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OPERATING SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION
An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. An operating system processes system data and user input, and responds by allocating and managing tasks and internal system resources as a service to users and programs of the system. At the foundation of all system software, an operating system performs basic tasks such as controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating Computer networking and managing files. Most operating systems come with an application that provides an interface for managing the operating system. The operating system forms a platform for other software.

When the computer is turned on, a small "boot program" loads the operating system. Although additional modules may be loaded as needed, the main part, known as the "kernel" resides in memory at all times. The operating system (OS) sets the standards for all application programs that run in the computer. Applications "talk to" the operating system for all user interface and file management operations. Also called an "executive" or "supervisor," an operating system performs the following functions:

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 User Interface : All graphics based today, the user interface includes the windows, menus

and method of interaction between you and the computer. Prior to graphical user interfaces (GUIs), all operation of the computer was performed by typing in commands. Not at all extinct, command-line interfaces are alive and well and provide an alternate way of running programs on all major operating systems.
 Job Management : Job management controls the order and time in which programs are run

and is more sophisticated in the mainframe environment where scheduling the daily work has always been routine. IBM's job control language (JCL) was developed decades ago. In a desktop environment, batch files can be written to perform a sequence of operations that can be scheduled to start at a given time.
 Task Management : Multitasking, which is the ability to simultaneously execute multiple

programs, is available in all operating systems today. Critical in the mainframe and server environment, applications can be prioritized to run faster or slower depending on their purpose. In the desktop world, multitasking is necessary for keeping several applications open at the same time so you can bounce back and forth among them. See multitasking.
 Data Management : Data management keeps track of the data on disk, tape and optical

storage devices. The application program deals with data by file name and a particular location within the file. The operating system's file system knows where that data are physically stored (which sectors on disk) and interaction between the application and operating system is through the programming interface. Whenever an application needs to read or write data, it makes a call to the operating system (see API).
 Device Management : Device management controls peripheral devices by sending them

commands in their own proprietary language. The software routine that knows how to deal with each device is called a "driver," and the OS requires drivers for the peripherals attached to the computer. When a new peripheral is added, that device's driver is installed into the operating system. See driver.
 Security: Operating systems provide password protection to keep unauthorized users out of

the system. Some operating systems also maintain activity logs and accounting of the user's time for billing purposes. They also provide backup and recovery routines for starting over in the event of a system failure.

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DESKTOP OPERATING SYSTEMS
The operating system develops the system information and the entry of user and acts in response by assigning and organizing the jobs and interior system resources as the service to the users and the programs of the system. At the base of the entire system software, the operating system carries out the basic jobs like controlling and giving priority to the system requirements, assigning the memory, making easy in networking calculating input and output equipments, and organizing file systems.

Features of Desktop operating systems:

GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACES Presently the contemporary desktop operating systems include Graphical User Interfaces. A few older desktop operating systems firmly incorporated the GUI into the kernel. For example: In the unique implementations of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, the graphical subsystem was in fact part of the kernel. Many operating systems permit the user to install or generate any user line they desire. The X Window System in conjunction with GNOME or KDE is a frequently found setup on most UNIX and Unix-like BSD, Linux, Minix systems. Graphical user lines develop over time. Windows has customized its user lines almost every time a new major version of Windows is released, and the Mac OS GUI changed dramatically with the opening of Mac OS X in 2001. DEVICE DRIVERS A device driver is a precise type of computer software developed to permit interaction with hardware devices. Characteristically this constitutes an interface for communicating with the

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device, through the specific computer bus or communications subsystem that the hardware is connected to, offering commands to or receiving data from the device, and on the other end, the requisite interfaces to the operating system and software applications. It is a specialized hardware-dependent computer program which is also operating system precise that enables another program, characteristically an operating system or applications software package or computer program running under the operating system kernel, to interact transparently with a hardware device, and typically offers the requisite interrupt handling indispensable for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interfacing requirements. The main design objective of device drivers is abstraction. Every model of hardware is different. Desktop Operating System essentially dictates how every type of device should be controlled. The function of the device driver is then to interpret these OS mandated function calls into device specific calls. In theory a latest device, which is controlled in a new manner, should function correctly if an appropriate driver is obtainable.

NETWORKING Most existing operating systems are accomplished of utilizing the TCP or IP networking protocols. This involves that computers running different operating systems can take part in a familiar network for sharing resources like files, computing, scanners and printers, using either wired or wireless connections. Many operating systems also hold up one or more vendor-specific legacy networking protocols.

