Operating Systems And Their Importance

Table of Content


An operating system is the most of import package that runs on a computing machine. It manages the computing machine ‘s memory, processes, and all of its package and hardware. It besides allows you to pass on with the computing machine without cognizing how to talk the computing machine ‘s linguistic communication. Without an operating system, a computing machine is useless. Operating systems normally come preloaded on any computing machine you buy. Most people use the operating system that comes with their computing machine, but it ‘s possible to upgrade or even change runing systems.

File:Operating system placement.svg

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Figure 1 Operating system Placement ( Golftheman, 2010 )

The three most common runing systems for personal computing machines are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

An operating system ( OS ) is package that manages computing machine hardware and package resources and provides common services for computing machine plans. The operating system is an indispensable constituent of the system package in a computing machine system. Application plans normally require an operating system to map.

The system most normally used in mundane environments is the Microsoft Windows system with a market portion or around 90 % . However there are other runing systems available such as:

  • GNU/Linux ( Free )
  • SGI Irix
  • CompaqVMS
  • IBM OS/360 ( OS/390 )
  • IBM z/VM
  • BeOS
  • Palm OS ( for personal digital helpers )
  • Unix
  • Mac OS X
  • BSD Unix
  • Apple Mac System

The uses of these systems vary from Real clip systems to parallel treating systems.

Real clip systems

Real clip systems can be found on devices that require fast reaction times such as big ships, Airplanes and even automatons which have become popular in modern industries as a consequence of their ability to work fast and accurately and repeatedly with minimal support.

Parallel treating systems

These systems by and large control big groups of computing machines which are programmed to work together on assorted undertaking or are portion of the chief frame commanding fast remarkable computing machines which are functioning maps for a complete company as opposed to desktops used by individual persons.

This Report will concentrate on the BSD [ 1 ] Unix Operating System.

BSD Unix was developed and developed and distributed by a group known as the Computer Systems research Group based in the University of California in Berkeley. The university’s list of Alumni include:

  • Steve Wozniak Co-Founder of Apple Computers
  • Gordon Moore Co-Founder of Intel
  • Ken Thompson Co-Creator of the Unix Operating System. ( Wikipedia, 2014 )

Operating systems overview

The operating system is the most of import plan that runs on a computing machine. Every all-purpose computing machine must hold an operating system to run other plans. Operating systems perform basic undertakings, such as acknowledging input from the keyboard, directing end product to the show screen, maintaining path of files and directories on the disc, and commanding peripheral devices such as disc thrusts and pressmans.

For big systems, the operating system has even greater duties and powers. It makes certain that different plans and users running at the same clip make non interfere with each other. The operating system is besides responsible for security, guaranting that unauthorised users do non entree the system. ( Beal, 2014 )

What is an Operating System

Figure 2 Operating System in pattern ( Beal, 2014 )

Categorizations of Operating systems

There are a batch of nomenclature associated with operating systems.

Examples of the chief 1s with and account of their maps is given below:

  • Multi-user: Allows two or more users to run plans at the same clip. Some runing systems permit 100s or even 1000s of concurrent users.
  • Multiprocessing: Supports running a plan on more than one CPU.
  • Multitasking: Allows more than one plan to run at the same time.
  • Multithreading: Allows different parts of a individual plan to run at the same time.
  • Real clip: Responds to input immediately. General-purpose runing systems, such as DOS and UNIX, are non real-time.

Operating systems provide a package platform on top of which other plans, called application plans, can run. The application plans must be written to run on top of a peculiar operating system. The pick of operating system, hence, determines to a great extent the applications you can run. For Personal computers, the most popular operating systems are DOS, OS/2, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux.

As a user, you usually interact with the operating system through a set of bids. For illustration, the DOS operating system contains bids such as COPY and RENAME for copying files and altering the names of files, severally. The bids are accepted and executed by a portion of the operating system called the bid processor or bid line translator. Graphical user interfaces allow you to come in bids by indicating and snaping at objects that appear on the screen. ( Beal, 2014 )

History of BSD from Marshall Kirk McKusick

Marshall Kirk McKusick ever claims his engagement with BSD came approximately as a consequence of his sharing an office at Berkley montage with Bill Joy. He was involved in the design of the fast file system at Berkley and more late the execution of soft updates which have been described as an alternate method for keeping the unity of a phonograph record after a power outage or a system clang.

In a series of talks given by him which are available on assorted web sites including YouTube, he gives a history of the BSD Unix OS  interrupt down into three classs:

  1. Initial period.
  2. Runing Period.
  3. Lawsuit period.

Initial Time period

Bill Joy Came to Berkeley at the age of 21 in 1975. Along with a group of other pupils and research workers he lead a package development research plan that developed the Berkeley Unix which was a based on but an betterment of the bing AT & A ; T [ 3 ] Unix.

