What are the five main purposes of an operating system?

7 min read

An OS, or operating system, serves as the foundation of every computer system, controlling hardware resources while offering an intuitive user experience for interacting with software programmes. 

It serves as a link among the computer's hardware as well as the applications, enabling them to interact and collaborate in real time. 

An operating system's principal function is to make sure that each and every one of the resources available to the machine are used effectively and efficiently. 

In this regard, this post will look at the five main features of an operating system as well as how they help a computer system run efficiently.

What is an Operating System?

An operating system, or OS, is a piece of computer software that regulates the computer's physical resources and delivers functionality to users. 

It is perhaps the most significant sort of systems software, serving as a link amongst the end user and the computer's hardware. 

One of the important features of an operating system is to manage and supervise the functioning of computer software and hardware. It controls memory, output and input devices, and provides protection to the system, amongst other things.

  • The computer's operating system is in charge of managing the machine's resources, which include the central processing unit (CPU), RAM, storage media, and devices for input and output. 
  • It distributes these assets to the various applications operating on the machine, thus making sure each application gets the resources it requires to function properly. 
  • The computer's operating system also consists of GUIs, or graphical user interfaces, and commands on the command line to allow users to connect with their computers.
  • A computer's operating system includes a critical piece of application software that manages and coordinates the software and hardware assets of a computer. 
  • It maintains system assets, guarantees security of the system, and conducts a variety of other essential tasks for keeping the computer working smoothly.

With that said, in the following section of the blog we will look into five major functions performed by the operating system of a computer.

What are the five main features of an Operating System? 

An operating system's major function is to make it simple for users to engage with computers and to allow computer hardware to connect with computer applications. 

An operating system (OS) acts as an additional level of transparency between software and hardware on a computer, thereby rendering it easier for programmers to build applications that operate on many types of systems. 

The following are the five primary functions of an OS:

  1. Resource Administration

An operating system's primary function is to control computer assets such as memory. The operating system, or OS, allocates resources to various programmes operating on the machine, thus making sure that each application has the resources it requires to work properly. 

For example, the operating system may assign a higher CPU time for an application actively conducting an intricate calculation while reducing CPU time to a software that awaits user input.

  • The OS controls resources for many different users on the network along with controlling resources for specific applications. 
  • To prevent a single user from monopolising the framework, the operating system may distribute resources evenly among multiple users, restricting the quantity of assets each individual can access.
  1. Process Administration

An operating system, or OS, handles processes, or software that operate on a computer. The operating system creates and concludes processes, as well as manages them. 

  • It also prevents operations from interfering with each other by assigning resources and implementing rules that restrict a single process from entering the memory of another.
  • The operating system also regulates task scheduling, selecting which tasks should be run whenever there are several tasks scheduled to be completed. 
  • This planning is crucial to the operating system's performance since it controls how effectively assets are utilised.
  1. Memory Administration

Another critical feature of an OS is managing memory. 

  • The operating system assigns and deallocates RAM for activities, making sure each one has sufficient memory to function properly. 
  • It also controls the machine's virtual memory, allowing applications to access greater amounts of storage than is actually available.
  • The operating system also maintains memory protection, guaranteeing that no software can access the internal storage associated with another without authorization. 
  • This is critical for security since it prevents rogue programmes from accessing sensitive data.
  1. File Administration

An OS is responsible for the management of data, which are bundles of data saved on the machine's storage media. 

  • The operating system includes an archive system that organises files within directories as well as controls access to those files. 
  • The system of files also guarantees that documents are properly saved and can be accessed whenever needed.
  • The operating system regulates permissions for files, making sure only authorised users are able to view and edit files. 
  • It also offers restore and backup solutions, allowing customers to retrieve damaged or deleted files.
  1. The User Interface (UI)

The interface for users is the component of the computer's operating system which enables users to connect with their computers. If you are interested in learning more about the graphic user interface of an operating system you can check out cracking the coding interview resource material.

  • The operating system (OS) includes a GUI, or graphical user interface, that enables users to engage with their computer through the use of icons, the windows or commands. 
  • A graphical user interface (GUI) makes it simple for individuals to carry out operations like : accessing files, executing services, and controlling settings.
  • The operating system also has a number of command-line interfaces (CLIs), which enables advanced users to communicate with the machine via text-based commands. 
  • The command line interface (CLI) can be beneficial for scheduling chores and executing intricate tasks that are harder to accomplish with the GUI.

Wrapping Up

An operating system's 5 primary functions are handling resources, handling processes, memory administration, managing files, and the user interface.

An OS is required for machine resource management and for enabling users to connect with their computers. A more detailed description of the OS of a computer system has been mentioned in Cracking The Coding Interview material.

Basically with an operating system, it would be challenging to run activities, organise files, and utilise software and hardware resources on a computer.

The operating systems have become more complex and efficient over the years, and they continue serving an important role in the functioning of present-day desktops and other gadgets.

Aanya Verma 2
Joined: 10 months ago
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