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It is difficult to pin down precisely what an operating system is but here I will try to give few definitions and basic concepts of an operating system. An operating system (OS) is a layer of a computer system between hardware and the user programs (user software).An OS does what all software does; it implements some desired functionality by building on the functionality available at lower levels. An OS is build directly on hardware interface and provides the interface between the hardware and the user program
Another modern understanding of OS can be that a modern computer system consists of one or more processors, some main memory, disks, printers, a keyboard, network interfaces, and other I/O devices. Writing programs that keep track of all these components and use them correctly is an extremely difficult job. For this reason, computers are equipped with a layer of software called the operating system, whose job is to manage all these devices and provide user programs with a simple interface to the hardware.
In another words operating system is the most fundamental of all the system programs, which controls all the computer`s resources and provides the base upon which the application program can be written.
There are many functionalities of an OS but here I am presenting it as a resource manager. The OS manages the hardware resources of the computer system.
Resource management includes:
Transforming: Creating a new resource from an existing resource. The created resource will act as a substitute fro the existing resource but will be easier to use.
Multiplexing: Creating the illusion of several resources from one resource.
Scheduling: Deciding which programs should get each resource and when they should get it.
This was a very brief discussion on the basic functionality, features and usage of operating system.
Basic Concepts and its Usage:
WinLinux 2001 was designed and built to be the easiest to use Linux system.
Its installation and configuration tasks are performed directly from Windows using graphical tools.
It installs like a Windows application from within Windows 95, 98 and Me
WinLinux requires 500 MB of free space for Windows 98 and 1 GB for 95.
WinLinux 2001 comes with an enhanced hardware detection system that's supposed to detect and automatically configure over a thousand devices and, doesn't require hard disk partitioning.
It shares free disk space with Windows.
One of the major hurdles when it comes to installing Linux is, for newcomers, the requirement for a standard distro to rearrange the hard disk to allow partitions to install the system to.
A number of distributors have attempted to make this transition easier by allowing the OS to be installed within a Windows filesystem.
Windows integration: WinLinux 2001 uses the latest technology available in the industry to install as easily as any Windows application.
Smart configuration: more than 1,000 hardware devices are detected and automatically configured to reflect current settings and preferences.
Safe installation: WinLinux 2001 does not put user's files at risk because there is no need to partition the hard drive.
Easy troubleshooting: a Troubleshooting Utility is included to simplify the request of Online Support for supported customers.
Optimal Disk Usage: WinLinux 2001 shares free disk space with Windows, i.e., there is no need for two independent hard disk partitions that do not share disk space.
Familiar look and feel: easy access to Windows network drives and the Internet.
WinLinux 2001 uses graphical user interface and it comes with StartOffice, Netscape Communicator, Acrobat Reader, Real Player, The GIMP, GNOME and support for Red Hat RPM packages.
As is usual with Windows programs, WinLinux uses a standard windows installer.
It merely asks you where you want to install WinLinux, the default being C:\Linux.
The system is then copied across onto the hard disk. This takes about as long as a standard install of any other distribution would, after which a pop-up box will appear requesting the details for a user.
After this, the installer enters a hardware detection phase.
WinLinux 2001 can be started from within Windows, or selected at boot time.
If started from windows, Linux ran in SVGA text mode, otherwise text mode is used.
The standard KDE login screen, kdm, is used. This presents a familiar interface to any windows user, allowing a login as any created accounts, in addition to a "guest" account.
On entering username and password, it gives a KDE desktop.
The resulting desktop is very like windows - a start button, with quicklaunch icons, a task list and clock along the bottom, with icons on the desktop representing more shortcuts to common applications, including Netscape Navigator, Star Office and Acrobat Reader.
Both KOffice and Star Office are provided with WinLinux - this gives a choice.
Star Office may be familiar to some windows users, however KOffice is likely to integrate better with WinLinux's desktop.
As both suites will perform the standard set of Office tasks, and understand common formats such as Word and Excel, so the choice is mainly down to the user.
