What Is an Operating System? Explore The Types Of Operating System For Computer Programs.

types of operating system

Students always ask the question, What are an operating system and its types of operating system? It’s not typical if you understand its actual meaning. An operating system is a program that is first loaded on a computer when you switch on the computer. In other words, It is an interface between a user and a hardware i.e. which translates the instruction given by the user in a high-level language to the machine language which the computer can understand. It performs all basic tasks like memory management, handling input, and many more. 

Let’s focus on the two components of the operating system – 

  • Shell – Outer cover of the operating system is known as Shell which manages the interaction between the user and the operating system. It is the way to communicate with the operating system either by input from the user or shell script. 
  • Kernel – It is the communication media between the hardware and the processor of a computer. It operates inside the operating system and manages the computer resources which other programs run. 

For Example – Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS, Android OS, LINUX OS, etc.

The operating system is an important part of the computer system and you must know the types of operating system. Before evaluating the types, we’ll discuss the functions that the operating system performs. 

Evaluating The Functions Of The Operating System

The role of the operating system is that it acts as an interface between the user and the hardware and controls the execution of the programs.

Let’s discuss the functions of the operating system in detail – 

  • Processor Management – As we all know, the environment which needs the programs of is multiprogramming. The operating system is the one who decides which process gets the processor when and for how much time. The total process is known as process scheduling.
  • Device Management – Without the input and output devices, the program won’t be complete. Operating system is the one who controls the whole working of these input and output devices. When a job requests for the devices, it receives that requests from these devices then performs a specific task, and after that it communicates back to the requesting process.
  • Memory Management – I hope you all are familiar with the topic of main memory or primary memory. It is an array of a word where each word has its address. The plus point is that it provides fast storage that can be accessed directly by the CPU. When a program is executed then it must be in the main memory. 
  • File Management – It means that an operating system keeps the track of the creation, deletion, transfer, copy, and storage of files but in an organized form. It decides who will gets the resources,  to whom allocate the resources and when should de-allocates the resources. 
  • Security Management – Security is very important where data is involved. It should be confidential and protected from unauthorized access while login. Memory should be protected against malicious access.
  • Detection of errors – If timely alerts of having damage we will recieve then only we can take appropriate action against it. In this, the operating system checks the whole system whether there is an external threat or malicious software activity. Due to timely detection, you can easily fix it.  
  • Scheduling of Job – Job scheduling means the proper order in which applications work. Multiple programs run simultaneously which is known s multi-tasking and the role of the operating system is to run the program which should be in order. It also keeps track of time and how much an application runs or gets the resources.

These are functions of operating systems and from this, I hope you have learned the actual meaning of operating systems and the types of operating system for computer programs. 

Now, It’s Time To Focus On The Types Of Operating System.

These types of operating system help you to understand the history and the working of operating systems more clearly. Let’s elaborate, the six types of operating system which are as follows – 

  1. Batch Operating System 

Batch Operating Systems always works on the principle of “FCFS (First Come First Serve)”. It is the first operating system of the second generation and it does not interact directly with the computer system. The Batch operating system’s function is to group comparable operations into batches, which are subsequently executed one by one according to the “FCFS” concept. There are many types of operating system each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Advantages are – 

  • As you know, when we are processing a job then we aren’t able to identify its processing time for completion. When jobs are queued under the Batch operating system, however, the processing time is known.
  • Multiple users can easily share a batch system.
  • The time in which it is idle is very less.
  • Easy to manage large work in batch systems.

Disadvantages are – 

  • Lack of interaction between the user and the job.
  • Because the CPU is idle when the I/O device is functioning, it is not completely used.
  • Prioritization is quite tough to determine.
  • It is more expensive.
  • Troubleshooting is risky.

Examples of Batch operating systems are – Payroll Systems, etc.

  1. Time-sharing systems

Each job is allotted a certain amount of time in time-sharing systems, ensuring that all activities are completed properly and effectively. The system shares the CPU time across a large number of users in this way. The task performed will be given either by a single user or different users. Quantum is the amount of time allocated to complete a single job.  When one task is completed then the system switches to another task. 

Advantages are – 

  • CPU idle time is decreased as a result of this.
  • The chances of programme duplication are also decreased.
  • Every task gets equal opportunity.