BSD Was originally sold to people or establishments that were in ownership of licences allowing them entree to the AT & A ; T Unix beginning codification at a nominal monetary value. ( Leonard, 2000 )

As universities began to demo involvement in Berkeley’s package Bill Joy, began roll uping what was to be known as 1BSD ( First package distribution ) and this was released in March, 1978.This version was an add-on to the bing Version 6 Unix and non a wholly new version in which its chief constituents comprised of a Pascal compiler and Bill Joy ‘s ain line editor. ( Wikipedia, 2014 )

Runing Time period

From 1978 to 1992 discrepancies of the original 1BSD were developed and released.

The timeline below gives an indicant of how it expanded and how other runing systems based on the original Unix system emerged over the old ages.

By August 2006 BSD had reached version 4.3BSD and this version was described in an edition of the magazine “Information Week” as been the greatest of all time package written.


Figure 3 Development of the Unix Systems ( Wikipedia, 2014 )

Lawsuit Period

After old ages of development of the Unix system developer Keith Bostic  was among a group who suggested that subdivisions of the BSD be written without any of the original AT & A ; T codification. In less than 18 months about all the public-service corporations from AT & A ; T had been written out of the meat. By 1991 Net/2 OS was complete and available for free distribution. AT & A ; T launched legal action as they held the right of first publication to the Unix hallmark.

The case was filed in 1992 taking to the arrangement of an injunction on Net/2 distribution whilst the right of first publication issues were sorted. This case had the consequence of decelerating down development of the free versions of BSD for about two old ages. The consequence was the addition in popularity of other systems based on a Linux meat which was free from any legal restraints.

In January 1994 the case was eventually settled. The opinion was in Berkeley’s favour and as a consequence from the 18,000 files at Berkeley 70 were modified in order to demo the relevant USL right of first publication notice while 3 files had to be wholly removed. Another opinion in the instance was that USL  could non register any farther cases against the users or the distributers of the Berkeley-owned codification taking up to the 4.4BSD release.

Unix constituents

The UNIX operating system is made up of several constituents including the Kernel, the Shell, the File system and Utilities.

The meat

The meat is referred to as the computing machines chief control plan. Responsible for pull offing the resources required by the computing machine and commanding the shift that is involved for multitasking applications it resides in the chief memory of the computing machine. It is responsible for the allotment of both memory and clip to each plan as required.


Figure 4 Kernel Location in OS ( Wikipedia )

An illustration of the operation of the Kernel and shell is given on the web site cited below.

When a petition for remotion of a file is received utilizing the bid “rm” , the shell will travel to the file shop to turn up the file which holds the rm plan and will so do a petition to the meat to put to death the selected plan on the file selected by the user. Once this has been completed the user will have a Unix % prompt to state it has completed the undertaking and is ready for a new direction or bid. ( Stonebank, 2000 )

The shell

The interface between the meat and the user is known as the shell. On initial startup the user will be prompted for a user name and watchword. Once entered the login plan will corroborate the right designation has been entered and will so get down a plan known as the shell.

The shell is described as a CLI  whose map is to construe the bids entered by the user and sees that the bids are executed before returning a ready prompt back on the user screen.

It is deserving observing besides that the Shell keeps a history in the signifier of a list of all the bids entered so you can easy entree these once more when required utilizing either the pointer keys or by typing history on the screen. ( Stonebank, 2000 )

The File System

When utilizing Unix the information is collected, organized and stored as files.

These files can be grouped as directories if required.

The aggregation of files on a phonograph record or divider is known as a file system and is usually located in a logical sequence on the phonograph record.

The pattern of apportioning one file system per divider of the phonograph record allows for easier care and direction of the file systems.

It is of import to indicate out at this phase that when utilizing Unix all physical devices are considered to be a file.

These include:

  • DVD-ROMs
  • USB Devicess
  • Floppy devices

The file construction used by Unix is described as a hierarchal file system.

Properties of a Unix file system include:

  • Its Root directory ) contains other directories and files
  • Each file or directory can be identified by its name, the directory it resides in and an Inode  besides known as an index node
  • File systems have no dependences on each other.
  • Information held is similar to let for easiness of location of the files. ( tutorialspoint, 2014 )


The public-service corporation is known as a package tool which comes as standard with the Unix runing systems. Another word for the public-service corporations is bids.

Some of the nucleus tools that form portion of the Unix bids include:

  • CP( Transcript )
  • Liter( List )
  • Grep( Global regular looks Print )

Subcategories of the Utilities can be divided further into:

  • System public-service corporations which include the administrative tools such asmkfs( Make file system ) andfsck( File system consistence cheque )
  • User utilities environment direction includes tools such aspasswd( Password ) andputting to death( Kill Process )

Types of UNIX

There are many different versions of UNIX, although they portion common similarities. The most popular assortments of UNIX are Sun Solaris, GNU/Linux, and MacOS X.

