An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function.
Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage, printing, and other resources.
For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and will frequently make a system call to an OS function or be interrupted by it. Operating systems can be found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers.
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Famous quotes containing the words systems, operating and/or system:
“Laws, religions, creeds, and systems of ethics, instead of making society better than its best unit, make it worse than its average unit, because they are never up to date.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“Technology is not an image of the world but a way of operating on reality. The nihilism of technology lies not only in the fact that it is the most perfect expression of the will to power ... but also in the fact that it lacks meaning.”
—Octavio Paz (b. 1914)
“In the past, the English tried to impose a system wherever they went. They destroyed the nations culture and one of the by- products of their systemisation was that they destroyed their own folk culture.”
—Martin Carthy (b. 1941)