Management Notes

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Functions of Operating System – Computer Software | Computer And IT Applications

Functions of Operating System

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. An operating system is a collection of programs that together controls the operations of a computer system. It activates and recognises the hardware devices and provides an operating environment for other application software. It is an interpreter which is responsible for bridging the gap between hardware and application needs.

What are the functions of Operating System

The major functions of Operating System are as follows:

  • Process management
  • File management
  • Memory management and
  • Security management

Process management

One of the major functions of the Operating System is process management. The operating system finds the status of processor and processes, chooses a job, chooses processer in the job, allocates the processor to the process and frees the processer when the process is executed. As a whole, we can say that it assigns the processor to a process and deallocate processor when it is not required.

File management

One of the major functions of Operating System is file management. Operating System allocates and deallocates the resources and decides what will get the resources. It controls which process gets the device or file for what duration.OS is responsible for the organizing and tracking of directories and files that are saved or retrieved from a disk which helps the user to perform various tasks, such as creating directories and files, copying and moving files, renaming files and deleting files.

Memory management

One of the major functions of the Operating System is memory management. Operating System takes a decision of providing the duration and part of the memory for a process or program. For example, when the user requests CPU for read/write operation, OS determines the amount of memory required for the program instructions and data. Then, OS allocates required memory to load the program and data into RAM. When program terminates its memory area is free and the same memory area is allocated for other programs.

Security management

One of the major functions of Operating System is security management. There are various virus threats that can interfere with the normal operations of your computer and can be very harmful and result in loss of data or system crashes.OS of a computer has a number of built-in tools to protect against security threats, including the use of virus scanning utilities and setting up a firewall to block suspicious network activity. Besides this, the Operating System also helps to prevent unauthorized access to programs and data by the use of a password, user login, etc.

Advantages of Operating System

A user-friendly interface

User-friendly operating systems have been made possible by GUI (Graphical User Interface). It makes it easier for the user to understand, communicate, and interact with the system.

You can multitask

Multitasking is made possible by an operating system.


As an operating system can be installed on multiple computers, it is versatile.

Aids in the execution of programs

Users can easily run their chosen software with the modern operating systems without knowing how to code. The user is not required to write commands to complete tasks or run software, as in DOS or UNIX.

Protects against unauthorised access

It protects the user data by preventing unauthorized access to the operating system.

Sharing resources

Operating systems manage resources such as RAM, ROM, hard drives, etc. As well as performing arithmetic computations, it can also be used to process data, and many more things.

Easy to upgrade

Operating systems can be easily upgraded to meet users’ needs on a daily basis. There may be a bug or an error, but the developers are eager to fix it and a new update is released that is easy to download and updates the operating system.

Disadvantages of Operating System


Some operating systems are more expensive than open-source platforms like Linux. While users can use a free operating system, they are generally more challenging to run than others. Microsoft Windows, for example, has a large price tag because of its GUI functionality and other in-built features.

Failure of the system

In the event of a failure of the central operating system, the computer will not function. Furthermore, a computer system cannot function without an OS. All communication will be halted if the central system crashes, and no more data will be processed.

Extremely complex

The language used to create operating systems is not clear and well defined, and these OS are highly complex. A user cannot directly understand an OS issue, and it cannot be resolved quickly if an issue arises.

The threat of viruses

Due to their vulnerability to such virus attacks, operating systems are at greater risk. Malicious software packages are downloaded frequently on systems, halting the operation of the OS and slowing it down.


A computer fragmentation occurs when memory storage breaks up. Internal fragmentation occurs when the size of the memory exceeds the method of processing. External fragmentation occurs when a method eliminates the memory.

Operating System Quiz/MCQs/FAQs

Which of the following is not an operating system

B) Linux
C) Windows
D) Oracle
E) None of these

Oracle is not an Operating system rather it’s a Relational Database Management System which is sometimes known as Oracle Database, Oracle DB, or Oracle Only. In reality, Oracle does not develop operating systems.They specialize in database software and make enterprise software. They have just released Oracle Autonomous Linux, which is just like Oracle Linux, but specialized for use in their cloud enterprise services.It used to be Oracle Linux before the “Automated” part was added, and before that it was Oracle Enterprise Linux. Nevertheless, it is simply Red Hat Enterprise Linux rebranded with Oracle’s branding and certifications for their software.

The _____ is the heart of the operating system and controls its most critical processes.

a) Kernel
b) cache
c) register
d) user interface

A Kernel is the heart and soul of an Operating System. The Kernel also controls everything in the system since the Operating System controls it. In fact, it is the most important part of an Operating System. The core features of an OS are managed by this part of the OS. The application acts as a bridge between applications and the data processing performed at the hardware level using interprocess communication and system calls.

