Operating System

Compiled by: Suresh Khanal

2010
There has always been lack of good preparation materials for Computer Science Studies. Though the efforts of a man can never fulfill the gap, but I hope, I can a add bit. I would be glad if you find this eBook useful for your studies and will always welcome your comments and suggestions.

PS Exam Syuchatar – 1, Kalanki Kathmandu Nepal.

Operating Systems Short Questions and Answers

Contents
1. What are the basic functions of an operating system? 2. Why paging is used? 3. What resources are used when a thread created? How do they differ from those when a process is created? 4. What is virtual memory? 5. What is Throughput, Turnaround time, waiting time and Response time? 6. What is the state of the processor, when a process is waiting for some event to occur? 7. What is the important aspect of a real-time system or Mission Critical Systems? 8. What are the types of Real Time System? 9. What is the difference between Hard and Soft real-time systems? 10. What is the cause of thrashing? How does the system detect thrashing? Once it detects thrashing, what can the system do to eliminate this problem? 11. What are multi tasking, multi programming and multi threading? 12. What is hard disk and what is its purpose?

What is Dispatcher? 16. What is a Real-Time System? 21. What is cache memory? 19. What is Context Switch? 18. What are the different process states? 28. What is marshalling? 29. What is Semaphore? 24.13. What is CPU Scheduler? 17. What is MUTEX? 22. Define and Explain COM? 26. What is Marshalling? 25. What is a Safe State and what is its use in deadlock avoidance? 20. What is Mutex Object? 30. What is semaphore? . What is fragmentation? Different types of fragmentation? 14. What is INODE? 27. What is the difference between a ‘thread’ and a ‘process’? 23. What is DRAM? In which form does it store data? 15.

What is the usage of Deadlock Detection-Algorithm? 36. Explain Memory Partitioning. What is fragmentation? Different types of fragmentation? 38. What is the cause of thrashing? How does the system detect thrashing? Once it detects thrashing. Paging. compiler. What are the Methods for Handling Deadlocks? 34. Describe different job scheduling in operating systems. What is a Real-Time System? 42. 41. what can the system do to eliminate this problem? 40. processor. What is the main component of operating system 43. What is the Condition for deadlock occurrence? 33. assembler. Under what circumstances do page faults occur? Describe the actions taken by the operating system when a page fault occurs? 39. Segmentation.31. . What are the different Dynamic Storage-Allocation methods? 37. linker and the functions executed by them. Explain briefly about. What is a Safe State and its? use in deadlock avoidance? 35. 32. loader.

Operating Systems Short Questions and Answers .

the operating system must decide which requests are allocated resources to operating the computer system efficiently and fairly.psexam.What are the basic functions of an operating system? Operating system controls and coordinates the use of the hardware among the various application programs for various uses. It is especially concerned with the operation and control of I/O devices. operating system is control program which controls the user programs to prevent errors and improper use of the computer. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. Also. Operating system acts as resource allocator and manager.com Page 1 . Since there are many possibly conflicting requests for resources.

psexam.Why paging is used? Paging is solution to external fragmentation problem which is to permit the logical address space of a process to be noncontiguous. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 2 . thus allowing a process to be allocating physical memory wherever the latter is available.

com Page 3 . The benefit of code sharing is that it allows an application to have several different threads of activity all within the same address space.What resources are used when a thread created? How do they differ from those when a process is created? When a thread is created the threads does not require any new resources to execute the thread shares the resources like memory of the process to which they belong to. Whereas if a new process creation is very heavyweight because it always requires new address space to be created and even if they share the memory then the inter process communication is expensive when compared to the communication between the threads.psexam. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.

psexam. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 4 . the physical memory and storage parts of the memory one disk when they are not actively being used.What is virtual memory? Virtual memory is hardware technique where the system appears to have more memory that it actually does. This is done by time-sharing.

Response Time: amount of time it takes from when a request was submitted until the first response is produced.com Page 5 . not output (for time-sharing environment).psexam. waiting time and Response time? Throughput: Number of processes that complete their execution per time unit. Waiting Time: Amount of time a process has been waiting in the ready queue.What is Throughput. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. Turnaround Time: Amount of time to execute a particular process. Turnaround time.

when a process is waiting for some event to occur? Waiting state Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam.com Page 6 .What is the state of the processor.

psexam.What is the important aspect of a real-time system or Mission Critical Systems? A real time operating system has well defined fixed time constraints. and some display systems. Often used as a control device in a dedicated application such as controlling scientific experiments. An example is the operating system for a flight control computer or an advanced jet airplane. medical imaging systems. industrial control systems.com Page 7 . Process must be done within the defined constraints or the system will fail. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.

