Essay Questions Sample: Operating System Overview
An operating system is a computer program that is first to be loaded into the computer at start up. It manages other application programs that use the operating system by requesting for services through an application program interface. The operating system generally provides an environment in which other programs can be executed by providing them with the services they need. Its main purpose is to allow other computer programs interact with computer hardware and managing the available resources. The operating system is also responsible for the general security of the computer system.
The OS have many functions which are mainly management functions and they include process management, resource management, file management, communication management, memory management and security management. Process management function manages all processes from when they start to shutdown. Resource management function of the OS ensures that all running processes are able to access resources when they need them without being locked out by other processes.
The OS makes sure that processes in need of resources request for them using a pre determined order. Computer resources may include semaphores, memory, processor, printers and many more. The main aim is to avoid resource deadlocks. In a single process resource allocation, the process uses a resource whenever it needs it since there are no other competing processes for the same resource. In multi tasking resource allocation, the sequence of events that a process must follow to use a resource are, first the process requests for the resource, if the resource is available it is granted permission by the OS to use the resource else the process must wait. After using the resource, the process must release it. The goals of resource allocation is to avoid deadlocks which occurs as a result of a process holding up a resource and requesting a new one which is in turn held up by another process waiting for the resource the first process is holding. Another goal is to ensure that a first come first served order is followed when accessing resources and preventing running processes from interfering with one another. The tasks of resource allocation include keeping a record of available resources and schedule resources based on pre-determined rules. Real resources are physical devices while virtual resources are only visible to a single process. Virtual resources have the ability to substitute one type of resource for another…”
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