The elements of an operating system
This article is intended to provide you with an overview of the various elements that make up an operating system. Now, as you probably know, an operating system, be it Windows, Linux, or Mac, is meant to provide us, the human user, with a means to interact with the computer in a meaningful way.
Imagine, if you can, that an operating system is divided into five layers. In the list below, I’ll start at the lowest layer and work my way up to the top.
Layer 1: The core.
The kernel is the heart of the operating system. Among your responsibilities are ensuring that each running process has a considerable amount of time to run while controlling the amount of resources that each process can use.
Layer 2: Memory management.
The name of this layer gives you a good idea what it is about. It is the responsibility of this layer to share the physical memory of your computer between the processes that want to use it. You also have to handle situations where there may not be enough physical memory to share.
Layer 3: Input / Output.
In this layer all physical communication takes place between your computer hardware, such as disk drives, keyboards, mice, screens, etc.
Layer 4: File management.
Again, the name of this layer can give you a clue as to what it does. The job of this layer is to control how the files on your computer’s hard drive are stored and accessed by any application looking to use them.
Layer 5: The user interface.
The last element, or layer as we have been calling it, of an operating system is the User Interface. This layer is probably the easiest to understand, as it is the first thing you see when your operating system has logged in. The job of this layer is to provide a means for the user to actually interact with the rest of the layers and as such with the system as a whole.
Note that there are two different types of user interfaces. The first one is probably the one you’re most familiar with, the graphical user interface, which is where you see windows and icons for each of your files, and so on.
The second is a command-line interface or text-based interface where a user would interact with the system using text-based commands.
Well that’s it for this article, if you are a seasoned IT professional or tech guru, before I post comments that I have read about certain details, please note that I have deliberately kept this article simple for people new to. computing in general fin says easier to understand. With that said, I hope you enjoyed this article.