Understanding the knits and grits of the operating system is essential to work in IT! 

All computers, smartphones and other electronic devices have a special software called operating system that is the engine behind their utility value. 

Hence, an operating system plays a key role by acting as an interface between the computer hardware, user and its components. 

When it comes to user operating systems you will come across several terms like functions of operating system, single user operating system, batch operating system, threads in operating system and other related terms. 

In this blog post, we are going to discuss the operating system and its various types alongside its several advantages and disadvantages. 

So without any type of ado, let’s get started! 

User Interface - an overview 

When we talk about the operating system, the first thing that comes to our mind is user interface. The user interface helps in facilitating communication between the application and a user by acting as a desired intermediary. All the applications including an operating system will offer a special UI to do effective communication. 

There are mainly two type of user interface which includes:

  • Graphical user interface: It is a type of interface that uses how the users will interact with the operating system with point-click operations. It contain various icons representing variables like dictionary, file and device
  • Common line interface; It enables a particular user to interact with the operating system with the help of several commands. To perform tasks in this interface, you need a command line interface, where the user can enter a key to interpret the received command. 

Operating system - an overview 

Operating system is touted as the resource manager that is known to manage all types of computer resources including CPU, Disks, Networks, RAM and other input and output devices.

It helps in giving the control of several application software or device drivers to manage security and handle the access for various users. Some of the most popular and commonly used operating systems are Windows, Linux, Android among others. 

There are mainly two objectives of the operating system. One would be to build or run the application programs. When the multiple programs are executed, the task is allocated in the desired way. 

Type of operating system

From managing files to processing them to allocating tasks in the memory, an operating system is known to perform multiple functions. A single user operating system is designed specially for a single user or the home computers. Whereas the multi-user operating system is the one in which multiple users can operate on the operating system. 

Besides this, there are several other types of operating systems which we have discussed below:

Batch operating system

This is defined as the operating system which does not directly interact with the computer system. There will be an operator which will perform similar jobs having similar requirements to group them in the desired batches. 

It is an operator’s responsibility to sort all the similar jobs. This operating system is ideal for time consuming tasks as it can handle them conveniently. 

Advantages of batch operating system are:

  • Users can easily share batch systems. 
  • It can manage your large workloads 
  • You can easily estimate the time required to manage tasks. 

Disadvantages of batch operating system are:

  • This operating system can be challenging to debug 
  • The system may create a backlog
  • The operating system can be costly to install 

Multitasking or time-sharing operating system

The time-sharing or multitasking operating system is an operating system that works while allocating time to a specific task. It also offers the facility to switch in between the tasks easily. 

Users can simultaneously work with this operating system. Users can easily be distributed across terminals to reduce the response time. 

Advantages of multitasking operating system are:

  • It gives quick response for a task performance 
  • The processor’s idle time is reduced 
  • All tasks can be completed on time 
  • It also reduce chance of doing duplication 

Disadvantage of this operating system are:

  •  Data security of a user can be an issue 
  • System failure can also lead to other type of failures 
  • Data communication issues may arise 

Distributed operating system 

This type of operating system is generally based on the autonomous and the interconnected computers via the shared networks or the communication lines. 

The disturbed system will work as multiple users or multiple applications when it comes to real time. The data processing function would be distributed across the time in that particular processor. 

Advantages of this operating system are:

  • This allows for remote working 
  • There will be faster processing or exchange of data
  • It also help in the reduction of delays in data processing
  • It minimises the load of a host computer 

Disadvantages of this operating system are:

  • If your primary network will fail, the system will shut down 
  • The operating system is expensive to install 

Network operating system

The network operating system is installed on the server’s users with the capacity to manage data, group users and applications. This operating system will enable the users to access or share data on the network in an ideal way. 

Advantages of network operating system are:

  • The central server offers high stability 
  • You can easily handle security issues 
  • The system gives ease to upgrade to newer technologies
  • Remote access is possible with this operating system

Disadvantages of this operating system are:

  • It require regular maintenance or updates 
  • These servers are expensive to maintain 
  • The reliance on the central server may not be possible

Wrapping up 

Operating system is a wide arena that gives you the opportunity to learn several useful and vital concepts like single user operating system, multi user operating system, batch operating system, threads in operating system and other useful concepts.

In this blog post, we discussed key types of operating system alongside their advantages and disadvantages that every operating system user should know so as to use it in an efficient manner. 

Take the notes and strengthen your knowledge!