Windows 2000Â is an operating system released byÂ MicrosoftÂ in FebruaryÂ 2000Â that was based on theÂ Windows NTÂ kernel.
Windows 2000 includes advanced features as well as has overall better support for computer hardware.
A multi-user operating system that allows multiple users to use the same computer at the same time and/or different times.
Makes use of multiprocessing in whichÂ an operating system is capable of supporting and utilizing more than one computer processor.
Allows Multitasking in which it is capable of allowing multiple software processes to run at the same time.
It is a true 32-bit multi-programming system with individually protected processes.
Each process has a private 32-bit demand page virtual address space.
The operating system runs in kernel mode, where as user processes in user mode, providing complete protection.
Processes can have one or more threads, which are visible to, and scheduled by, the operating system.
It has department of defense C2 security for all files, directories, processes, and other shareable objects (at least, if the floppy disk is removed and the network is unplugged).
Finally, it also has full support for running on symmetric multi-processors with up to 32 CPUs.
It contains a number of other features previously found only in windows 98. These include complete support for plug-n-play devices, the USB bus, IEEE 1394(firewire), IRDA (the infra-red link between portable computer and printers), and power management, among others.
In addition, a number of new features not present in any other Microsoft operating system have been added, including active directory, directory service, security using Kerberos, support for smart cards, system monitoring tools, better integration of laptop computers with desktop computers, a system management infrastructure and job objects.
Also, the main file system NTFS, has been extended to support encrypted files, linked files, mounted volumes, and content indexing, for example.
One other major improvement is internationalization. NT 4.0 came in separate versions for different languages with the test strings embedded in the code. Installing an English software package on a Dutch computer often caused parts of the operating system to stop using Dutch and start using English because certain files containing code and text strings were over written. This problem has been eliminated. Windows 2000 has a single binary that runs everywhere in the world and installation, or even an individual user, can choose the language to use at runtime because all the menu items, dialogues, strings, error reports, and other text strings have been removed from the operating system and put in separate directories, one per installed language.
One thing that windows2000 does not have is MS-DOS. It is simply not there in any form. There is a command line interface, but this is a new 32- bit program that includes the old MS-DOS functionality and considerably new functionality as well.
It runs only on two platforms, the Pentium and Intel IA-64.
The object manager manages all objects known to the operating system. These include processes, threads, files, directories, I/O devices, timers, and many others.
The I/O manager provides a framework for managing I/O devices and provides generic I/O services.
The Process manager handles processes and threads, including their creation and termination.
The Memory manager implements windows 2000 demand-paged virtual memory architecture. It manages the mapping of virtual pages onto physical page frames.
The Security manager enforces windows 2000 elaborate security mechanisms.
The Cache manager keeps the most recently used disk block in memory to speed up access to them in the (likely) event that they are needed again.
The plug-n-play manager is sent all notifications of newly attached devices.
The Power manager rides herd on power usage.
This operating system is suitable as a single user computer or as a client in company networks.
The operating system is enhanced with the game interface DirectX 7.0, the Internet Explorer 5.0 made access to the Internet possible.
Windows 2000 authenticates the user first at the access to files, printers or other computers.
Networks are supported with the protocols TCP/IP, NWLink and AppleTalk. Windows 2000 supports the data interchange in decentralised working groups and central domains.Â
SOLARIS Operating System
Solaris is the UNIX-based operating system of Sun Microsystems with roots in the BSD operating system family.
With the Solaris Webstart 3.0 Installer Solaris can be installed comfortably on a prepared hard disk partition with at least 2 gigabyte of free space.
The Installer divides the partition into one boot partition (10 megabyte of size) and the Solaris System area inclusive swap area.
The Primary boot subsystem VSN 2.0 proceeds after the Installation as a booting manager.
After the booting procedure the CDE or optionally OpenWindow system is available as a GUI.
Solaris fulfils the Open Group Unix98 specification.