Useful in applications (multimedia. Conflicts with time-sharing systems. Soft real-time: Limited utility in industrial control of robotics.com Page 8 . Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. or read-only memory (ROM). not supported by general-purpose operating systems.What are the types of Real Time System? Real-Time systems may be either hard or soft real-time. data stored in short term memory. Hard real-time: Secondary storage limited or absent. virtual reality) requiring advanced operating-system features.

A soft real time system where a critical real-time task gets priority over other tasks and retains that priority until it completes.What is the difference between Hard and Soft real-time systems? A hard real-time system guarantees that critical tasks complete on time.com Page 9 . As in hard real time systems kernel delays need to be bounded Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. This goal requires that all delays in the system be bounded from the retrieval of the stored data to the time that it takes the operating system to finish any request made of it.

com Page 10 .psexam.What is the cause of thrashing? How does the system detect thrashing? Once it detects thrashing. It can be eliminated by reducing the level of multiprogramming. what can the system do to eliminate this problem? Thrashing is caused by under allocation of the minimum number of pages required by a process. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. forcing it to continuously page fault. The system can detect thrashing by evaluating the level of CPU utilization as compared to the level of multiprogramming.

The operating system selects a job from the job pool and starts executing a job. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 11 . The concept of multiprogramming is that the operating system keeps several jobs in memory simultaneously. Multiprogramming creates logical parallelism.What are multi tasking. So the main idea here is that the CPU is never idle. It allows a computer to do several things at the same time. when that job needs to wait for any i/o operations the CPU is switched to another job. multi programming and multi threading? Multi programming: Multiprogramming is the technique of running several programs at a time using timesharing.psexam.

sound. If the web server ran as a Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. A time-shared operating system uses CPU scheduling and multiprogramming to provide each user with a small portion of timeshared system.psexam.com Page 12 . images.The concept of multitasking is quite similar to multiprogramming but difference is that the switching between jobs occurs so frequently that the users can interact with each program while it is running. In some situations a single application may be required to perform several similar tasks for example a web server accepts client requests for web pages. A busy web server may have several of clients concurrently accessing it.Multi tasking: Multitasking is the logical extension of multi-programming . Multi threading: An application typically is implemented as a separate process with several threads of control. and so forth. This concept is also known as time-sharing systems.

traditional single-threaded process.psexam. Resource sharing economy and utilization of multiprocessor architectures multithreading concept can be used.com Page 13 . The amount of time that a client might have to wait for its request to be serviced could be enormous. it would be able to service only one client at a time. To get the advantages like responsiveness. This approach would multithread the web-server process. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. the server would create a separate thread that would listen for client requests when a request was made rather than creating another process it would create another thread to service the request. So it is efficient to have one process that contains multiple threads to serve the same purpose.

Data is stored onto the disk in the form of files. and it holds the data on the magnetic medium of the disk. Hard disks have a hard platter that holds the magnetic medium. which holds the data in bulk. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam.What is hard disk and what is its purpose? Hard disk is the secondary storage device. and a typical desktop machine will have hard disks with a capacity of between 10 and a few gigabytes.com Page 14 . the magnetic medium can be easily erased and rewritten.

com Page 15 . but it is not contiguous. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. External Fragmentation: External Fragmentation happens when a dynamic memory allocation algorithm allocates some memory and a small piece is left over that cannot be effectively used. If too much external fragmentation occurs.What is fragmentation? Different types of fragmentation? Fragmentation occurs in a dynamic memory allocation system when many of the free blocks are too small to satisfy any request. the amount of usable memory is drastically reduced. Total memory space exists to satisfy a request.psexam.

Internal Fragmentation: Internal fragmentation is the space wasted inside of allocated memory blocks because of restriction on the allowed sizes of allocated blocks. Allocated memory may be slightly larger than requested memory; this size difference is memory internal to a partition, but not being used

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What is DRAM? In which form does it store data?
DRAM is not the best, but it’s cheap, does the job, and is available almost everywhere you look. DRAM data resides in a cell made of a capacitor and a transistor. The capacitor tends to lose data unless it’s recharged every couple of milliseconds, and this recharging tends to slow down the performance of DRAM compared to speedier RAM types.

