Operating System



An operating system , also called an OS, is a set of programs that make a computer work. It is an intermediary that manages the hardware of a computer to serve the rest of the application programs that run on it.

The operating system is in charge of managing the resources of the computer, such as the processor, memory, and input and output devices, so that other programs can use them in an efficient and coordinated manner.

For example, the operating system is in charge of giving an empty block of memory to each program as they are being executed. It makes sure that each program has enough space in RAM and does not overlap with the others. The operating system also makes sure that the processor is distributed among all the programs every so often, giving the impression that they are all running at the same time. When multiple programs send multiple pages to print to a single printer, the operating system takes care of sending the pages in order so they don't get mixed up and an error doesn't occur. The operating system performs a similar management when several programs want to write to permanent memory at the same time.

The operating system also provides a user interface so that users can interact with the computer and perform different tasks at the same time, such as browsing the Internet, writing documents, playing music and videos, among other things.

If the operating system did not exist, each of the applications would have to include its own interface, its own printer manager, its own memory manager and agree with all the other programs to share the resources of the same computer in an orderly manner. .

Components of an operating system

The components of an operating system have the task of making the different parts of a computer work together.

The core of an operating system is in charge of coordinating all the resources of the computer, both the elements both hardware and software programs. It is responsible for transmitting information between all these elements of the computer in an organized way to coordinate them with each other.
Device drivers

The device drivers act as intermediaries between user applications and different computer peripherals such as graphics cards, external memories, printers, web cameras, etc. .

When we install a printer driver, all application programs of that operating system will be able to print to that printer. Early operating systems, such as MS-DOS, did not have device drivers for printers, so each application program had to add its own driver for all printers on the market. The operating system with device drivers saves resources and makes it easy to program applications.

Process management
The process management system is responsible for distributing the microprocessor time among the different programs that are running. Thanks to this manager we can have, for example, 20 programs running on the computer at the same time and it will give the impression that they are all running at the same time, even though there is only one CPU core serving all of them.
Memory management

The memory management system is responsible for reserving blocks of RAM for programs when they are going to start executing or when they need space to open a new data file.

Another function of the memory manager is to perform garbage collection. This is the name given to the task that consists of freeing from memory the blocks that are no longer being used, to make room for new programs that the user wants to execute.

Graphical user interface

The graphical user interface , also called GUI, is an operating system program in charge of presenting information on the screen and collecting the actions that the user performs with the mouse or touch screen.

This system is common to all the programs, thus achieving a homogeneous aspect for all the applications of the same operating system and simplifies the programming of the applications because they do not have to take care of representing the windows, the buttons, the scroll bar, etc. menus and other graphic elements.

Outage Management

The interrupts are signals that the peripherals send to the computer so that they are attended by it. When a computer user types a key on the keyboard, the character immediately appears on the screen. Similarly, when a user moves the mouse, the cursor immediately moves across the screen. Each keystroke and mouse movement generates an interrupt that alerts the computer to attend to the data the peripheral is sending.

Thanks to the interruptions, the computer does not have to be continuously attending to each peripheral to check if they already have data ready to send.

File System

The file system is a system that controls how data is stored and retrieved from storage units such as CD-ROMs, USB sticks or hard drives. Without a file system, data stored on a storage medium would become a collection of information with no way to tell where one piece of data ends and the next begins.

Its main functions are allocating space to files, managing free space and access to saved data.

Security system
It is the system in charge of controlling the access of programs or users to system resources. This system is in charge of tasks such as checking the correct username and password to enter a system session or to install programs.
The communications management system is responsible for controlling the data networks connected to the computer. It is in charge of managing the data packets that are sent over the local wired network, the Wi-Fi network or other data networks such as Bluetooth.
System programs
They are applications that are used to manage the operating system or to find out about its status. Examples of system programs are file explorer, control panel, command console, settings app in Android, etc.

Operating system Windows

Windows is an operating system from Microsoft and is one of the most popular in the world. It is used in most desktop and laptop personal computers, with a market share close to 87% of PCs in 2020.

Its main characteristics are the following.

User interface
Windows has an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that is based on the use of the mouse and the keyboard, although it also allows the use of a touch screen.
Software compatibility
Windows is compatible with a wide range of software and applications. Many applications are designed specifically for Windows, making it easy for users to find and use the software they need.
Ease of customization
Windows allows users to customize their user experience. They can customize the wallpaper, home screen, icons, and colors according to their preferences. However, non-Microsoft developers cannot access your code and cannot make changes to the operating system.
Hardware support
Windows is compatible with a wide variety of hardware, which means it works well with most computers and peripheral devices.
Video game
Windows is known to be a great operating system for gaming. Many of the world's most popular games can be played on a Windows computer.
Windows has an approximate price of 145 Euros in its most basic version (Windows Home).

