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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Characteristics of Operating System
2.1.
1. Work Management
2.2.
2. Resource Management
2.3.
3. Input and Output Control
2.4.
4. Multitasking System
2.5.
5. Associated mechanism
2.6.
6. Encompassing nucleus
2.7.
7. Ensured Connection
3.
Frequently Asked Questions
3.1.
What makes the operating system unique?
3.2.
What are the main characteristics of real-time operating system?
3.3.
Can we run application software without an operating system?
3.4.
Which aspects of the operating system are the most difficult to develop and why?
3.5.
What are the characteristics of a non real time OS?
4.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Characteristics of Operating System

Author Yashesvinee V
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Introduction

Operating System is a software environment that acts as an interface between you and your computer’s hardware components. This programming framework allows the users to interact with the various computer applications and their related functions even without computer knowledge. An operating system performs the activities like accessing software, executing user commands, analysing records, printing documents, and many more. It also ensures that multiple tasks do not mix up and provides security from all kinds of malicious and unauthorized access. 

characteristics of operating system

Let us explore the various characteristics of Operating systems that help run the computer efficiently.

Operating System

Characteristics of Operating System

Below are mentioned some of the most crucial and notable characteristics of the operating system:

1. Work Management

One of the important characteristics of the operating system is task management. It is also considered an important OS function as it controls all the activities related to handling tasks systematically. In summary, the OS determines the order in which the activities are carried out, with a queue indicating the jobs that await execution. Work management is the key to controlling all tasks and their required resources without any conflicts. It helps streamline processes to better schedule tasks and effectively manage resources without compromising performance.

2. Resource Management

The hardware and software of a computer are closely interconnected. Each of the two does not work without the other. As a result, the operating system balances these two resources. OS examines all tasks systematically and verifies if all computer components are operational. All executing tasks require resources for their execution. Ensuring they are allotted the required resources is also an important characteristic of the operating system.

3. Input and Output Control

The three main jobs of a computer are Input, Output, and Processing. The operating system also controls a computer's input and output activities. It creates a dictionary of input and output tasks that can run anytime the user issues a command. The terms input and output describe where the task begins and concludes. The operating system has a set of programs that allow it to handle interrupts and process the input and output instructions provided by the user.

4. Multitasking System

Multitasking is now a standard feature of current operating systems. They are capable of performing numerous jobs at once. For example, if a user is working in Excel and wants to print a page, he does not need to interrupt his work. With just one command, the page will be printed, and the user can access the drives without having to close the tab. As a result, multitasking is one of the best characteristics of operating systems.

5. Associated mechanism

The following critical mechanisms also highlight some characteristics of Operating systems: 

  • It has a system to validate each user, which can include password protection or other features.
     
  • It also protects against dangerous components by blocking them before they reach the device. Many malware and malicious software are currently affecting computer gadgets. As a result, having this mechanism in the operating system is critical.
     
  • Most operating systems also have a method for limiting the number of resources available to each user. As a result, if the boss has to give his employee access to his computer, he can restrict access to specific files.

6. Encompassing nucleus

The operating system maintains a steady and reliable link between the computer's hardware and software. It is the crucial foundation for accurately defining the operating system. Operating software is required for every hardware and software component to coordinate them optimally. Thus, the device's user can effectively control and execute the optimal software.

7. Ensured Connection

It is one of the characteristics of the operating system that helps maintain a steady and reliable link between the computer's hardware and software. It is a crucial foundation that accurately defines the operating system. It allows continuous interaction between all hardware and software that is maintained until the system is shut down.

You can also read about layered structure of operating system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the operating system unique?

The operating system is unique because it is the core software that manages hardware resources. It provides a user interface and enables the execution of applications, which makes it essential for computer functionality and user interaction.

What are the main characteristics of real-time operating system?

Real-time operating systems (RTOS) prioritize timely and predictable execution. Key characteristics include deterministic response times, minimal latency, task prioritization, and reliability, ensuring consistent and timely handling of tasks critical for applications like embedded systems, robotics, and control systems.

Can we run application software without an operating system?

No, application software cannot run without an operating system because it generally relies on the services and resources provided by the operating system to function correctly. Without an operating system, there would be no platform to manage hardware and provide essential functionalities.

Which aspects of the operating system are the most difficult to develop and why?

The most difficult aspects of operating system development are low-level tasks like memory management and process scheduling. These require complex design and optimization to ensure efficient and reliable performance across various hardware configurations.

What are the characteristics of a non real time OS?

A non-real-time operating system (OS) does not guarantee a quick and deterministic response to external events. It prioritizes task completion over meeting strict timing constraints, making it suitable for general-purpose applications where timing precision is not critical.

Conclusion

This article focuses on discussing the Characteristics of Operating Systems. We briefly described what it is and moved on to learn the characteristics of Operating Systems.  We hope that this blog has helped you gain more knowledge regarding the roles that an operating system performs.

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