Features Of Different Operating Systems Computer Science Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


The most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from thekeyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral such as disk drives and printers.

Operating systems provide a software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, can run. The application programs must be written to run on top of a particular operating system. Your choice of operating system, therefore, determines to a great extent the applications you can run.


Linux is a powerful, non-proprietary, standards-based operating system that is currently the fastest growing computer operating system on the planet. Linux offers speed, performance, stability, and reliability that rival that of commercial operating systems costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Linux contains all the features required of modern desktop PCs, corporate file servers, firewalls, routers, and Internet servers.

Features And Usage

• It is a multitasking Os which can have several programs running at the same time.

• several users on the same machine at the same time (and no two-user licenses!).

• it has multiplatform which runs on many different CPUs, not just Intel.

•multithreading has native kernel support for multiple independent threads of control within a single process.

• has memory protection between processes

• Linux only reads from disk those parts of a program that are actually used.

• shared copy-on-write pages among executables. This means that multiple process can use the same memory to run in. When one tries to write to that memory, that page (4KB piece of memory) is copied somewhere else. Copy-on-write has two benefits: increasing speed and decreasing memory use.

• virtual memory using paging (not swapping whole processes) to disk: to a separate partition or a file in the filesystem, or both, with the possibility of adding more swapping areas during runtime (yes, they're still called swapping areas)

• a unified memory pool for user programs and disk cache, so that all free memory can be used for caching, and the cache can be reduced when running large programs.

• does core dumps for post-mortem analysis

• all source code is available, including the whole kernel and all drivers.


A multitasking, multiprocessing operating system from Sun that runs on SPARC and x86-based computers. In 2005, Sun made Solaris free and open source. Known for its robustness and scalability, Solaris provides an enterprise-wide Unix environment that can manage thousands of nodes from one central station. Solaris was briefly available for the PowerPC, but support was dropped as of Version 2.6.


Resource Management is an rather old feature in Solaris. Resource Management was introduced to solve one important question. You can run multiple programs and services at once in a single instance of the operating system

There is a hidden gem in the Solaris Operating Environment called CacheFS, solving a task many admins solve with scripts. It´s an filesystem, that caches data of an other filesystem. 

Dynamically move or replicate applications to accommodate business changes

Lowers administrative costs by safely combining multiple applications on a single system

Reduces conflicts among applications running on the same system by isolating them from one another

Supports Predictive Self Healing to minimize fault propagation and unplanned downtime

Enhances security by preventing unauthorized access and unintended intrusions

Real-time troubleshooting of systemic problems

New tools for low-level system debugging

System hardware testing and analysis

Fine-grained project accounting

Enhanced patch analysis and delivery tools

Existing applications benefit from Solaris 10 enhancements without modification


Unix was developed at Bell Labs in 1969. Unix is not so much a single operating system as it is a standard upon which organizations and companies base their own systems. A lot of later operating systems, even big names like MAC operating system, though have different GUIs, but their features are pretty similar to the ones in Unix. Unix played a role in the creation of the popular programming language, C, and helped establish Internet networking in academic environments.


Multiprogramming - Support more than one program, in memory, at a time. Amounts to multiple user processes on the system.

Multitasking - A single process can initiate multiple threads of execution. Exploiting concurrency in a process.

Supports virtual memory, programs larger than the physical RAM of the system, can be executed.

The system is written in high-level language making it easier to read, understand, change and, therefore move to other machines. The code can be changed and complied on a new machine. Customers can then choose from a wide variety of hardware vendors without being locked in with a particular vendor. 

The System hides the machine architecture from the user, making it easier to write applications that can run on micros, mins and mainframes. 

UNIX is a multi-user system designed to support a group of users simultaneously. The system allows for the sharing of processing power and peripheral resources, white at the same time providing excellent security features. 

UNIX uses a hierarchile file structure to store information. This struture has the maximum flexibility in grouping information in a way that reflects its natural state. It allows for easy maintenance and efficient implementation. 

UNIX has a simple user interface called the shell that has the power to provide the services that the user wants. It protects the user from having to know the intricate hardware details. 

UNIX has facilities called Pipes and Filters which permit the user to create complex programs from simple programs. 

UNIX has over 200 utility programs for various functions. New utilities can be built effortlessly by combining existing utilities. 

UNIX offers an excellent variety of tools for software development for all phases, from program editing to maintenance of software,

Unix files are arranged in a tree-like structure similar to MS-DOS or VMS

Sections of the "tree" are called file Systems

File systems contain directories

Directories can contain files or other directories

The root file system contains system directories and files

New file systems are "grafted" onto existing file systems

All users have personal home directory


Windows is a series of software operating systems and graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).


Windows has been designed to be an extensible, portable operating system that allows its user to experience new kinds of techniques and hardware.

Windows support multiple operating environments and symmetric multi-processing, that include both 32bit and 64 bit operating system.

The use of windows kernel objects to provide basic services, along with support to client server computing, enables user to experience wide variety of application environments.

It provides virtual memory, integrated caching and preemptive scheduling. Windows support a very strong security model stronger than other operating system developed by other vendors.

Windows have facilities such as monitoring the health of pc, easy graphical user interface, catching of programming errors in user level code, extensibility that is it adapts new computing technology and all such facilities that would make windows more stable and reliable operating system.

The kernel of windows has 4 responsibilities i.e. thread scheduling, interrupt and exception handling and low level power synchronization and recovery after power failure. The process manager in windows provides services for creating , deleting and using processes, threads and jobs.

The I/O manager is responsible for file systems, device drivers and network drivers, it keeps tracks of which device drivers, filter drivers and file system that are loaded and it also manages buffers for I/O request.

There is also a plug and play manager that recognizes the changes in the hardware configuration.

Windows runs on wide variety of computers, so users can choose or match hardware according to their budgets and performance without needing worry about the version of windows on there compute


Mac OS is the trademarked name for a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The original form of what Apple would later name the "Mac OS" was the integral and unnamed system software first introduced in 1984 with the original Macintosh, usually referred to simply as the System software.


Mac OS X keeps various data and information organized by context,

The various APIs make sure that (if used properly), all of a user's data is stored deterministically.

Mac OS X is its support for synchronization of your computer's configuration,

System Preferences can stay in sync across all your Macs. No matter what Mac you use, you'll feel right at home.

Save the configuration of all your open windows as a workspace. The location, window settings, and shell configurations of multiple windows can then be recalled instantly.

Support an interactive screen sharing session with other Macs on your network.

Apple actually includes a certain degree of built-in protection against dangerous software. It provides a first line of defense against unwittingly infecting your computer with evil software

Any programs autocorrect what you type, changing teh into the, for example. And a host of Mac utilities will do the trick, too. Now Apple has built auto substitution of text into OS X.