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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Explain the structure of the operating systems.

We all are addicted to using computers but we all never really bother to known what is actually there inside it i.e., who is operating the whole system. Then something inevitable occurs. Your computer system crashes and the machine is not able to boot. Then you call a software engineer and he tells you that the operating system of the computer has to be reloaded. You are of course familiar with the term operating system but you know what it is exactly. 

About Operating System

- Operating system is the software that actually gives life to the machine. 
- Basic intelligence is the requirement of every computer system to start with. 
Unlike we humans, computers do not have any inborn intelligence. 
- This basic intelligence is required because this is what the system will use to provide essential services for running the programs such as providing access to various peripherals, using the processor and allocation of memory and so on. 
One type of service is also provided by the computer system for the users. 
- As a user, you may require to create, copy or delete files. 
- This is the system that manages the hardware of the computer system. 
- It also sets up a proper environment in which the programs can be executed. 
It is actually an interface between the software and the hardware of the system.
- On booting of the computer, the operating system is loaded in to the main memory. 
- This OS remains active as long as the system is running. 

Structure of Operating Systems

- There are several components of the operating system about which we shall discuss in this article.
- These components make up the structure of the operating system.

1. Communications: 
- Information and data might be exchanged by the processes within the same computer or different computers via a network. 
- This information might be shared via memory if in the same computer system or via message passing if through some computer network. 
- In message passing, the messages are moved by the operating system.

2. Error detection: 
- The operating system has to be alert about all the possible errors that might occur. 
- These errors may occur anywhere ranging from CPU to memory hardware devices in the peripheral devices in the user application. 
- For all types of error, proper action must be taken by the operating system for ensuring that correct and consistent computing takes place. 
- The users and the abilities of the programmers are enhanced greatly by the debugging facilities.

3. Resource allocation: 
- Resources have to be allocated to all of the processes running. 
- A number of resources such as the main memory, file storage, CPU cycles etc have some special allocation code while other resources such as I/O devices may have request and release codes.

4. Accounting: 
- This component is responsible for keeping the track of the computer resources being used and released.

5. Protection and Security: 
- The owners of data and information might want it to be protected and secured against theft and accidental modification.
- Above all, there should be no interference of the processes with working of each other. 
- The protection aspect involves controlling the access to all the resources of the system. 
- Security involves ensuring safety concerning user authentication in order to prevent devices from invalid attempts.

6. Command line interface or CLI: 
- This is the command interpreter that allows for the direct entry of the command. 
- This is either implemented by systems program or by the kernel.
- There are a number of shells also for multiple implementations.

7. Graphical User Interface: 
This is the interface via which the user is actually able to interact with the hardware of the system. 

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