A software program known as an operating system is used to manage and operate computing devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, supercomputers, web servers, cars, network towers, smartwatches, and other gadgets. The operating system uses a coding language to communicate with computers. It is a layer of the graphical user interface (GUI) that connects the user to the computer’s hardware. The operating system also manages a computer’s software and controls how programs are executed.
Overview of Features of Operating System
Every application, including games, Microsoft Office, and Firefox, needs a suitable environment to run in and complete its work. The operating system enables user interaction without requiring prior computer programming knowledge. No one can use smartphones or laptops without installing the operating system. Having at least one operating system to run the programs and complete the task is essential.
Features of Operating System
The operating system has a wide variety of noteworthy features that are constantly evolving. Since OS was created in 1950 to manage storage tapes, it has grown tremendously. Today, it serves as an interface that provides users with visual pleasure by flinging dazzling colors. The operating system’s features are listed below:
The operating system protects the private information kept in the system and blocks unauthorized access by providing the user with strong, authorized keys. This protects the system against malware attacks. The operating system serves as supervisor mode and provides a highly secure firewall for the system. OS handles and quickly fixes the faults without any problems.
Supervisor and Protected modes
Modern CPUs are capable of dual-mode operation. On CPUs with this capability, there are two modes—protected mode and supervisor mode—that let the operating system kernel control and alter particular CPU operations. A computer is, by default, in supervisor mode when it first powers on. The first programs to launch on a computer are the BIOS, bootloader, and operating system; they have full hardware access.
This is required since initializing a protected environment can only be done outside. Only a portion of the CPU’s instructions is accessible to programs running in protected mode. The protected mode cannot be exited by a user application without an interrupt returning control to the kernel. As a result, the operating system can manage access to hardware and memory. The operating system uses supervisor mode for low-level tasks that necessitate complete access to the hardware.
This is one of the features of operating system that allows resources when a fragment of software requests them. The resources are de-allocated and given to other initiatives that are in need when a program comes to an end. Operating system resources are a computer system’s physical or virtual parts with limited availability. In multi-user or multi-tasking scenarios, resources like main memory, CPU cycles, and file storage must be allocated to each user or task.
Storage and Memory Management
OS performs memory management and virtual memory multitasking. The purpose of memory management in an operating system is to allocate and release memory space to processes as needed. If a process runs out of memory, alarms titled “file system and disc space are high or full” are generated.
Therefore, periodically viewing and backing up the memory and storage devices is advised. Primary, secondary, and cache storage are a few of the system’s various storage hierarchies. Data and pseudocode should be saved in the cache so that the process running can consult it in case of any problems. The operating system can allocate resources and guard against system overload.
Handling I/O Operations
The management of various input/output devices, including mouse, keyboards, touch pads, disc drives, display adapters, USB devices, bit-mapped screens, LEDs, Analog-to-Digital Converters, on/off switches, network connections, audio I/O, printers, and others, is one of an operating system’s most crucial tasks. The physical device must respond to an I/O request sent by an application before being returned to the application by the I/O system. One of an operating system’s primary tasks while handling I/O operations is:
- The operating system controls the relationship between the user and the device drivers.
- To obtain input, the host reads the data-in register.
- To deliver output, the host writes the data-out register.
- Bits that the host can read are in the status register.
- The host writes to the control register to start a command or alter a device’s mode.
Errors in the operating system can happen at any time and anywhere. Faulty memory hardware, I/O components, or CPU can all lead to issues. The following are the main error-handling operations of an operating system:
- The operating system constantly looks for issues like printer paper shortages, connectivity issues, and power outages.
- In the worst-case scenario, the user is forced to log out, and the system shuts down due to the application’s error handling mechanisms.
File system manipulation
A file is a storage device for the collection of related data. Computers can save files on discs for long-term archiving (secondary storage): magnetic discs and magnetic tape. The part of the operating system that controls files is the file system. It offers a way to access files’ contents, including data and programs, and save data. For some operating systems, like Ubuntu. The following are some of an operating system’s key file management functions:
- Either a file must be read or written by the application.
- The operating system grants the software permission to perform the necessary operation on the file.
- The files can have read-only, read-write, denied, and other permissions.
- The user can create and delete folders using the operating system’s interface.
- The operating system provides a user interface for adding and removing directories.
- The operating system offers an interface for backing up the file system.
From user applications to system programs like the printer spooler, name servers, and file servers, operating systems handle a variety of activities. Each of these procedures is divided into a few steps. In a process, the full execution context is present (code to execute, data to manipulate, registers, and OS resources in use). The following list is an operating system’s main program management tasks.
- A program is loaded into memory when the operating system performs this command.
- The operating system executes the program and controls how it is run.
- The operating system provides a mechanism for process synchronization.
- The operating system provides a method for communication between processes.
- Finally, the operating system provides a method for addressing deadlocks.
Protection of information and resources
This includes safeguarding all information, software, and the operating system itself. Threats might come from human error, malicious software, unfriendly people, or flaws in the system. Data loss would be seriously at risk as a result of these attacks. The following actions highlight how crucial the operating system is to maintaining data security. Computer security is about preserving the system’s availability, confidentiality, and integrity. There are various degrees of security inside a computer system, including the physical security of the device, the security of the data it houses, and the security of the network on which it runs.
Conclusion: Features of Operating System
Operating systems are essential because they are in charge of everything from memory control and allocation to detecting input from external devices and transferring output to computer screens. Later in the decade, libraries—a collection of software packages—that were installed on computers became the basis of the modern operating systems.
Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that take input from pointing devices are a common feature of operating systems. A stylus and a mouse are two examples of pointing devices. An operating system is a piece of software that manages a computer’s hardware and software resources while offering common services to computer programs.
Most apps are created in an operating system, allowing them to access the public library without worrying about the individual, even though software applications and hardware can be directly interfaced. The three most widely used operating systems for IBM-compatible personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
Difference between firmware and operating system
An operating system is a firmware, but because it is solely used to manage that device, it is much more limited and focused. On the other hand, an OS is a multipurpose system that enables any software to run on numerous hardware platforms.
Difference between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating System
It is a CPU architecture that can send and receive 32 bits of data. It describes the volume of information and data your CPU can quickly process while running.
Computer systems can process information, data, and memory addresses represented by 64 bits thanks to the 64-bit microprocessor. It is normal for such a system to refer to 16 exabytes (17,179,869,184 GB), or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes, of memory.