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Page 17

What is Dispatcher?
Dispatcher module gives control of the CPU to the process selected by the short-term scheduler; this involves: Switching context, Switching to user

mode, Jumping to the proper location in the user program to restart that program, dispatch latency:- time it takes for the dispatcher to stop one process and start another running.

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Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. Terminates.What is CPU Scheduler? Selects from among the processes in memory that are ready to execute. All other scheduling is preemptive.psexam. CPU scheduling decisions may take place when a process: 1. 2. Switches from running to ready state. and allocates the CPU to one of them.com Page 19 . 4. 3. Scheduling under 1 and 4 is non-preemptive. Switches from running to waiting state. Switches from waiting to ready.

Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. the number of registers which must be copied. because the system does no useful work while switching. Context-switch time is pure overhead. Its speed varies from machine to machine. depending on the memory speed.What is Context Switch? Switching the CPU to another process requires saving the state of the old process and loading the saved state for the new process. the existence of special instructions (such as a single instruction to load or store all registers).psexam. This task is known as a context switch.com Page 20 .

What is cache memory? Cache memory is random access memory (RAM) that a computer microprocessor can access more quickly than it can access regular RAM. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. it looks first in the cache memory and if it finds the data there (from a previous reading of data). As the microprocessor processes data.psexam.com Page 21 . it does not have to do the more time-consuming reading of data from larger memory.

Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.What is a Safe State and what is its use in deadlock avoidance? Safe State: When a process requests an available resource. Deadlock Avoidance: Ensure that a system will never enter an unsafe state. system must decide if immediate allocation leaves the system in a safe state. System is in safe state if there exists a safe sequence of all processes.psexam.com Page 22 .

psexam. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. A real time operating system is an operating system that can run real time processes successfully.What is a Real-Time System? A real time process is a process that must respond to the events within a certain time period.com Page 23 .

Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. The mutex is set to unlock when the data is no longer needed or the routine is finished.com Page 24 . any thread that needs the resource must lock the mutex from other threads while it is using the resource. such as file access. When a program is started a mutex is created with a unique name. but not simultaneously.psexam.What is MUTEX? Mutex is a program object that allows multiple program threads to share the same resource. After this stage.

A processor executes threads. applications were all designed to run on a single thread of execution. data. so each application has at least one process. A process can have multiple threads in addition to the primary thread. A thread is code that is to be serially executed within a process. and a process always has at least one thread of execution. Prior to the introduction of multiple threads of execution. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.What is the difference between a ‘thread’ and a ‘process’? A process is a collection of virtual memory space. not processes.com Page 25 . code. known as the primary thread. and system resources.psexam.

Threads executing the same block of code maintain separate stacks.com Page 26 . or multiple threads can execute the same section of code. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. Each thread can run separate sections of code.psexam. it continues until it is killed or until it is interrupted by a thread with higher priority (by a user action or the kernel’s thread scheduler).When a thread begins to execute. Each thread in a process shares that process’s global variables and resources.

What is Semaphore? Semaphore is the locking Mechanism used inside resource managers and resource dispensers.psexam.com Page 27 . Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. What is Marshalling? The process of packaging and sending interface method parameters across thread or process boundaries is marshalling.

COM is loaded when the first object of the component is created. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. COM has two aspects a: COM specifications provide a definition for what object is b: COM provides services or blue prints for creation of object and communication between client and server.Define and Explain COM? COM stands for Component Object Model which is a specification (Standards).com Page 28 .

execute permissions). access mode (read. Inode provides important information on files such as group ownership.What is INODE? INODE are the data structures that contain information about the files which are created when UNIX file systems are created. write. Each file has an inode & is identified by an inode number (i-number) in the file system where it resides.psexam. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 29 .

RUNNING 5. if the process “TERMINATE” it still exists Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. WAIT 4.What are the different process states? A process may be in anyone of the following states 1. TERMINATE Note: TERMINATE is not a state.psexam. READY 3.com Page 30 . NEW 2.

In order for an object to be moved around a network. Data pieces are collected in a message buffer before they are marshaled. This conversion is known as data marshalling.com Page 31 . Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. When the data is transmitted.What is marshalling? Marshalling is the process of gathering data and transforming it into a standard format before it is transmitted over a network so that the data can transcend network boundaries. the receiving computer converts the marshaled data back into an object. it must be converted into a data stream that corresponds with the packet structure of the network transfer protocol.

com Page 32 . For example. and non-signaled when it is owned.What is Mutex Object? A mutex object is a synchronization object whose state is set to signaled when it is not owned by any thread. After writing to the shared memory. to prevent two threads from writing to shared memory at the same time. each thread waits for ownership of a mutex object before executing the code that accesses the memory. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. the thread releases the mutex object.psexam.

