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Describe the two general roles of an operating system, and elaborate why these roles are important ?


The first general role of an operating system is to provide an ABSTRACTION layer for software to run on a machine without needing to know hardware-specific implementation details. It is important in order to reduce the burden on application software developers, extend the basic hardware with added functionality and provided a common base for all applications. The second general role of an operating system is to provide RESOURCE MANAGEMENT to the machine’s users, by ensuring progress, fairness and efficient usage of computing resources. 



Roles of an operating system:


1. Resource Manager (Memory management, File system management , Input Output Management, Management of peripheral devices, Processor management)

2. Provides user with graphical user interface(GUI)

3. Manages the Computer hardware

4. Provides basis for application program and acts as an intermidiary between the computer user and the computer hardware.

5. Provides security and protection

6. Provides and activates various utility services like editors,tnaslators, compilers and other applications.

  • answered 6 years ago
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Operating System (OS) - a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software.


The operating system acts as an interface between the hardware and the programs requesting I/O. It is the most fundamental of all system software programs.

Responsibilities of the OS include:

  • Hiding the complexities of hardware from the user.
  • Managing between the hardware's resources which include the processors, memory, data storage and I/O devices.
  • Handling "interrupts" generated by the I/O controllers.
  • Sharing of I/O between many programs using the CPU.

There are two types of software:

  • System Software - programs that manage the operation of a computer.
  • Application Software - programs that help the user perform a particular task.
  • answered 6 years ago
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