Currently the only version that is for sale by the Microsoft company is the Windows 11 version, although there is still a large base of computers with Windows 10. The previous versions are currently obsolete and should be updated to avoid problems with security.

Windows 11 has a total of 7 variants that are very similar to each other, although the best known are the Home version for home users and the Pro version for professional users.

Operating system Android

Android is an operating system developed by the company Google and is one of the most popular among mobile devices, with a market share of 71% of smartphones and tablets in 2020.

It is used in a wide variety of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, smart watches, or cars. Android is based on the Linux kernel, upon which the rest of the operating system is built.

Its main characteristics are the following.

User interface
Android has a graphical user interface (GUI) based on the touch screen of the device.
Software compatibility
Android is compatible with a wide range of software and applications mostly available on the Google Play Store.
Ease of customization
Android is open source, which means that the source code is publicly available and developers can modify and customize it according to their needs.
Hardware support
Android is compatible with a wide variety of hardware, which means it works well with most mobile devices and their peripherals. In addition, being open source makes it easy for developers to adapt Android to any new peripheral or hardware system.
Android is a free operating system, which lowers the final price of the devices that work with it.

Android is heavily controlled by the Google company, so there are few versions from other developers. The latest versions of Android are as follows:

Year Version
August 2018 Android 9
September 2019 Android 10
September 2020 Android 11
October 2021 Android 12
August 2022 Android 13
February 2023 Android 14

Operating systems GNU/Linux

GNU/Linux es un sistema operativo libre desarrollado por multitud de empresas y voluntarios y es el más popular entre los ordenadores profesionales tales como servidores web y supercomputadores. Además se encuentra en multitud de dispositivos embebidos tales como videoconsolas, routers, televisores inteligentes, etc. También es el núcleo del sistema operativo Android.

El sistema operativo GNU/Linux está basado en el antiguo sistema operativo Unix.

Its main characteristics are the following.

User interface

GNU/Linux tiene muchas interfaces gráficas de usuario (GUI). Algunas orientadas a dispositivos con poca memoria, otras parecidas a la interfaz de Windows y otras parecidas a la interfaz de Apple.

También puede ejecutarse sin interfaz gráfica, por línea de comandos, lo que es muy útil para los profesionales y para que el sistema ocupe muy poca memoria en el dispositivo.

GNU/Linux es multiusuario, por lo que una sola computadora puede dar servicio a varias terminales a la vez, con distintos usuarios conectados a ellas.

Software compatibility

El sistema GNU/Linux tiene multitud de aplicaciones de todos los ámbitos y está orientado a desarrolladores.

En algunos casos falta compatibilidad con programas muy populares, que pueden ejecutarse con el programa de emulación de Windows "Wine".

Ease of customization

Al ser un sistema operativo de código abierto y controlado por la comunidad, es muy personalizable. Existen multitud de distribuciones gratuitas orientadas a todo tipo de ámbitos.

Su gran facilidad de personalización y su gran seguridad contra el malware es lo que hace a este sistema operativo tan atractivo para instalarlo en servidores web y todo tipo de ordenadores profesionales.

Hardware support
Al ser GNU/Linux software abierto, algunos desarrolladores de hardware tales como Nvidia han puesto dificultades para realizar controladores para sus productos. A día de hoy la mayoría de los dispositivos tienen soporte en el sistema operativo, que es compatible con una amplia variedad de hardware.
GNU/Linux es un sistema operativo gratuito, lo que abarata el precio final de los dispositivos que funcionan con él.

El sistema GNU/Linux tiene muchas distribuciones orientadas a todo tipo de aplicaciones y a todo tipo de plataformas hardware. Estas son algunas de las distribuciones más populares.

  • Ubuntu orientada sobre todo a usuarios domésticos.
  • Debian orientada a mantener una distribución abierta, de software libre.
  • MAX orientada a la educación en la comunidad de Madrid.
  • Red Hat Linux orientada a Mainframes y entorno empresarial.
  • Kali Linux orientada a pentesting y ciberseguridad.
  • Linux embebido orientada a pequeños dispositivos inteligentes.

Operating system macOS

macOS es un sistema operativo para ordenadores personales de escritorio y portátiles de la empresa Apple. Es el segundo sistema más utilizado para ordenadores personales con una cuota de mercado del 10% en 2020

El sistema operativo macOS está basado en el antiguo sistema operativo Unix al igual que GNU/Linux.

Its main characteristics are the following.

User interface

Software compatibility

Ease of customization

Hardware support