Functions of a Kernel

Access Computer resource: Various computer resources can be accessed by Kernels, including the CPU, I/O devices, and others. The interface connects the user to the system’s resources.
Resource Management: Kernels are responsible for sharing resources among various processes so that each process has uniform access to resources.
Memory Management: Memory is an integral part of every process. For a process to function properly, it needs to be allotted and deallocated. Kernel memory management handles all these tasks.
Device Management: Processes use peripheral devices connected to the system. The kernel manages the allocation of these devices.

Which of the following is not a function of the operating system?

(a) Memory management
(b) Virus protection
(c) Disk management
(d) File management

Virus Protection is not a function of the operating system rather it is a function of Firewall and Antivirus. The primary function of antivirus software is to detect and remove computer viruses. Therefore, Virus Protection is mainly the function of Antivirus Software.

The ________ of the operating system enables users to communicate with the computer system.

a) network adapter card
b) modem
c) window
d) user interface

The User Interface of the operating system enables users to communicate with the computer system. Interface is the means by which all operating systems allow the user to communicate with the computer system. CUI (Character User Interface) & GUI (Graphical User Interface) are two types of interfaces offered. Specifically, these are Client Operating Systems that allow full interaction between the Computer System and the devices connected to it. Users have access to data, applications, and services through Server Operating Systems through installed, configured, and controlled applications and services on a variety of different devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones, etc.) with Client Operating Systems.

Which is not an example of a mobile operating system

a) Symbian
b) Android
c) macOS
d) none of the above

When your computer runs out of ram, the operating system borrows space from the CPU.

a) True
b) False

Which of the following is not a popular desktop operating system?

a. Windows 8
b. Android
c. Linux
d. Max OS X

Where may an operating system reside in a mobile device?

a. Firmware
b. Android
c. Linux
d. Desktop

The category of operating system used for handheld devices

A. Network
B. Embedded
C. Stand-alone
D. Open source

The operating system that a computer uses sometimes is called which of the following?

a) platform
b) Node
c) Stand alone
d) All of above.

In a network operating system, this computer coordinates all communication between computers.

A) server
B) terminal
C) client
D) mode

Which of the following is an open-source operating system?

a) windows
b) linux
c) Mac
d) all of these​

Which of the following kinds of software is not usually included by an installed operating system?

a) Browser
b) Calculator
c) Spreadsheet
d) MediaPlayer

Which term describes the layer of software that resides between the virtual operating system and the physical hardware it is running on in a virtualization environment?

A. Virtual machine
B. Workload management
C. Hypervisor
D. Virtual Hard Disk

In operating system each process has its own

a) address space and global variables
b) open files
c) pending alarms, signals and signal handlers
d) all of the mentioned

Which of the following is not an example of operating system

a) MS Windows.
b) MS Paint.
c) Mac OS X.
d) Linux

Operating system maintains the page table for

A) each process
B) each thread
C) each instruction
D) each address

Logical extension of multiprogramming operating system is

a) time sharing
b) multi tasking
c) single programing
d) both a and b

In which operating system can we use azure powershell

a) Windows 7 and later versions
b) Linux OS
c) Mac OS
d) All of the Above

For real time operating system interrupt latency should be

a) minimal
b) maximum
c) zero
d) dependent on the scheduling

The primary purpose of an operating system is

a) To make the most efficient use of the computer hardware
b) To allow people to use the computer
c) To keep systems programmers employed
d) To make computers easier to use

Logical extension of multiprogramming operating system is

A) time sharing
B) multi tasking
C) single programming
D) both a and b.

By operating system the resource management can be done via

A. time division multiplexing
B. space division multiplexing
C. both (a) and (b)
D. none of the mentioned

Dual mode of operating system has

a) 1 mode
b) 2 modes
c) 3 modes
d) 4 modes

Which of the following operating system does not implement multitasking truly

A) Windows 98
B) Windows NT
C) Windows XP
E) None of these

The operating system creates from the physical computer

A) Virtual Space
B) Virtual Computer
C) Virtual Device
D) None

To access the service of operating system, the interface is provided by the

A) system calls
B) api
C) library
D) assembly instructions

Which of the following components of an operating system maintains the directory system?

a) Scheduler
b) Device drivers
c) File manager
d) Memory manager

Which of the following is not a role of a typical operating system?

a) Control the allocation of the machine’s resources
b) Maintain records regarding files stored in mass storage
c) Assist the computer user in the task of processing digital photographs
d) Control access to the machine

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