Functions of Operating System

Operating System serves two important purposes:

  • It acts as an interface between the end user’s applications and computer hardware which provides an environment for building and executing the applications.
  • It is responsible for allocating the different resources among different users and their applications.

Important functionalities of an operating system are:

The Operating system is a collection of different sub-systems and each has its importance. A few of the important sub-system and their importance are:

Process Management:

  • It helps OS to create, manage, and to delete the processes. It also provides a mechanism for synchronization and communication among processes.
  • It provides an environment where an application is built and loaded into the main memory and executed.

Memory Management:

  • Each program needs memory for its execution and so this module is responsible for allocating, and deallocating memory needed by a program.

File Management:

  • This is responsible for file-related activities such as organizing, retrieve, naming, sharing ,and protecting the files.
  • In Unix and its derivatives such as Linux, everything is considered a file.

Device Management:

  • This keeps track of all devices such as I/O devices and also allocates and de-allocates devices.
  • This is responsible for maintaining primary, secondary storage, and cache storage. Instruction and data must be in the main memory or cache for execution.

CPU Scheduling:

  • CPU scheduling is assigning the processor to the process that is a change of ready state to running state of the process.
  • CPU scheduler selects a process among the processes that are ready to execute and allocates CPU to one of them.

Interrupt handling:

An interrupt is a signal sent to the kernel upon a request by a system call. The kernel is responsible for handling such interrupts and calls appropriate system call system routine.

I/O communication:

The request from any hardware devices, specifically the input and output devices is sent to the kernel first which then sends it to the appropriate hardware. Kernel acts as an interface between user applications and hardware(device drivers).

Related Posts:

Categories: Operating system (OS)

2 replies


  1. Index of Operating System - Tech Access Info
  2. Types of Operating System - Tech Access

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