Disadvantages are –

  • All tasks are given equal priority, which sometimes creates problems because higher and lower tasks are both given equal priority.
  • Data can be taken care of from unauthorized access.
  • Communication problems are there between the data.

Examples of Time-sharing systems – UNIX, etc.

  1. Distributed System 

System that is distributed Overcoming batch and time-sharing operating system’s limitations. The distributed operating system is an advancement in the world of computer technology. In this, all computers communicate with each other in a shared communication network. Some systems are independent which can use their Real-time many events that occur in the memory unit and CPU. While working with shared systems, it’s easy for one user to access the files or software with the other systems connected within this network. 

Advantages are – 

  • The plus point of this operating system is the failure of one system will not affect the other systems because they are independent of each other.
  • Due to electronic mail, the speed of exchange the data increases.
  • Computation is highly fast and durable because of shared resources.
  • It reduces the load on the host computers.
  • You can add as many systems to the network.
  • It also reduces the delay in data processing.

Disadvantages are –

  • When the main network fails then it will stop the whole communication.
  • The language which has been used is not well defined.
  • It is difficult to understand and it is very expensive too.

Examples are- LOCUS, etc. 

  1. Network sharing systems

All of the machines on the network are connected to a server, which manages data, groups, users, security, applications, and other networking tasks.It also lets users to share files, printers, and other resources via a small private network. The plus point is that all the users are well aware of the underlying configuration of all other networks. That’s why these are known as tightly coupled systems.

Advantages are – 

  • All the security measures are handled through the servers.
  • It is easy to integrate new technologies and hardware up-gradation into the systems.
  • It allows centralized servers.
  • You can access servers from different locations.

Disadvantages are –

  • Servers are more expensive.
  • For the majority of activities or tasks, users are reliant on a central place.
  • Upkeep and improvements are required on a regular basis.

Examples of Network Operating systems are – Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, etc. 

  1. Real-Time Operating Systems 

Real-time systems use time intervals which are called response time. This time interval is very small in which tasks are to process and respond to inputs. Real-time systems are beneficial when a large number of events occur in a short period of time and specific deadlines must be met, such as in real-time simulations. There are two types of real-time operating systems are as follows –

  • Soft Real-Time Operating systems – When there are no tight time limitations for the applications, this is utilised.The plus point of this is that it can prioritize the important task over the less important tasks which remains active until the completion of the tasks. In this, the time limit is always set for specific tasks. 

For Example – virtual reality, reservation systems, etc.  

  • Hard Real-time Operating Systems – The applications are subjected to very severe time limitations in this case. The slightest delay is not acceptable in hard real-time operating systems. These systems are for life-saving equipment like as air bags and parachutes, among other things. 

Advantages are –

  • In this, the maximum utilization of systems is due to more output are given from the resources. 
  • It gives the best management of memory allocation.
  • Systems are error-free.
  • Their focus is on the running applications rather than those who are waiting in the queue.
  • Time is less in shifting from one task to another.

Disadvantages are –

  • These are extremely expensive.
  • The algorithms are quite difficult to understand.
  • At a single time, only limited tasks are used.
  • You cannot switch tasks easily.

Examples are-Medical imaging systems, robots, etc.

I hope now you all are able to understand the meaning of operating systems and the types of operating systems for computers. In this blog, if you read thoroughly then you can easily understand the concept of an operating system and you can easily write your operating system assignments help by yourself.


The role of operating systems is very important in the technology of the computer world. Without an operating system, you can not work or run the applications. Operating systems play an essential role to coordinates and controlling the use of the hardware among the various application programs. 

Working under time restrictions, it manages a huge number of tasks. It can easily prioritize work such that higher-priority jobs are processed before lower-priority activities. It aids in the prevention of deadlocks and hunger. It refers to when one job takes longer to process than other activities in a queue, causing hunger as a result of the extended wait. You just need to read and observe every point which helps you to understand the topic easily.


Which type of software is an operating system?

An operating system is a piece of software that manages a computer’s hardware and software resources.

Can you have more than one operating system installed on a computer?

Yes, you can install a second OS with the same importance. You can run one or the other when you start the computer.