What Is An Operating System?

what is an operating system
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What Is An Operating System?

In this article we are going to discuss about what is an operating system?. An operating system, sometimes known as an OS, is a collection of computer programs that control a computer’s hardware and software resources.The operating system (OS) handles electrical devices in a logical manner in response to orders that have been approved by the system.

An operating system is the cornerstone of all system software. It controls and allocates memory, priorities system demands, controls input and output devices, facilitates the network, and manages files.

For more advanced functions, the OS can additionally include a graphical user interface.In essence, the OS serves as a platform for other system software as well as application software.


On a computer, the operating system is the most crucial program. Your computer would not function without an operating system. It wouldn’t be able to handle print requests, simple calculations, or any other task.The technology is actually controlled by the brain.

On comparison to a PC, the OS has a lot more duties in a larger system.The operating system acts as a traffic officer in larger systems. It ensures that users and applications running on various computers at the same time do not interfere with one another.It also serves as a security guard, preventing unwanted users from gaining access to the system.

Types of Operating System

There are mainly five types of operating system and they are as below.

  • Multi-User
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Multi-Threading
  • Multi-Processing
  • Real Time

So Let’s see it one by one briefly.

Multi-User Operating System

As name suggests that more than one user can run programs at the same time. Most of the operating systems permit hundreds or even thousands of users run same programs same time.

Multi-tasking Operating System

Allows more than one program to run concurrently by same resources on hardware level simply means resources are shared.

Multi-Threading Operating System

Allows different parts of a single program to run concurrently and using resources from computer.

Multi-Processing Operating System

Multi processing operating system supports running a program on more than one CPU.

Real Time Operating System

As name suggest Real Time Operating Systems Responds to Input instantly. Popular operating systems like DOS,UNIX, are not real-time operating system.

Operating systems are software platforms that allow other programmes, known as application programmes, to operate on top of them. Application programmes must be written so that they may run on a specific operating system.

As a result, the programmes you may execute are largely determined by the operating system you choose. The most popular operating systems for PCs are DOS,OS/2, and Windows, but others, such as Linux, are also available.


There is usually a means to change the way a device functions in any device that has an operating system. This isn’t a fortunate accident; it’s one of the reasons why operating systems are constructed of.

Because portable code may be altered or modified without having to junk the entire device, it is preferred over permanent physical circuits.

When you need to update your desktop, It means that you can add a new security update, system patch, new application, or even a new operating system entirely rather than completely wiping out all programs on your computer and starting over fresh installation from scratch.

You can change the way an operating system operates in many circumstances if you understand how it works and know how to get at it. It’s true of your cell phone just as much as it is of your computer.

Operating System Boot Procedure

When you switch on your computer, the initial programme is essentially a collection of instructions stored in the read-only memory.These instructions inspect the system hardware to ensure that it is in working order.

This power-on self-test looks for problems in the CPU, memory, and basic input/output systems (BIOS) and saves the results in a particular memory region. Following the successful completion of the test, the computer’s disc drives will be activated by the software loaded in ROM (also known as the BIOS or firmware).

When most modern computers turn on the hard disc drive, the first portion of the operating system it finds is the bootstrap loader.The bootstrap loader is a simple programme with only one purpose: to load the operating system into memory and enable it to run.

The bootstrap loader, in its most basic form, sets up the little driver programmes that interface with and control the computer’s different hardware subsystems.

It creates the memory partitions that house the operating system, user data, and programs. It defines the data structures that will store the plethora of signals, flags, and semaphores that are used to communicate within and between the computer’s subsystems and applications. The operating system then takes over control of the computer.


That`s it about what is an operating system as theory .I hope it will give good idea about operating system.Windows and Linux is the world’s leading operating system. These qualify for most of the above .For example linux is multi-user multitasking operating system.