Sun Solaris

Solaris was developed originally by the Sun Microsystems organisation. This has now been taken over by Oracle Corporation.

The Solaris operating system had many new advanced plan characteristics including DTrace, Time Slider and ZFS. It will back up x86-based and SPARC-Based  workstations and Oracle waiters. ( Wikipedia, 2014 )


Linux is another popular operating system.

It is a series of plans which allow you interact with the computing machine and besides to run other plans at the same clip.

As mentioned earlier in this study the most of import portion of any operating system is the meat. With the GNU/Linux system, Linux is the kernel constituent. The balance of the OS comprises a list of other plans of which many were written either for or by the GNU Project. Given that the Linux meat does non organize a working operating system on its ain the term “GNU/Linux” is used to depict the system usually referred to as Linux. ( Debian, 2014 )


Figure 5 Sample Linux screen ( Unknown, 2012 )

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X is comprised of a series of Unix-based graphical interface runing systems which have been developed and marketed by Apple Inc. The OS is designed chiefly for the Mac computing machines. After windows the Mac OS X is the most widely used Operating system on the market.

To acquire an apprehension of the history of the MAC OS the chart below shows its topographic point in the timeline of the OS and besides the systems that predated its release. ( Wyatt8740, 2009 )

Figure 6 MAC OS development Timeline ( Wyatt8740, 2009 )

Who created the system?

BSD Unix is an operating system which was developed at the University of California, Berkley between 1977 and 1995.

The people credited with its development include Bill Joy and Marshall Kirk McKusick, Computer scientists based at the university.

It was the predecessor to legion good know runing systems including Solaris, Linux and Mac OS X.

Many of the newer OS developed from the original are unfastened beginning.

As mentioned earlier the original Unix OS incorporated a batch of constituents from the AT & A ; T OS but these were subsequently removed following a drawn-out test over license understandings.

Over the old ages the BSD Unix versions were superseded by the UNIX System V Release 4 and besides by the OSF/1 systems in the 1990s. Later releases of BSD provided the footing for several well-known undertakings including:

  • FreeBSD ( Usability, stableness and security are shared every bit )
  • OpenBSD ( Security is prioritized so serviceability )
  • NetBSD ( Portability chief concern )
  • Darwin ( comprises codification developed by Apple every bit good as BSD )

( Wikipedia, 2014 )

Examples of Uses of Linux in Real Systems

BSD Unix and its discrepancies can be found on a assortment of computing machine architectures. They most common utilizations include Waiters in the concern environments and workstations found in both the technology and academic environments.

In most of these countries the list of popular free discrepancies of the BSD Unix include Linux and BSD.

Particular characteristics of the BSD Unix OS

There is a long list of characteristics that make this OS so popular:

  • Using consecutive or networking more than one individual can utilize the machine at any clip.
  • The system supports Multitasking intending more than one plan can be executed at a clip.
  • Organization and care of system files can be achieved utilizing the available hierarchal directory construction.
  • A big choice of support tools including debuggers and compilers are available


  1. Beal, V. ( 2014, December 11th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/operating_system.html. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.webopedia.com.
  2. Debian. ( 2014, December 10th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch01s02.html.en. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.debian.org.
  3. Golftheman. ( 2010, March 12th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File: Operating_system_placement.svg. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  4. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.unix.org/images/chronology_big.gif. ( n.d. ) . Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.unix.org/images/chronology_big.gif.
  5. Leonard, A. ( 2000, May 16th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.salon.com/2000/05/16/chapter_2_part_one/ . Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.salon.com.
  6. McKusick, M. K. ( 1999, January 1st ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.oreilly.com/openbook/opensources/book/kirkmck.html. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.oreilly.com.
  7. Rouse, M. ( 2010, August ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/definition/Unix. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com.
  8. Stonebank, M. ( 2000, October 9th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/unixintro.html. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/ .
  9. tutorialspoint. ( 2014, December 6th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www.tutorialspoint.com/unix/unix-file-system.htm. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.tutorialspoint.com.
  10. Unknown. ( 2012, August 7th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/CDE_2012_on_Linux.png. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //upload.wikimedia.org.
  11. Wikipedia. ( 2014, December 8th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  12. Wikipedia. ( 2014, June 9th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution # mediaviewer/File: Unix_history-simple.svg. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  13. Wikipedia. ( 2014, December 8th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_California, _Berkeley_alumni. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  14. wikipedia. ( 2014, September 29th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Kirk_McKusick. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  15. Wikipedia. ( 2014, September 21st ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  16. Wikipedia. ( 2014, November 23rd ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_ ( OS ) . Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.
  17. Wyatt8740. ( 2009, July 13th ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS_X # mediaviewer/File: Unix_timeline.en.svg. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org.

Cite this page

Operating Systems And Their Importance. (2016, Nov 27). Retrieved from


Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront