Computer Science

Different Types of Operating System with Examples [Explained]

In this article, we present different types of operating system and the history of the development of the operating systems. So, let’s get started.

Different Types of Operating System (OS)

There are 9 different types of operating systems.

  1. Simple Batch Operating System
  2. Multiprogramming Batch Operating System
  3. Time-Sharing Operating System
  4. Multiprocessor Operating System
  5. Desktop Operating System
  6. Distributed Operating System
  7. Clustered Operating System
  8. Real-time Operating System
  9. Handheld Operating System

Also Read: Components of Operating System and its Functions [Explained]

1. Simple Batch Operating System

In this type of system, there is no direct interaction between the user and the computer. In this type of system, there is no direct interaction between the user and the computer. The user has to submit a job (written on cards or tape) to a computer operator. Then computer operator places a batch of several jobs on an input device.

Examples of Batch-based Operating System: Payroll System, Bank Statements, etc.

Simple Batch Operating System - Types of Operating System

Simple Batch Operating System.

Advantages of Batch Operating System (OS)

  • The Batch Operating System can be shared between multiple users.
  • It is easy to manage large work repeatedly in batch systems.
  • The idle time for a single batch is very less.

Disadvantages of Batch Operating System (OS)

  • Manual interventions are required between two batches.
  • Batch systems are hard to debug.
  • Batch systems are sometimes costly.

2. Multiprogramming Batch Operating System

In this, the operating system picks up and begins to execute one of the jobs from memory. Once this job needs an I/O operation operating system switches to another job (CPU and OS always busy). Jobs in the memory are always less than the number of jobs on disk(Job Pool).If several jobs are ready to run at the same time, then the system chooses which one to run through the process of CPU Scheduling.

Advantages of Multiprogramming Batch Operating System (OS)

  • Each task gets equal time for execution.
  • There are very few chances for the duplication of the software.

Disadvantages of Multiprogramming Batch Operating System (OS)

  • Various user data is needed to be taken care of from unauthorized access.
  • Sometimes there is a data communication problem.

3. Time-Sharing Operating System

Time-Sharing Systems are very similar to Multiprogramming batch systems. In fact, time-sharing systems are an extension of multiprogramming systems. In Time-sharing systems the prime focus is on minimizing the response time, while in multiprogramming the prime focus is to maximize the CPU usage.

Examples of Time-Sharing OSs are Multics, Unix, etc.

Time-sharing Operating System - Types of Operating System

Time-sharing Operating System.

Advantages of Time-Sharing Operating System (OS)

  • The CPU will be busy in most of the cases and this is good to have cases.
  • Each task gets an equal opportunity.
  • Avoids duplication of software.

Disadvantages of Time-Sharing Operating System (OS)

  • Process having higher priority will not get the chance to be executed first because equal opportunity is given to each process.
  • Reliability problem.
  • Problem of data communication.

4. Multiprocessor Operating System

A Multiprocessor system consists of several processors that share a common physical memory. Multiprocessor system provides higher computing power and speed. In a multiprocessor system, all processors operate under a single operating system. The multiplicity of the processors and how they do act together are transparent to the others.

Types of Multiprocessor Operating Systems

Following are the two types of multiprocess operating systems used:

  1. Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems
  2. Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems

Advantages of Multiprocessor Operating System (OS)

  • Due to the multiprocessing system, processing tasks can be distributed among several processors.
  • As several processors increase, more work can be done in less.

Disadvantages of Multiprocessor Operating System (OS)

  • Multiprocessing operating system is more complex and sophisticated as it takes care of multiple CPUs simultaneously.

5. Desktop Operating System

Earlier, CPUs and PCs lacked the features needed to protect an operating system from user programs. PC operating systems, therefore, were neither multiuser nor multitasking. However, the goals of these operating systems have changed with time; instead of maximizing CPU and peripheral utilization, the systems opt for maximizing user convenience and responsiveness. These systems are called Desktop Systems and include PCs running Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh.

Operating systems for these computers have benefited in several ways from the development of operating systems for mainframes.

6. Distributed Operating System

The motivation behind developing distributed operating systems is the availability of powerful and inexpensive microprocessors and advances in communication technology. These advancements in technology have made it possible to design and develop distributed systems comprising of many computers that are interconnected by communication networks. The main benefit of distributed systems is their low price/performance ratio.

Amoeba, Plan9, and LOCUS (developed during the 1980s) are some examples of distributed operating systems.

