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Operating system (commonly abbreviated to OS, O/S or kernel [1]) is an interface between hardware and software in a computer system. The OS is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the limited resources of the computer. The operating system acts as a host for applications that are run on the machine. As a host, main purposes of an operating system are to handle the details of the operation of the hardware. This relieves application programs from having to manage these low level details of hardware and makes it easier to write software. Almost all computers, including handheld computers, desktop computers, supercomputers, and even video game consoles, use an operating system of some type. Some of the oldest models may however use an embedded operating system, that may be contained on a compact disk or other data storage device.Operating systems offer a number of services to system programs, user interfaces, application programs and hardware. Applications access these services through system calls and Hardware through device drivers. By invoking system call, the application can request a service from the operating system, pass parameters, and receive the results of the operation. Users may also interact through the operating system using some kind of software or hardware what offers user interface (UI), like keyboard typing commands to command line interface (CLI) or using a keyboard and mouse with graphical user interface (GUI, commonly pronounced “gooey”).Common contemporary operating systems include Darwin (Mac OS X), Windows NT (XP/Vista/7), Linux, BSD and SunOS (Solaris/OpenSolaris). While servers generally rans by Unix or Unix-like operating systems, embedded system markets are split amongst several operating systems.[2][3]Historyain article: History of operating systems[edit] In the beginningThe first computers did not have operating systems. By the early 1960s, commercial computer vendors were supplying quite extensive tools for streamlining the development, scheduling, and execution of jobs on batch processing systems. Examples were produced by UNIVAand Control Data Corporation, among others.he operating systems originally deployed on mainframes, and, much later, the original microcomputer operating systems, only supported one program at a time, requiring only a very basic scheduler. Each program was in complete control of the machine while it was running. Multitasking (timesharing) first came to mainframes in the 1960s.In 1969-70, UNIX first appeared on the PDP-7 and later the PDP-11. It soon became capable of providing cross-platform time sharing using preemptive multitasking, advanced memory management, memory protection, and a host of other advanced features. UNIX soon gained popularity as an operating system for mainframes and minicomputers alike.MS-DOS provided many operating system like features, such as disk access. However, many DOS programs bypassed it entirely and ran directly on hardware. IBM's version, PC DOS, ran on IBM microcomputers, including the IBM PC and the IBM PC XT, and MS-DOS came into widespread use on clones of these machines.IBM PC compatibles could also run Microsoft Xenix, a UNIX-like operating system from the early 1980s. Xenix was heavily marketed by Microsoft as a multi-user alternative to its single user MS-DOS operating system. The CPUs of these personal computers could not facilitate kernel memory protection or provide dual mode operation, so Xenix relied on cooperative multitasking and had no protected memory.The 80286-based IBM PC AT was the first IBM compatible personal computer capable of using dual mode operation, and providing memory protection. However, the adoption of these features by software vendors was delayed due to numerous bugs in their implementation on the 286, and were only widely accepted with the release of the Intel 80386.Classic Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows 1.0-3.11 supported only cooperative multitasking (Windows 95, 98, & ME supported preemptive multitasking only when running 32-bit applications, but ran legacy 16-bit applications using cooperative multitasking), and were very limited in their abilities to take advantage of protected memory. Application programs running on these operating systems must yield CPU time to the scheduler when they are not using it, either by default, or by calling a function.Windows NT's underlying operating system kernel which was a designed by essentially the same team as Digital Equipment Corporation's VMS, a UNIX-like operating system which provided protected mode operation for all user programs, kernel memory protection, preemptive multi-tasking, virtual file system support, and a host of other features.Classic AmigaOS and versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 1.0 through Windows Me did not properly track resources allocated by processes at runtime.[citation needed] If a process had to be terminated, the resources might not be freed up for new programs until the machine was restarted.The AmigaOS did have preemptive multitasking.