What is semaphore? A semaphore object is a synchronization object that maintains a count between zero and a specified maximum value. no more threads can successfully wait for the semaphore object state to become signaled. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. The state of a semaphore is set to ‘signaled’ when its count is greater than zero and ‘non-signaled’ when its count is zero. The count is decremented each time a thread completes a wait for the semaphore object and incremented each time a thread releases the semaphore. When the count reaches zero.com Page 33 .psexam. It acts as a gate that limits the number of threads sharing the resource to a specified maximum number. The semaphore object is useful in controlling a shared resource that can support a limited number of users.

com Page 34 . Memory partitioning is the way to distribute the Kernel and User Space Area in Memory. In modern Server operating systems. we can use Multiple Page Size Support.psexam. Segmentation. Paging is actually a minimum memory.Explain Memory Partitioning. That actually helps to tune OS performance. which can be swap in and swap out from Memory. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. depending on type of applications. Paging.

For example: you can have your stack stuffs in one place (Stack Segment).Segmentation is actually a way to keep similar objects in one place. Linux doesn’t have segment architecture.com Page 35 . Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. AIX has Segment architecture. and data in another place (Data and BSS segment). Binary code in another place (text segment).

psexam. Hold and wait: a process holding at least one resource is waiting to acquire additional resources held by other processes. after that process has completed its task.com Page 36 . Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. No preemption: a resource can be released only voluntarily by the process holding it. Mutual exclusion: only one process at a time can use a resource.What is the Condition for deadlock occurrence? Deadlock can arise if four conditions hold simultaneously.

and P3 is waiting for a resource that is held by P0. P1. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 37 . P3} of waiting processes such that P0 is waiting for a resource that is held by P1.psexam. P2. P1 is waiting for a resource that is held by P2.Circular wait: there exists a set {P0. P2 is waiting for a resource that is held by P3.

com Page 38 .psexam.  Ignore the problem and pretend that deadlocks never occur in the system. used by most operating systems Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.  Allow the system to enter a deadlock state and then recover.What are the Methods for Handling Deadlocks?  Ensure that the system will never enter a deadlock state.

Sequence <P1.com Page 39 . the resources that Pi can still request can be satisfied by currently available resources + resources held by all the Pj.psexam.What is a Safe State and its? use in deadlock avoidance? When a process requests an available resource. P2? Pn> is safe if for each Pi. with j<I. system must decide if immediate allocation leaves the system in a safe state System is in safe state if there exist a safe sequence of all processes. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.

When Pj is finished. When Pi terminates. Pi can obtain needed resources. execute. ->Deadlock Avoidance ?ensure that a system will never enter an unsafe state. Pi+1 can obtain its needed resources. and terminate. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 40 .psexam. return allocated resources. then Pi can wait until all Pj have finished. and so on.If Pi resource needs are not immediately available.

there may be many cycles in the resource graph and so we would not be able to tell which of the many deadlocked processes. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.com Page 41 .psexam. to invoke depends on:  How often a deadlock is likely to occur?  How many processes will need to be rolled back?  If detection algorithm is invoked arbitrarily. and how often. caused the deadlock.What is the usage of Deadlock DetectionAlgorithm?  When.

must also search entire list. must search entire list. First-fit and best-fit are better than worst-fit in terms of speed and storage utilization. unless ordered by size. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.What are the different Dynamic StorageAllocation methods? How to satisfy a request of size n from a list of free holes? First-fit: Allocate the first hole that is big enough.com Page 42 . Worst-fit: Allocate the largest hole. It produces the smallest leftover hole. Best-fit: Allocate the smallest hole that is big enough. Produces the largest left over hole.psexam.

com Page 43 .psexam. External Fragmentation: External Fragmentation happens when a dynamic memory allocation algorithm allocates some memory and a small piece is left over that cannot be effectively used. If too much external fragmentation occurs. but it is not contiguous Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. the amount of usable memory is drastically reduced. Total memory space exists to satisfy a request.What is fragmentation? Different types of fragmentation? Fragmentation occurs in a dynamic memory allocation system when many of the free blocks are too small to satisfy any request.