With the available Solaris Security Toolkit application it is possible to made specific protection settings for Solaris.Â
Field of Application And its Usage:
CAD (computer aided design) applicationsÂ
Stable system for databases, data centreÂ
Intranet server as well as Internet or file server, Internet clientÂ
Multi-processor capable of up to 8 CPUs (Kernel limited to 21 CPUs)
Realtime OS (timing up to 1 nanosecond)
64-bit operating system (UltraSparc), 32-bit on x86, (Intel)
Few Versions And Features:
Support LDAP authentification and NDS
Supports automatic and dynamic reconfiguration of hardware devices
Cover various Internet and intranet applications like DNA, Senmail, IPv6, IPsecÂ
High Internet Security
The compatibility was improved to Linux in Solaris 9, standard libraries for Linux applications were installed.
Security characteristic became extended, the new Resource manager tool with CLI and GUI as well as one new directory server where added.
The file system was improved and extended with the SVM (Solaris Volume manager).
New libraries were added for multithreading and the installation and configuration got improved.
The execution of java applications with the Java Virtual Machine is accelerated by the new libraries now.
As a desktop choice comes between the CDE (Common Desktop Environment) or Gnome 2.0 desktop.
The operating system was changed to 64-bit and supports NFS 4.0 now, the IP-Stack was improved and improved with a new threading procedure.
The effective forwarding of network traffic for 10 gbit and beyond per second is possible.
Executing several instances of an operating system by virtualization on a common hardware base can be done with the technologyÂ Solaris Zones.
The 128-bit file system called Dynamic File System (DFS) has self-healing and self-managing files with a maximum size of 2128Â bytes.
With ZFS practically unlimitedly big partitions and files are possible; the storage can be extended dynamically.
The serviceÂ DTraceÂ (Dynamic Tracing) tracks down performance bottlenecks at the execution of network applications, the fault manager provides a better stability and is part of the foresight and self healing concept which analyze errors in ahead and perhaps even clear the fault. To this the data are checked in the Kernel at 30,000 test points and a report created at negative signs for the administrator within fewer minutes. With this powerful tool it is possible to recognize problems earlier which were often before not or only heavily to trace back.
With the technologyÂ Grid ContainerÂ the administrator can set up disk partitions for every user so as if he works with an operating system of his own. Several users can share the system without disturb of the running applications. The system utilization is used considerably better and thousands of services/applications are managed better without large additional processor expenses
Solaris 10 1/06Â supports the SPARC, x86 and x64 architecture. As boat loader is grub used. The speed was optimized and it offers support for iSCSI and 10-gbit ethernet.Â
Solaris 10 6/06Â is the first official release of the Zettabyte file system (ZFS), supports SATA controllers and contains Xorg 6.9.Â
Mac Operating System
Mac OS was named by the company Apple as "Mac System Software" in the beginning, a specially designed operating system only for 68K first Motorola processors.
The classic desktop is designed as a single user operating system and almost completely hides the full path to files and directories.
Overall the interface is very easy to use and does not need the right mouse button for user interaction.
Mac OS does not include a command line interface.
The selection of software is focused on the creative industry and enables such as the professional graphic, audio and video editing.
Office applications such as MacWrite, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and 3D games are also available. The choice of browsers is large with iCab, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera and Mozilla Firefox. StuffIt is the standard software for file compression.Â
Mac OS X
Mac OS X works with preemptive multi-tasking and includes beside the new GUI Aqua the classic GUI from Mac OS 9.Â
Field of Application / Usage:Â
TheÂ field of applicationÂ of this operating system is digital photography, 2-D and 3-D animations, video processing, streaming, audio processing, and platform for DTP, web design, office applications.Â
Read/Write FAT, FAT32, ISO9660, UDFÂ
well proven TCP/IP StackÂ
graphical user interaction with the finderÂ
graphical representation by QuickdrawÂ
central password administration
Few Versions and Features:
Mac OS X 10.0 came out in March 2001. To install are 128 MB RAM (256 MB RAM starting from Mac OS X 10.3.9) and 1.5 GB hard disk space (3.0 GByte starting from Mac OS X 10.2) provided. Mac OS X 10.5 requires at least 512 MB RAM and 9 GByte of free disk space, HFS+ file system.Â
Considerable performance and comfort improvements were carried out in versionÂ Mac OS X 10.1. The surface reacts quicker at user interaction, the system start was accelerated and the OpenGL performance increased noticeable.
