Other processors are called co-processors, for example, Math Coprocessor, l/O Co-processor, Video Co-processor, etc. Moreover, multi-processor and parallel computers have more that one central processor.
The Operating system has the responsibility of deciding and controlling the division of labor between the processors. Which task should be assigned to which processor is controlled by the Operating system.
2) Process Management (imp. Operating system function)
A program which is being executed is called a process. Several processes may exist simultaneously waiting for execution. The operating system bears the responsibility of deciding and controlling which process will execute and for how long. Many processes may cause the computer to hang indefinitely. This state is called Deadlock. the operating system must be able to resolve such deadlocks.
3) Memory Management
A program must be brought into memory (RAM) for execution. The operating system controls which program shall go wherein the memory. It also decides which program must be removed from the memory and when.
During program execution, data is also stored in memory. The operating system has all the responsibilities of data storage and its movement in memory.
4) Input/output Management
A lot of data (and instructions) movement takes place through input/output devices. It is an operating system that controls all the actions of the input/output devices. It reads the data from an input device; stores the data into a specified location; and sends the data to a specified output device.
5) Secondary Storage Device Management
Computers are primarily used for storing large amounts of data. For this, secondary storage devices such as hard disks, CD ROM disks, and DVDs are employed. The operating system manages these devices for you often through a file/directory system.
6) System Recovery Management
A working system may fail in a number of ways. Today we depend on computers so much that failure can cause a lot of trouble. Imagine what may happen if your bank’s computer system fails! the operating system is empowered to take care of failure situations automatically.
7) Security Management(imp. Operating system function)
Data and information managed by a computer system are very precious for the users. Those people who break into others’ computer systems without proper permission are called Hackers. Hackers can steal data. They can destroy data. They can manipulate data. The operating system must guard against such ill-willed actions.
Modern Operating Systems implements several mechanisms to control access and keep the data safe.
8) Network Management
A computer network is a collection of a number of independent computers capable of communicating with each other. They can share data and other resources with each other. A network operating system manages all the issues involved in computer networking.
9) User Management
A computer can be either single-user or multi-user. Multi-user operating systems allow many (dozens, hundreds and even thousands) users to use the computer system simultaneously. It controls the way users can interact with each other and the computer.
Operating System Function As User Interface Manager
User interface manager is the important function of an operating system, computer components work on electronic signals called Machine language. Humans are not capable of reading and interpreting Machine language.
Operating Systems acts as an interface between the machine and the human user. Thus, it is an operating system that translates your “PRINT” command into machine codes. You do not have to learn machine language.
The operating system does the job for you. the operating system hides all the complex details of the hardware from the users.
Note that the end-user of a computer may also be another machine. For end-users, a computer system is nothing but the operating system running on it.
Thus, if you know how to work on Windows 10, you can work on any machine that is running Windows 10.
Operating System Three basic user interfaces function:
- CLI(Command Line Interface)
- GUI (Graphical User Interface)
- API (Application Programming Interface)
1) CLI(Command Line Interface)
This type of interface is most primitive. DOS, UNIX, LINUX, etc. have this type of user-interface. In this interface, the OS shows a prompt. The prompt indicates that the Os is ready to take user-command. CLI is also referred to as a shell.
A typical DOS prompt is shown below.
The blinking dash indicates that the DOS is awaiting your command. Type in the command and then press the ENTER key to get DOS to execute your command.
CLI users must remember the commands of their OS. This is a little difficult. Therefore operating systems provide a more user-friendly interface GUI (described ahead).
2) GUI (Graphical User Interface):
GUI represents all the commands of the users by small pictorial notations. These small pictures that represent user commands are called icons The user does not have to type in the command as in CLI. Using a pointing input device (like a mouse) the user selects and clicks at the desired icon to execute the desired command. GUIs are so user-friendly that even a novice can learn to work with the OS very easily. Windows family of OS and Mac OS provide very powerful GUI.
Window GUI below:
3) API (Application Programming Interface):
Both the above interfaces are not suitable for advanced users and users which are a machine. Operating Systems provides an interface that can be used in a program. This type of interface is useful for advanced users. API allows computer programs to interact with the OS through system calls.