psexam. and is done at execution time.  Compaction is possible only if relocation is dynamic. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. this size difference is memory internal to a partition. but not being used Reduce external fragmentation by compaction  Shuffle memory contents to place all free memory together in one large block.com Page 44 .Internal Fragmentation: Internal fragmentation is the space wasted inside of allocated memory blocks because of restriction on the allowed sizes of allocated blocks. Allocated memory may be slightly larger than requested memory.

the process table and page table are updated and the instruction is restarted. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. If it is valid. Upon completion of I/O. The operating system verifies the memory access. which is not present in the main memory.com Page 45 . a free frame is located and I/O is requested to read the needed page into the free frame. When a process is executed with only few pages in memory and when an instruction is encountered which refers to any instruction or data in some other page. aborting the program if it is invalid.psexam.Under what circumstances do page faults occur? Describe the actions taken by the operating system when a page fault occurs? A page fault occurs when an access to a page that has not been brought into main memory takes place. a page fault occurs.

Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam. It can be eliminated by reducing the level of multiprogramming. The system can detect thrashing by evaluating the level of CPU utilization as compared to the level of multiprogramming. what can the system do to eliminate this problem? Thrashing is caused by under allocation of the minimum number of pages required by a process.com Page 46 . forcing it to continuously page fault.What is the cause of thrashing? How does the system detect thrashing? Once it detects thrashing.

FCFS: FCSFS stands for First Come First Served. Round Robin Scheduling: Round Robin scheduling is a scheduling method where each process gets a small quantity of time to run and then it is preempted and the next process gets to run.Describe different job scheduling in operating systems. This is called time-sharing and gives the effect of all the processes running at the same time Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam.com Page 47 . In FCFS the job that has been waiting the longest is served next. Scheduling is the activity of the deciding when process will receive the resources they request.

What is a Real-Time System? A real time process is a process that must respond to the events within a certain time period.psexam. Priority Scheduling: Priority scheduling is a scheduling method where at all times the highest priority process is assigned the resource.com Page 48 . A real time operating system is an operating system that can run real time processes successfully Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.Shortest Job First: The Shortest job First scheduling algorithm is a nonpreemptive scheduling algorithm that chooses the job that will execute the shortest amount of time.

e. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.A real time operating system is one in which the process has to respond within specified time limits.g Robot Systems 2) Soft Real-Time: in this if system fails to respond within the specified time limits then the process is not considered to be failed rather it gets some more time from the system to get complete.com Page 49 . Depending on this the real time operating system is of two types: 1) Hard Real-Time: in this system has to respond within the specified time limits in case if it fails to respond within that time then the process is considered to be fail.psexam.

Whenever application program wants some work to be done. Thus we can say kernel is an interface between hardware and shell. Shell is a interface between application program and kernel. Kernel uses device drivers to control microcontroller card of peripheral device and in turn work is being accomplished.What is the main component of operating system Main component of operating system are kernel and shell.com Page 50 . it contacts kernel and kernel in turn perform work with the help of device drivers. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.psexam.

loader. Assembler: An assembler is a program that takes basic computer instructions and converts them into a pattern of bits that the computer's processor can use Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. assembler. linker and the functions executed by them. Processor: A processor is the part a computer system that executes instructions .com Page 51 .It is also called a CPU. compiler.Application Program -> [shells ->kernel ->device driver -> controller card -> physical hardware] Explain briefly about.psexam. processor.

Compiler: A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular programming language and turns them into machine language or "code" that a computer's processor uses. Some people call these instructions assembler language and others use the term assembly language. a programmer writes language statements in a language such as Pascal or C one line at a time using an editor. Typically.to perform its basic operations.com Page 52 . specifying the name of the file that contains the source statements. The file that is created contains what are called the source statements. The programmer then runs the appropriate language compiler.psexam. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www.

Loader: In a computer operating system. Compiled by Suresh Khanal for http://www. part of the operating system itself) in offline storage (such as a hard disk). loads it into main storage (in a personal computer. in some cases.psexam. and gives of the computer. that program control Linker: Linker performs the linking of libraries with the object code to make the object code into an executable machine code. it's called random access memory). a loader is a component that locates a given program (which can be an application or.com Page 53 .

psexam. What’s in http://www.Visit PS Exam for Computer Science Exam Preparation Or Computer Jobs Exam Preparation.com? Multiple Choice Questions Short Questions and Answers Class Notes Handouts eBooks .

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