Jelena Mamčenko Operating Systems Lecture Notes on Operating Systems 51Introduction Modern general-purpose computers, including personal computers and mainframes, have an operating system to run other programs, such as application software. Examples of operating systems for personal computers include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS (and Darwin), Unix, and Linux. The lowest level of any operating system is its kernel. This is the first layer of software loaded into memory when a system boots or starts up. The kernel provides access to various common core services to all other system and application programs. These services include, but are not limited to: disk access, memory management, task scheduling, and access to other hardware devices. As well as the kernel, an operating system is often distributed with tools for programs to display and manage a graphical user interface (although Windows and the Macintosh have these
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