Types of Distributed Operating Systems

Following are the two types of distributed operating systems used:

  1. Client-Server Systems
  2. Peer-to-Peer Systems
distributed operting system - types of operating system

Distributed Operating System.

Advantages of Distributed Operating System (OS)

  • Resources are shared between each other.
  • Since resources are being shared, computation is highly fast and durable.
  • Data exchange speed is increased with the help of electronic mail.

Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System (OS)

  • If there is a problem in the communication network then the whole communication will be broken.
  • To establish distributed systems the language which is used is not well defined yet.
  • The setup cost is high.

7. Clustered Operating System

Like parallel systems, clustered systems gather together multiple CPUs to accomplish computational work. Clustered systems differ from parallel systems, however, in that they are composed of two or more individual systems coupled together.

Advantages of Clustered Operating System (OS)

Disadvantages of CLustered Operating System (OS)

8. Real-time Operating System

It is defined as an operating system known to give maximum time for each of the critical operations that it performs, like OS calls and interrupt handling. The Real-Time Operating system which guarantees the maximum time for critical operations and completes them on time is referred to as a hard real-time operating system.

Windows CE, OS-9, Symbian, and LynxOS are some of the commonly known real-time operating systems.

There are two types of Real-time Operating System:

  1. Hard Real-time Operating System
  2. Soft Real-time Operating System

Hard Real-time Operating System: In this type, a small delay can lead to drastic change. So, when the time constraint is very important then we use the Hard Real-time.
Soft Real-time Operating System: Here, the time constraint is not that important but here also we are dealing with some real-time data.

Advantages of Real-time Operating System (OS)

  • There is maximum utilization of devices and resources.
  • These types of systems are error-free.
  • Shifting from one task to another takes very little time.

Disadvantages of Real-time Operating System (OS)

  • The algorithms used in Real-time Operating System are very complex.
  • Sometimes the system resources are not so good and they are expensive as well.
  • Only limited tasks can run at a single time.

9. Handheld Operating System

Handheld systems include Personal Digital Assistants(PDAs), such as Palm-Pilots or Cellular Telephones with connectivity to a network such as the Internet. They are usually of limited size due to which most handheld devices have a small amount of memory, include slow processors, and feature small display screens.

Blackberry OS, Google’s Android, and Apple’s iOS are some of the most known names of handheld operating systems.

Advantages of Handheld Operating System (OS)

  • It allows remote access.
  • This is easy to use.

Disadvantages of Handheld Operating System (OS)

  • Some of them are not user-friendly.
  • Poor battery life and battery quality are provided.

What are Most Common Operating Systems?

Here are the most common operating systems in use:

  1. Microsoft Windows
  2. Apple iOS
  3. Apple macOS
  4. Google Android
  5. Linux

Differences Between Various Operating System (OS)

In this section, we’ll discuss the core differences between the various operating systems that follow a similar architecture and provide identical services. Let’s first discuss the differences between batch and time-sharing OS:

Differences between Batch OS and Time-Sharing OS

Batch Operating System (OS) Time-sharing Operating System (OS)
Resources are allocated to a job and deallocated after completion of the job. Resources are allocated to a job for a certain amount of time and reallocated to the new jobs after the specified time is over.
No user intervention is possible during the processing of the job. Users can intervene in the job while it’s in the processing stage.
Starvation can exist if a job takes a longer time to complete. Starvation can’t exist at the OS automatically switching the job after a certain amount of time.
Less user-friendly. More user-friendly.

There can be confusion between NOS and DOS as both share resources over a network. Let’s distinguish them and take a look at the core differences:

Differences between Network Operating System (OS) and Distributed Operating System (OS)

Network Operating System (OS) Distributed Operating System (OS)
Connects multiple computers on a network to share resources. Joins multiple computers over a bus and makes them work as a single computer.
Runs on a server, and every device that is connected with the network can have its own individual operating system. Each machine connected to the network bus must have the same operating system.
Easy to install and economical. Very costly and complex to install.
Helps to share the user credentials as well as manages data, and security resources. Shares the resources to run a task.
Less reliable because every device is connected to the main server. In case of failure of the central server, all processes will stop working. More reliable because there’s nothing like a central system. In case of failure of a device, processing will not stop.

So, we have seen some of the important types of operating system in computer science. That’s it for this article.

About the author

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Nikhil Agrawal

Nikhil Agrawal holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree and he loves to write how-to guides around Computer Fundamentals, Computer Software, Computer Programming, etc.