Mac OS X 10.3Â has now a GUI in metallic scheme and the optimized Finder. The use and access in heterogeneous networks was further simplified. Files can be provided with etiquettes, the compression format ZIP is now directly supported.
Mac OS X 10.4 features are the fast, system-wide and index-based search function named Spotlight, the Dashboard for easy access to small programs, The Automator for the simplified composition of Apple scripts for the automation of tasks.
Apple released the successorÂ MacOS X 10.5, Leopard at the 26.10.2007. With more than 300 innovations MacOS offers the user an enhanced user interface with virtual desktops, a fast file preview and Dock with 3D effect. As a file system ZFS is optionally available. For the surfing on the Internet the Apple Safari 3 Web browser is included. Backups can be made, managed and restored in a simple way with "Time Machine". Time Machine makes every hour the day automatically a file backup and every day a snapshot for the duration of a complete month. Lost files are recovered easily over the display of a dynamic time line of those snapshot. The security of the operating system and applications is improved by 11 enhancements.
Mac OS X 10.6Â is a Mac computer with Intel Core 2 Duo processor with at least 1 GB memory and 5 GB free space ahead. It supports up to 16 TByte memory, it is optimized for multi core processors, and is a pure 64-bit operating system.
UNICOS Operating System
UNICOS is the standard operating system for VSMP (Cray Vector Symmetric multi-processor) computers and established since 1985.
It was derived from the UNIX System V.
UNICOS is the first 64 bit implementation of UNIX and a UNIX similar file system.
UNICOS system offers a stable base from small servers up to gigantic computer plants.Â
The UNICOS system makes extremely flexible and robust calculating machines with support of the following hard and software characteristics possible:
The UNICOS system is the first high performance UNIX based operating system which supportsÂ symmetric multi-processing.
Multi-processor and multi-threading operating system.
The UNICOS system is scalable on more than 32 processors. Cray aims at a small CPU percentage for the consumption of system processes, also in the greatest and the most extensive configuration.
High performance I/O bandwidth and capacity.
UNICOS I/O scales with the number of processors in the system.
The support of several devices in a system, multiple types of fixed disks and memory devices in a file system and the file storage strategy with the used algorithm were specified.
Cache support is availably for physical devices in addition to the file system.
Through this a high efficiency is made possible for some devices and file systems.
The UNICOS system allows combining of buffered and direct access to I/O devices without integrity loss of the data which are not natural for the devices of other systems.
Low waiting times for I/O processes
The I/O path by the UNICOS system is highly optimized.
As much as possible user data transmitting are finished directly to reduce the need for temporary buffering and copying actions.
The UNICOS system created asynchronous I/O for UNIX systems.
Many interfaces are designed for the flexible programming to check I/O processes.
The UNICOS system contains an optimized path for asynchronous I/O to avoid extra controls or background processes which reduce the total performance.
Multilevel Security (MLS) features like security logging,Â ACLÂ control, security level and classifications ensure the privacy without influencing of the performance.
Settings for the restriction of operator and administrator privileges are possible. Both is a necessary forÂ MLSÂ security and solves a deficit which was recognized by the community.
The UNICOS OS also provides system security by not allowing any actions to be taken on the system without a successful user authentication.
In addition, all actions are bound to a user, preventing users from interfering or accessing each others work and/or resources.
User accounts were improved for the UNICOS system to guarantee the correctness. UNICOS system accounts create very detailed recordings for requirements like cost control for computing time and performance analyses.Â
UNICOS contains an excellent support for tape drives and everything necessary for large systems with multi-volumes and control abilities.
UNICOS supports the execution of a program on several processors by multitasking.
It is the first that contains several function-related interfaces for multitasking.
The UNICOS system supports also the high speed control of thread changes under an application to ensure the defined CPU time and resources by the administrator.