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20090901a - What is an Operating System A piece of software...

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What is an Operating System? A piece of software that provides a convenient, efficient en- vironment for the execution of application (user) programs. OS provides an environment for applications – it is not itself the applications. OS should consume as few resources (overhead) as possible. Fundamental idea: multiprogramming (time-sharing) CPU and peripherals are multiplexed (shared) between concurrently executing tasks. Most of what we will study concerns multiprogramming.
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OS Services An OS provides services to application programs: CPU scheduling : Allocate CPU time to several processes (tasks). Memory management : Allocate main memory among several processes. I/O services : Manage the operation of I/O devices, multi- plex them between several processes, and provide a high- level, hardware-independent interface. Filesystem services : Manage the organization of secondary storage (disk), and provide a convenient file abstraction.
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Protection and security : Keep processes from interfering with each other, and prevent unauthorized access to data or other resources. Communication and cooperation : Provide a way for pro- cesses to cooperate to accomplish a task. Utilities : Date and time, accounting, . . . . Command interpreter : Interprets user commands.
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History of Operating Systems To understand why modern operating systems are the way they are, it is useful to look at how they evolved over the past 50+ years.
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