Role of an Operating System (OS)

Role of an Operating System (OS)

Operating System (OS) refers to the system software that manages hardware and software resources in a computer system.

Primary Duties

  • The main function of an OS is to manage hardware resources, which includes the CPU, memory, disk drives, and input/output (I/O) devices.

  • It also handles the execution of applications, ensuring they have enough resources to run efficiently.

  • The OS is responsible for managing the file system of a computer, including file creation, deletion, and access.

Resource Management

  • The OS acts as a mediator between software and hardware, providing an interface for use by application programs and users.

  • It’s tasked with the allocation of resources to devices and programs when required, and releasing these resources when they’re no longer needed.

  • The OS determines the order and mode of execution for tasks, employing algorithms to ensure proficient scheduling procedure and avoid conflicts or deadlock.

Interface Provision

  • It provides a user interface, enabling users to interact with the system. This can be a graphical user interface (GUI), command-line interface (CLI), or even a touch interface in modern systems.

  • For application software, it provides a programming interface, creating a standard way for applications to use the hardware without needing to know the specific details of the hardware.

Security and Stability

  • The OS maintains system security by limiting access to resources and suppressing software errors that could hamper system performance.

  • It provides a stable and consistent way to work with hardware without the necessity to directly handle the often highly technical aspects of hardware operation.

Systems Updates

  • The OS is responsible for installing system updates, which cover security patches, bug fixes, and system enhancements to ensure the system runs smoothly and securely.


In summary, the OS is the backbone of a computer system, managing resources, providing an interface for users and applications, maintaining system security, and installing updates to improve system performance and stability. Without an efficient OS, a computer system would become overly complex and unmanageable for users.