What Is An Operating system? Explained


Operating System or OS is a program which is required by all the other applications and programs to run on a computer. Operating System communicates with hardware. It consists of system software and the essential files which are required to boot up a computer. Every PC, tablet, smartphone, and supercomputer runs on an OS which provides the basic functionality to the device.Some of the common desktop Operating Systems are Windows, Mac OS, Linux etc. They all are different and have different functionality but most of them are provided with a GUI (graphical user interface) with the ability to manage files and folders.

GUI is basically an interface which comprises of a desktop or a home screen, some icons, a pointer, menus etc. which are used to communicate with electronic devices. Many Operating Systems like windows, Mac OS, Linux etc. use a GUI whereas MS-DOS or Unix are operated through a CUI ( Character user interface) which requires a user to memorize commands and knowledge of programming language in order to operate. GUI is simple and easy to operate when compared to CUI. Smartphones and Tablets are also included Operating Systems which provide a Graphical User Interface. Some of the common mobile operating systems are Android, iOS, windows mobile, Blackberry OS etc.

Different Operating Systems provide us with a different user interface and the way you communicate with the device. Many users prefer to use a specific Operating System which they find convenient and easy to use.

Parts Of An Operating System

An Operating System has different parts in order to make the computer work. Applications need to communicate with the hardware and that’s what different parts of Operating System do.


A kernel is the core of an OS and it controls everything in the system. It loads an application into the memory and solely responsible for communication between hardware and software. The kernel manages the memory and CPU time in the computer.
Basically, a Kernel handles
• Loading/Unloading applications from memory
• Scheduling tasks to run
• Memory management
• File management
• Data security

Device Drivers

It is a program which controls and operates a specific device which is attached to the computer. All the external devices like printers, speakers, Monitors need proper drivers to work correctly.

UI (User Interface)

A user interface is that part of an OS which manages the communication between the user and the computer. It is the part which you see on the display. The UI is responsive to the inputs which are given by the user in form of pressing a key, moving the pointer, clicking on an icon etc. In case of a CUI, these inputs consist of a code or symbols in a specific programming language.

System Utilities

It manages all the basic functions and services which run in the background to provide functionality to the computer.
• Print Spool services
• Cryptographic password management
• File management etc.

Program Execution

Execution of a program involves the creation of process and assigning memory, space and other resources by the Kernel. After the process starts, the program runs on the computer and interacts with the user.

Tags : Linuxmac osopensourceoperating systemsOSwindows
Parth Singh

The author Parth Singh

Freelancer by Profession, I love to write about latest consumer technology & gadgets, my key areas of interest. Apart from that, I have sheer expertise in writing about Open Source & Cloud Computing.

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