An operating system is a program that acts as an intermediary between a user of a computer and the computer hardware.
Main functions of an operating system are:
- The operating system is an interface between the user and the computer
- provides access to the to the utility programs such as editors, debuggers, etc.
- starts the execution of the programs
- provides low level I/O routines to the user
- controls access to the files
- provides access functions for the protection of the resources and data from unauthorized users
- detects errors such as memory error, device failure, arithmetic overflow, etc. and provides error handling routines
- collects performance statistics
- The operating system manages the resources of the system
- controls and allocates resources
System resources are memory, CPU, I/O devices, etc.
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