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Functions of Operating System

An operating system performs the following functions:
1. Resource management
Allocation of computer resources such as memory to various jobs is done by the operating system. It manages hard disk storage, the CPU, main memory and other peripheral devices.
2. Data management
Operating system provides data management facilities such as data organisation and retrieval from secondary storage devices. Files are created, named, read, deleted and renamed by the operating system.
3. Job management
In multi-user systems, it selects new jobs for execution according to the priority fixed.
4. Input/output management
It manages the flow of data and instructions between the input/output devices and primary storage. It allocates and manages 110 devices. It provides I/O instructions to start printing, stop printing etc. If user intervention is required, for example, when printer is run out of paper, the operating system sends an appropriate message to the user.
5. Maintaining Security etc.
Maintain security, communication of error and error control messages to the users, etc. are the other functions of the operating system.
6. Conflict resolution
When two or more programs call for the same resource simultaneously, it results in conflict. Conflict resolution is another major function of the operating system in multi-user systems. In resolving conflict between applications, the operating system takes into account factors like criticality of applications, priority of the user etc. and allocates resources accordingly. Many operating systems have a set of modules that can be tailored for the requirements of users.

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