What are they, what are they for and what types of operating systems are there?

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Catherine Le Nevez

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Hospitality! In case you are new in the world of information technology and you want to learn a little, then you are in the right place. Below we will detail all the basic information you should know, how operating systems work and what types of operating systems exist.

    What is an operating system?

    In short, an operating system (OS) is the set of core programs (software) that it is responsible for management of hardware resources . In this way, it allows the rest of the secondary programs to run while it is running.

    The operating system acts as an intermediary between the physical components of the computer (which is called hardware) and the user. That is, this main software is the one that allows both the execution of programs and access to the hardware resources that we need.

    For example, it allocates an amount of memory to the computer based on the activities we are doing right now. If we have to open a large number of programs, then the software and will occupy to allocate a part of the physical memory so that the computer can run smoothly.

    Without the operating system it would be almost impossible to interact with a computer. There are also quick and easy ways to install three operating systems on a Linux or Windows PC.

    Functions of the types of operating systems

    Next, in this new section we will talk a little about the most important functions that the operating system place in smart devices.

    • One of the main functions of an operating system is to manage processes, that is, the resources necessary for one or more programs to be able to work correctly on the computer . Within these resources we find the use of memory and necessary files that the application must access to function.
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    • The operating system is also responsible for the main memory management of the device. This is where data shared by both the CPU and applications is stored, so it is important that there is good coordination of the parts of the memories that are used in the operation of certain processes.
    • On the other hand, this main software manages the input and output ports. This refers to microphones, headphones, printers, speakers and of course the monitor.
    • Together with the operating system we find a series of applications that have the task of verifying what state the system is in and what actions we can take in this regard. For example, when there is an update pending, these apps are tasked with displaying a warning so that the user is alert.
    • Finally, we must point out that this software plays a vital role in the safety of our equipment. Basically, the operating system is responsible for prevent the accesso to certain programs or files that are very important for the correct functioning of the device.

    Types of existing operating systems

    Later we will talk to you in a summary way about different types of operating systems that exist in the world of computing. Read on!


    In this case, there is only one central processing unit, which is responsible for carrying out the instructions necessary to ensure the operation of the equipment.


    In multiprocessor systems we find two other central processing units that work together to control both memory and peripheral devices. In fact, they can be classified as asymmetric multiprocessors (each CPU is assigned a single task to perform) and symmetric multiprocessors (the processors perform the same tasks).

    Of portable devices

    When we talk about portable devices, we refer to all those equipment as: tablet, smartphone and notebook . All of these artifacts use operating systems known to most users, such as Android and iOS. That is why it is important to know which are the best operating systems for the most used mobile phones.

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    Multimedia systems

    These operating systems were made for manage audio and video files . In particular, this type of software must compress and decode large files so that they can be played properly on your computer. For example, create a multi-boot USB with multiple Windows and Linux systems in just a few steps.

    Real-time systems

    Finally, we must tell you about this type of operating systems, which are usually installed on cars, appliances, medical devices, airplanes, etc. In this case the operating system performs the function of optimize the autonomy of the device and of course to save as much energy as possible.

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