10 Best Operating System Concepts

Operating systems (OSs) are pieces of software that run on computers and use the computer’s processing power to do different things for the people who use the system. There must be an operating system to interface between hardware and software.

Anyone who wants to be a severe software developer should make learning as much as possible about OS is a top priority particularly the operating system concepts. It would be better if you didn’t try to avoid it, and anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise is wrong. 

While the breadth and depth of your expertise may be up for debate, having a solid understanding of the basics is essential to the smooth operation and overall design of your application.

As a developer, you should understand the importance of operating systems. This blog will cover several fundamental operating system concepts that can help you in your profession.

10 Operating System Concepts You Should Know

Process and Process Management

The technique is typically defined as the execution of a program. The method should be carried out successively. When a computer program is written in a text file and then executed, it transforms into a management system.

This procedure carries out everything specified in the program. The four basic components of a process are as follows:

  • Stack – The stack is in charge of storing temporary data such as function/method arguments. It provides the address as well as the local variables.
  • Heap – It is responsible for dynamically distributing memory to a process while running.
  • Text – Text contains the currently active activity, indicated by the program counter’s entries and data placed in the processor’s register.
  • Data – It stores the global variables as well as the static ones.

Concept of Threads

Our next in our operating system concepts is Thread. It is defined as a channel of processing through the process code. The thread keeps track of every instruction that has to be performed following the program counter. In addition, the thread has system registers that retain the current working variables—the stack in the thread stores the processing data.

Parallel processing allows threads to share resources such as open files, data segments, and code segments. Every thread is aware of changes made to a shared code section. Thread is often referred to be a “lightweight procedure.” Increased application performance is possible through parallelism.

There can be only a single thread for each process, and no threads can ever be independent of a process. Web servers and network servers often make use of threads in their implementation. 

There are essentially two kinds of threads: 

  • User Level Thread
  • Kernel Level Thread

Scheduling

Regarding scheduling, the process manager is in charge of killing off the currently active program and replacing it with a different one using some predetermined criteria. Operating system scheduling is a crucial component of multiprogramming. Multiple processes may exist in the accessible memory at once. Once the process is loaded, it uses temporal multiplexing to distribute the CPU.

The OS keeps all the process control blocks in the process scheduling queues. Operating systems often have many queues, one for each process state. Every process in the same execution state shares a standard queue for process control blocks.

Your OS mostly keeps track of the following crucial process scheduling queue:

  • Job queue
  • Ready queue
  • Device queues 

Memory Management

Memory management is the part of an OS that deals with and manages main memory. Throughout execution, processes often copy files to and from the disk.

Memory management is keeping track of where data is stored. Each time it does a memory allocation status check. This mechanism also controls memory allocation. When memory is uninitialized or released, the status is changed.

When allocating memory, the operating system converts logical addresses to physical addresses. A piece of software typically uses one of three sorts of addresses. Source code makes use of symbolic addresses. The variable names, constants, and instruction labels are the most critical parts of the symbolic address space.

Inter-Process Communication

The processes that run on an operating system may be divided into two categories: independent and cooperative. The performance of other processes does not influence the behavior of independent processes. One of the systems working with another process will be influenced by that process.

In cases like these, the cooperative nature of independently running processes increases computing speed, convenience, and modularity. It facilitates the efficient execution of processes. Within the limits of this system, processes can interact with one another. The two saw communication as a means of working together to achieve their goals.

I/O Management

One of the most important tasks an Operating System must perform is managing the many different I/O devices. These are mouse, keyboards, touch pads, disk drives, display adapters, USB devices, bit-mapped screens, LEDs, analog-to-digital converters, on-off switches, network services, audio I/O, printers, and much more.

It is essential to have an I/O system that can take a request for I/O from an application and send it to the physical device. The I/O system will then take the answer the device sends back and send it to the application.

I/O devices fall into one of two categories, such as block devices and character devices. 

Virtualization

Virtualization is a software technique that lets you use a single physical hardware system to build viable environments or resources to manage. A software application named “hypervisor” attaches effectively to a particular hardware and lets you split one system into completely separate, secure areas called “virtual machines” (VMs). All VMs depend on the hypervisor’s ability to separate the machine’s resources from its hardware and use them correctly.

Virtual machines (VMs) are hosted on the original physical system (host) that runs the hypervisor software. These visitors see the computer’s hardware as movable cargo, including the central processing unit, memory, and storage. Operators can manage virtual instances of CPU, memory, storage data, and other resources to ensure guests always have access to the resources they need.

A web-based virtualization management interface should handle all associated VMs, speeding things up. Virtualization allows you to control VMs’ processing power, storage, and memory, and it protects environments by separating VMs from their supporting hardware and one another. It also produces environments and capabilities from unused hardware.

Distributed File System

A distributed file system is a client/server program that allows users to manage and access data stored on a remote server as if it were locally stored on their devices. It enables users to manage and access server-based files as if they were local. 

To speed up the process of retrieving data from the server when a user makes a request, 

The server will send a copy of the requested file to the user’s computer to speed up retrieving data from the server when a user makes a request, where it will remain in the cache until the request is completed. The data is delivered to the server.

Preferably, a distributed file system integrates file and directory services of separate servers into a global directory to provide remote data access location-independent. Hierarchy, a directory-based structure, makes any global file system files available to every user.

Since several clients may access the same data simultaneously, the server should arrange updates (such as by keeping track of access times) to ensure that clients always get the latest data and avoid data conflicts. File or database replication on many servers protects distributed file systems against data access failures.

Distributed Shared Memory

Distributed Shared Memory, or DSM, is a way for a distributed operating system to plan how to use its resources. Its purpose is to implement the memory paradigm in distributed applications even if these systems do not have physically shared memory. Within a distributed system, each of the computers makes use of the same virtual memory space that is provided by the shared memory.

Similarly to how data is accessible from virtual memory, DSM is a shared-space model.  

As the regular operation progresses, ownership of memory pages varies from its initial, predetermined state. Ownership changes occur when data is accessed by a specific process and moved from one node to another.

Cloud Computing

The last in our operating system concepts is Cloud computing. It is a type of computer program outsourcing. Users who use cloud technology can access software and apps from anywhere they have to while managed by a third party—in “the cloud.” It means they don’t have to worry about issues like storage or electricity and can enjoy the final product.

Typical business software has always been a significant financial and time commitment. It’s intimidating to think of all the various gear and software needed to power it. A large group of professionals is needed for their setup, configuration, testing, operation, security, and updates.

When you increase this effort over dozens or hundreds of applications, it’s simple to understand why the largest firms with the most robust IT teams aren’t obtaining the needed apps. Small and medium-sized businesses have no chance.

Final Thoughts

The operating system, which serves as the “brain” of the computer by controlling the input, processing, and output, is involved in every other aspect. The operating system handles every relationship with the other fields. Thus, understanding how the operating system concepts operates will offer insight into how other professions perform.

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