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Operating System Interview Questions and Answers



What's OPERATING SYSTEM?
An Operating System, or OS, is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. Without a computer Operating System, a computer would be useless.

OPERATING SYSTEM TYPES
As computers have progressed and developed so have the types of operating systems. Below is a basic list of the different types of operating systems and a few examples of Operating Systems that fall into each of the categories. Many computer Operating Systems will fall into more than one of the below categories.

GUI - Short for Graphical User Interface, a GUI Operating System contains graphics and icons and is commonly navigated by using a computer mouse. See our GUI dictionary definition for a complete definition. Below are some examples of GUI Operating Systems.

System 7.x
Windows 98
Windows CE

Multi-user - A multi-user Operating System allows for multiple users to use the same computer at the same time and/or different times. See our multi-user dictionary definition for a complete definition for a complete definition. Below are some examples of multi-user Operating Systems.

Linux
Unix
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Mac OS X

Multiprocessing - An Operating System capable of supporting and utilizing more than one computer processor. Below are some examples of multiprocessing Operating Systems.

Linux
Unix
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Mac OS X

Multitasking - An Operating system that is capable of allowing multiple software processes to run at the same time. Below are some examples of multitasking Operating Systems.

Unix
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Mac OS X

Multithreading
- Operating systems that allow different parts of a software program to run concurrently. Operating systems that would fall into this category are:

Linux
Unix
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Mac OS X

What are the basic functions of an operating system?

- Operating system controls and coordinates the use of the hardware among the various applications programs for various uses. Operating system acts as resource allocator and manager. Since there are many possibly conflicting requests for resources the operating system must decide which requests are allocated resources to operating the computer system efficiently and fairly. Also operating system is control program which controls the user programs to prevent errors and improper use of the computer. It is especially concerned with the operation and control of I/O devices.

Why paging is used?
-Paging is solution to external fragmentation problem which is to permit the logical address space of a process to be noncontiguous, thus allowing a process to be allocating physical memory wherever the latter is available.

While running DOS on a PC, which command would be used to duplicate the entire diskette?
diskcopy

What resources are used when a thread created? How do they differ from those when a process is created?
When a thread is created the threads does not require any new resources to execute the thread shares the resources like memory of the process to which they belong to. The benefit of code sharing is that it allows an application to have several different threads of activity all within the same address space. Whereas if a new process creation is very heavyweight because it always requires new address space to be created and even if they share the memory then the inter process communication is expensive when compared to the communication between the threads.

What is virtual memory?
Virtual memory is hardware technique where the system appears to have more memory that it actually does. This is done by time-sharing, the physical memory and storage parts of the memory one disk when they are not actively being used.

What is Throughput, Turnaround time, waiting time and Response time?
Throughput number of processes that complete their execution per time unit. Turnaround time amount of time to execute a particular process. Waiting time amount of time a process has been waiting in the ready queue. Response time amount of time it takes from when a request was submitted until the first response is produced, not output (for time-sharing environment).

What is the state of the processor, when a process is waiting for some event to occur?
Waiting state

What is the important aspect of a real-time system or Mission Critical Systems?
A real time operating system has well defined fixed time constraints. Process must be done within the defined constraints or the system will fail. An example is the operating system for a flight control computer or an advanced jet airplane. Often used as a control device in a dedicated application such as controlling scientific experiments, medical imaging systems, industrial control systems, and some display systems. Real-Time systems may be either hard or soft real-time. Hard real-time: Secondary storage limited or absent, data stored in short term memory, or read-only memory (ROM), Conflicts with time-sharing systems, not supported by general-purpose operating systems. Soft real-time: Limited utility in industrial control of robotics, Useful in applications (multimedia, virtual reality) requiring advanced operating-system features.

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