[edit] MainframesThrough the 1960s, many major features were pioneered in the field of operating systems. The development of the IBM System/360 produced a family of mainframe computers available in widely differing capacities and price points, for which a single operating system OS/360 was planned (rather than developing ad-hoc programs for every individual model). This concept of a single OS spanning an entire product line was crucial for the success of System/360 and, in fact, IBM`s current mainframe operating systems are distant descendants of this original system; applications written for the OS/360 can still be run on modern machines. In the mid-70's, the MVS, the descendant of OS/360 offered the first[citation needed] implementation of using RAM as a transparent cache for disk resident data.OS/360 also pioneered a number of concepts that, in some cases, are still not seen outside of the mainframe arena. For instance, in OS/360, when a program is started, the operating system keeps track of all of the system resources that are used including storage, locks, data files, and so on. When the process is terminated for any reason, all of these resources are re-claimed by the operating system. An alternative CP-67 system started a whole line of operating systems focused on the concept of virtual machines.Control Data Corporation developed the SCOPE operating system in the 1960s, for batch processing. In cooperation with the University of Minnesota, the KRONOS and later the NOS operating systems were developed during the 1970s, which supported simultaneous batch and timesharing use. Like many commercial timesharing systems, its interface was an extension of the Dartmouth BASIC operating systems, one of the pioneering efforts in timesharing and programming languages. In the late 1970s, Control Data and the University of Illinois developed the PLATO operating system, which used plasma panel displays and long-distance time sharing networks. Plato was remarkably innovative for its time, featuring real-time chat, and multi-user graphical games.Burroughs Corporation introduced the B5000 in 1961 with the MCP, (Master Control Program) operating system. The B5000 was a stack machine designed to exclusively support high-level languages with no machine language or assembler, and indeed the MCP was the first OS to be written exclusively in a high-level language – ESPOL, a dialect of ALGOL. MCP also introduced many other ground-breaking innovations, such as being the first commercial implementation of virtual memory. During development of the AS400, IBM made an approach to Burroughs to licence MCP to run on the AS400 hardware. This proposal was declined by Burroughs management to protect its existing hardware production. MCP is still in use today in the Unisys ClearPath/MCP line of computers.UNIVAC, the first commercial computer manufacturer, produced a series of EXEC operating systems. Like all early main-frame systems, this was a batch-oriented system that managed magnetic drums, disks, card readers and line printers. In the 1970s, UNIVAC produced the Real-Time Basic (RTB) system to support large-scale time sharing, also patterned after the Dartmouth BASIC system.eneral Electric and MIT developed General Electric Comprehensive Operating Supervisor (GECOS), which introduced the concept of ringed security privilege levels. After acquisition by Honeywell it was renamed to General Comprehensive Operating System (GCOS).Digital Equipment Corporation developed many operating systems for its various computer lines, including TOPS-10 and TOPS-20 time sharing systems for the 36-bit PDP-10 class systems. Prior to the widespread use of UNIX, TOPS-10 was a particularly popular system in universities, and in the early ARPANET community.In the late 1960s through the late 1970s, several hardware capabilities evolved that allowed similar or ported software to run on more than one system. Early systems had utilized microprogramming to implement features on their systems in order to permit different underlying architecture to appear to be the same as others in a series. In fact most 360's after the 360/40 (except the 360/165 and 360/168) were microprogrammed implementations. But soon other means of achieving application compatibility were proven to be more significant.The enormous investment in software for these systems made since 1960s caused most of the original computer manufacturers to continue to develop compatible operating systems along with the hardware. The notable supported mainframe operating systems include: * Burroughs MCP – B5000,1961 to Unisys Clearpath/MCP, present. * IBM OS/360 – IBM System/360, 1966 to IBM z/OS, present. * IBM CP-67 – IBM System/360, 1967 to IBM z/VM, present. * UNIVAC EXEC 8 – UNIVAC 1108, 1964, to Unisys Clearpath IX, present.[edit] MicrocomputersThe first microcomputers did not have the capacity or need for the elaborate operating systems that had been developed for mainframes and minis; minimalistic operating systems were developed, often loaded from ROM and known as Monitors. One notable early disk-based operating system was CP/M, which was supported on many early microcomputers and was closely imitated in MS-DOS, which became wildly popular as the operating system chosen for the IBM PC (IBM's version of it was called IBM DOS or PC DOS), its successors making Microsoft. In the 80's Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.) abandoned its popular Apple II series of microcomputers to introduce the Apple Macintosh computer with an innovative Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the ac OS.The introduction of the Intel 80386 CPU chip with 32-bit architecture and paging capabilities, provided personal computers with the ability to run multitasking operating systems like those of earlier minicomputers and mainframes. Microsoft responded to this progress by hiring Dave Cutler, who had developed the VMS operating system for Digital Equipment Corporation. He would lead the development of the Windows NT operating system, which continues to serve as the basis for Microsoft's operating systems line. Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Inc., started NeXT Computer Inc., which developed the Unix-like NEXTSTEP operating system. NEXTSTEP would later be acquired by Apple Inc. and used, along with code from FreeBSD as the core of Mac OS X.Minix, an academic teaching tool which could be run on early PCs, would inspire another reimplementation of Unix, called Linux. Started by computer student Linus Torvalds with cooperation from volunteers over the internet, a operating system was developed with the tools from the GNU Project. The Berkeley Software Distribution, known as BSD, is the UNIX derivative distributed by the University of California, Berkeley, starting in the 1970s. Freely distributed and ported to many minicomputers, it eventually also gained a following for use on PCs, mainly as FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.edit] Features[edit] Program executionain article: Process (computing)The operating system acts as an interface between an application and the hardware. The user interacts with the hardware from "the other side". The operating system is a set of services which simplifies development of applications. Executing a program involves the creation of a process by the operating system. The kernel creates a process by assigning memory and other resources, establishing a priority for the process (in multi-tasking systems), loading program code into memory, and executing the program. The program then interacts with the user and/or other devices performing its intended function.[edit] Interruptsain article: interruptInterrupts are central to operating systems as they provide an efficient way for the operating system to interact and react to its environment. The alternative is to have the operating system "watch" the various sources of input for events (polling) that require action -- not a good use of CPU resources. Interrupt-based programming is directly supported by most CPUs. Interrupts provide a computer with a way of automatically running specific code in response to events. Even very basic computers support hardware interrupts, and allow the programmer to specify code which may be run when that event takes place.When an interrupt is received the computer's hardware automatically suspends whatever program is currently running, saves its status, and runs computer code previously associated with the interrupt. This is analogous to placing a bookmark in a book when someone is interrupted by a phone call and then taking the call. In modern operating systems interrupts are handled by the operating system's kernel. Interrupts may come from either the computer's hardware or from the running program.hen a hardware device triggers an interrupt the operating system's kernel decides how to deal with this event, generally by running some processing code. How much code gets run depends on the priority of the interrupt (for example: a person usually responds to a smoke detector alarm before answering the phone). The processing of hardware interrupts is a task that is usually delegated to software called device drivers, which may be either part of the operating system's kernel, part of another program, or both. Device drivers may then relay information to a running program by various means. program may also trigger an interrupt to the operating system. If a program wishes to access hardware for example, it may interrupt the operating system's kernel, which causes control to be passed back to the kernel. The kernel will then process the request. If a program wishes additional resources (or wishes to shed resources) such as memory, it will trigger an interrupt to get the kernel's attention.[edit] Protected mode and supervisor modeain article: Protected modeMain article: Supervisor modeModern CPUs support something called dual mode operation. CPUs with this capability use two modes: protected mode and supervisor mode, which allow certain CPU functions to be controlled and affected only by the operating system kernel. Here, protected mode does not refer specifically to the 80286 (Intel's x86 16-bit microprocessor) CPU feature, although its protected mode is very similar to it. CPUs might have other modes similar to 80286 protected mode as well, such as the virtual 8086 mode of the 80386 (Intel's x86 32-bit microprocessor or i386).However, the term is used here more generally in operating system theory to refer to all modes which limit the capabilities of programs running in that mode, providing things like virtual memory addressing and limiting access to hardware in a manner determined by a program running in supervisor mode. Similar modes have existed in supercomputers, minicomputers, and mainframes as they are essential to fully supporting UNIX-like multi-user operating systems.When a computer first starts up, it is automatically running in supervisor mode. The first few programs to run on the computer, being the BIOS, bootloader and the operating system have unlimited access to hardware - and this is required because, by definition, initializing a protected environment can only be done outside of one. However, when the operating system passes control to another program, it can place the CPU into protected mode.n protected mode, programs may have access to a more limited set of the CPU's instructions. A user program may leave protected mode only by triggering an interrupt, causing control to be passed back to the kernel. In this


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