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INTRODUCTION TO LINUX
Linux is a freely distributed operating system that behaves like the Unix operating system. Linux was designed specifically for the PC platform and takes advantage of its design to give users comparable performance to high-end UNIX workstations. Many big-name companies have joined the Linux bandwagon such as IBM and Compaq, offering systems pre-installed with Linux. Also, many companies have started Linux packages, such as Red Hat, Corel, and Samba. However, they can only charge for services and documentation packaged with the Linux software. More and more businesses are using Linux as an efficient and more economical way to run their networks. Linux is a complete multitasking, multi-user operating system that behaves like UNIX in terms of kernel behavior and peripheral support. Linux has all the features of UNIX and boasts of its open source code and mainly free utilities. The Linux kernel was originally developed for the Intel 80386, which was developed with multitasking as one of its features. The kernel is the lowest-level core factor of the operating system. The kernel is the code that controls the interface between user programs and hardware devices, the scheduling of processes to achieve multitasking, and many other aspects of the system. The Linux kernel is a monolithic kernel; all the device drivers are part of the kernel proper. Despite the fact that most of Intel's CPUs are used with single-tasking MS-DOS, Linux makes good use of the advanced multitasking features built into the CPU's instruction set. Linux supports demand paging, which means that only the sections of a program that are necessary are read into RAM. Linux also offers support for copy-on-write, a process that if more than one copy of a particular application is loaded, all tasks can share the same memory. When large memory requirements are needed and only small amounts of physical RAM are available, Linux has another feature called swap space. Swap space allows pages of memory to be written to a reserved area of a disk and treated as an extension of physical memory. By moving pages between the swap space and RAM, Linux can, in effect, act as if it had much more physical RAM than it does, with the cost of some speed due to the hard drive's slower access. Linux also

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supports diverse file systems, as well as those compatible with DOS and OS/2. Linux's file system, ext2fs, is intended for best possible use of the disk.

THE HISTORY OF LINUX
Linux has a rich history. It is essential to understand Linux's history in order to understand the philosophy behind Linux's programming. This guide hopes to cover what Linux is really about, show you its history, why it was formed, and a brief description of its capabilities and how it operates. Linux is a freely distributable version of UNIX. UNIX is one of the most popular operating systems for networking worldwide because of its large support base and distribution. Linus Torvalds, who was then a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland, developed Linux in 1991. It was released for free on the Internet and generated the largest software-development phenomena of all time. Because of GNU software (GNU being an acronym for Gnu's Not UNIX) created by the Free Software Foundation, Linux has many utilities to offer. The Free Software Foundation offers royalty-free software to programmers and developers. From the very beginning, Linux has been entwined with GNU software. From 1991, Linux quickly developed on hackers' web pages as the alternative to Windows and the more expensive UNIX systems. When Red Hat released its commercial version of Linux packaged with tech support and documentation, the floodgates broke and the majority of the public became aware of Linux and its capabilities. Now more and more new users are willing to try Linux on their personal PCs and business users are willing to use Linux to run their networks. Linux has become the latest phenomenon to hit the PC software market. Linux is a unique operating system in that it is an active participant in the Open Source Software movement. Linux is legally covered by the GNU General Public License, also known as GPL. Open Source software is free but is not in the public domain. It is not shareware either. GPL allows people to take free software and distribute their own versions of the software. However, the vendors who sell free software cannot restrict the rights of users who purchase the software. In other words, users who buy GPL software can make copies of it and distribute it free of charge or for a fee. Also, distributors of GPL software must make it clear that the software is covered by the GPL and must provide the complete source code for the software at no cost. Linux embodies the Open Source model. Open source applies to software for which the source code is freely available for anyone to download, alter, and redistribute. Linux is the perfect operating system for hackers because they can freely download newer versions of the Linux kernel or other Linux utilities of the Internet and instantly change its source code to fix any software bugs found. That way, bugs can be fixed in a matter of hours as opposed to days and weeks. Beta testers and code

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debuggers are unorganized and spread throughout the world, but surprisingly, they have managed to quickly debug Linux software efficiently and cooperate online through the use of the Internet.

FEATURES OF LINUX
The main features of the Linux operating system are:  Preemptive Multitasking: Linux is a real multitasking operating system. It allows to run many programs on single CPU at the same time, meaning that more than one task or application program can be running at the same time, preemptive meaning the operating system rather than the application has control of tasks .
 Multi-user: More than one user can be logged on at the same time without affecting each

other); has rudimentary security is built-in (login and password, file ownership and permissions); was designed for connectivity (that is, to connect many computers and workstations together)
 32 BIT SUPPORT: Linux is a full 32-bit operating system. It works on INTEL

386/486/Pentium platform as a true 32 bit operating system.  TCP/IP Support: Linux supports the transmission control protocol /internet protocol, which is a set of protocols linking millions of universities, research centre, other organizations and commercial computers on internet. One can access the internet or a LAN from his/her Linux system.
 X window system: The Linux supports X windows system which is a very powerful standard

graphics interface. The X window system provides an environment that allows you to have multiple windows where you can run applications on each window individually. It replaces the command line with a screenful of objects in the form of menus, icons, buttons, & dialogue boxes.
 Shared Libraries: Linux can implement shared libraries. It allows the programs to find the

subroutines codes used in them in shared libraries at the time of execution. It saves a large amount of disk space because there is no need to store own copy of common routines by each application.
 Access controls and security: All users must be authenticated by a valid account and

password to use the system at all. All files are owned by particular accounts. The owner can decide whether others have read or write access to his file.  Virtual memory support: Linux supports the virtual memory feature. It uses a portion of the hard disk for it and expands the total amount of available RAM. Linux utilizes the entire system’s memory through its virtual memory manager, without any memory limits or segmentation.

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