problems, such as preventing the system from communicating with hardware devices.They can even cause the system to become unstable or crash. A system crash consists of freezing and becoming unresponsive to point where the machine needs to be rebooted.These issues vary depending on the type of operating system.
- Software bugs will not only make a system unstable, but also leave it wide opento unauthorized users. Once these vulnerabilities are discovered, attackers can exploitthem and gain access to your system. From there, they can install malware, launch attackson other machines or even take complete control of your system. Software developersusually distribute security patches rather quickly to update the operating system and fixthe vulnerabilities.
Types of Operating Systems
There are several types of operating systems, with Windows, Linux and Macintosh suitesbeing the most widely used. Here is an overview on each system:
Windows is the popular Microsoft brand preferred by most personal users.This system has come a long way from version 1.0 all the way up to the new Vista andsoon to be released Windows 7. Although Windows has made strides in regard tosecurity, it has a reputation for being one of the most vulnerable systems.
The Unix operating system has been around for years, and it is well knownfor its stability. Unix is often used more as a server than a workstation. Linux was basedon the Unix system, with the source code being a part of GNU open-source project. Bothsystems are very secure yet far more complex than Windows.
Recent versions of the Macintosh operating system, including the Mac OSX, follow the secure architecture of Unix. Systems developed by Apple are efficient andeasy to use, but can only function on Apple branded hardware.
Operating system componentsProcess Management
The operating system manages many kinds of activities ranging from user programs tosystem programs like printer spooler, name servers, file server etc. Each of theseactivities is encapsulated in a process. A process includes the complete execution context(code, data, PC, registers, OS resources in use etc.).It is important to note that a process is not a program. A process is only ONE instant of aprogram in execution. There are many processes can be running the same program. Thefive major activities of an operating system in regard to process management are
Creation and deletion of user and system processes.