Different Operating Systems - GeeksforGeeks (2023)

1. MS-DOS:
MS-DOS which is short for Microsoft Disk Operating System is a non-graphical command line operating system developed for IBM compatible computers with x86 microprocessor. The operating system used a command line interface for the user to input commands to navigate, open and manipulate files on their computer.

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  • It is a single user operating system meaning only one user can operate at a time.
  • It is a light weight operating system allowing users to have direct access to the BIOS and its underlying hardware.
  • Loads data and programs from external sources and bring them into the internal memory so they can be used on the computer.
  • Enables the computer to perform input and output operations such as taking commands from keyboard, printing information on the screen.
  • It is very helpful in making file management like creating, editing, deleting files, etc.
  • It also controls and manages other external devices such as the printer, keyboard or external hard drive using various drive utilities.


  • It does not allow multiple users to operate on the system.
  • It does not support graphical interface hence mouse cannot be used to operate it.
  • It does not support multiprogramming meaning it can only have one process in the ram.
  • It lacked memory protection which meant no security, and less stability.
  • It has difficulty in memory access when addressing more than 640 MB of RAM.

2. Windows Operating System:
Windows is an operating system designed by Microsoft to be used on a standard x86 Intel and AMD processors. It provides an interface, known as a graphical user interface(GUI) which eliminates the need to memorize commands for the command line by using a mouse to navigate through menus, dialog boxes, buttons, tabs, and icons. The operating system was named windows since the programs are displayed in the shape of a square. This Windows operating system has been designed for both a novice user just using at home as well as for professionals who are into development.

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  • It is designed to run on any standard x86 Intel and AMD hence most of the hardware vendors make drivers for windows like Dell, HP, etc.
  • It supports enhanced performance by utilizing multi-core processors.
  • It comes preloaded with many productivity tools which helps to complete all types of everyday tasks on your computer.
  • Windows has a very large user base so there is a much larger selection of available software programs, utilities.
  • Windows is backward compatible meaning old programs can run on newer versions.
  • Hardware is automatically detected eliminating need of manually installing any device drivers.


  • Windows can be expensive since the OS is paid license and majority of its applications are paid products.
  • Windows has high computer resource requirement like it should have high ram capacity, a lot of hard drive space and good graphics card.
  • Windows slows and hangs up if the user loads up many programs at the same time.
  • Windows includes network sharing that can be useful if user has a network with many PCs.
  • Windows is vulnerable to virus attacks since it has a huge user base and users have to update OS to keep up-to-date with security patches.

3. LINUX Operating System:
The Linux OS is an open source operating system project that is a freely distributed, cross-platform operating system developed based on UNIX. This operating system is developed by Linus Torvalds. The name Linux comes from the Linux kernel. It is basically the system software on a computer that allows apps and users to perform some specific task on the computer. The development of Linux operating system pioneered the open source development and became the symbol of software collaboration.

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  • Linux is free can be downloaded from the Internet or redistribute it under GNU licenses and has the best community support.
  • Linux OS is easily portable which means it can be installed on various types of devices like mobile, tablet computers.
  • It is a multi-user, multitasking operating system.
  • BASH is the Linux interpreter program which can be used to execute commands.
  • Linux provides multiple levels of file structures i.e. hierarchical structure in which all the files required by the system and those that are created by the user are arranged.
  • Linux provides user security using authentication features and also threat detection and solution is very fast because Linux is mainly community driven.


  • There’s no standard edition of Linux hence confusing for users and also becoming familiar with the Linux may be a problem for new users.
  • More difficult to find applications to support user needs since Linux does not dominate the market.
  • Since some applications are developed specifically for Windows and Mac, those might not be compatible with linux and sometimes users might not have much of a choice to choose between different applications like in Windows or Mac since most apps are developed for operating systems that have a huge user base.
  • Some hardware may not be incompatible with Linux since it has patchier support for drivers which may result in malfunction.
  • There are plenty of forums to resolve Linux issues, but it may not always match the user’s own level of technical understanding.

4. Solaris Operating System:
Solaris or SunOS is the name of the Sun company’s Unix variant operating system that was originally developed for its family of Scalable Processor Architecture-based processors (SPARC) as well as for Intel-based processors. The UNIX workstation market had been largely dominated by this operating system during its time. As the Internet grew Sun’s Solaris systems became the most widely installed servers for Web sites. Oracle purchased Sun and later renamed to Oracle Solaris.

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  • Solaris is known for its scalability. It can handle a large workload and still delivers indisputable performance advantages for database, Web, and Java technology-based services.
  • Solaris systems were known to their availability meaning that these operating systems hardly crashes at anytime and because of its internet networking oriented design and broad scope of features it makes the job of adding new features or fixing any problems easy.
  • It is built for network computing as it provides optimized network stack and support for advanced network computing protocols that delivers high-performance networking to most applications.
  • Solaris has advanced, unique security capabilities which includes some of the world’s most advanced security features, such as user rights management, cryptographic Framework and secure by default networking that allows users to safely deliver new solutions.
  • Provides tools to enable seamless interoperability, test new software and efficiently consolidate application workloads.


  • Solaris is quite expensive since it’s an enterprise operating system. Also, Solaris doesn’t provide updates for free.
  • Solaris lacks a good graphical user interface support and is not user friendly.
  • Hardware support is not nearly as good as many other operating systems.
  • Performance would degrade considerably since Solaris cannot make use of different hardware that efficiently.
  • Solaris sometimes becomes unstable and crashes due to total consumption of CPU and memory.

5. Symbian Operating System:
Symbian OS was the most widely-used smartphone operating system in the world based on ARM architecture, until it was discontinued in 2014. It was developed by Symbiant Ltd, which was a partnership among PDA devices and smartphone manufacturers like Psion, Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia. The Symbian Operating System was developed of two sub system where the first is the microkernel-based operating system with its associated libraries, and the other being interface of the OS with which the user interacts. It was explicitly developed for smartphones and hand held digital devices since this operating system consumes very low power, battery-based devices and also for ROM-based systems.

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  • Its kernel known as EKA2 features preemptive multithreading, scheduling, memory management system and device drivers.
  • Allows third party software to enhance the platform for better performance of the operating system.
  • Symbian Interface is easy to use and very user friendly.
  • Applications for Symbian are normally written in C++ or Symbian C++ using Symbian Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • Symbian can also run applications written in Python, Java ME, Flash Lite, Ruby and .NET.
  • Connectivity is lot easier and faster.
  • Symbian OS has good efficiency and stability.


  • Responsiveness is not smooth and sensitive as other operating systems.
  • The Symbian OS is very vulnerable and can be easily affected by a Virus.
  • Lack of virtual memory.

6. Android Mobile Operating System:
Android is a Google’s Linux based operating system it is designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. The hardware which can be used to support android is based on three architectures namely ARM, Intel and MIPS design lets users manipulate the mobile devices intuitively, with finger movements that mirror common motions, such as pinching, swiping, and tapping making these applications comfortable for the users.

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  • The android operating system is an open source operating system means that it’s free and any one can use it.
  • Android offers optimized 2D and 3D graphics, multimedia, GSM connectivity, multi-tasking.
  • Android OS is known for its friendly user interface and exceptional customizable according to the user’s taste.
  • Huge choice of applications for its users since Playstore offer over one million apps.
  • Software developers who want to create applications for the Android OS can download the Android Software Development Kit(SDK) to easily develop apps for android.
  • Android would consume very little power but deliver extreme performance since its hardware is based on ARM architecture.


  • The design and coding of intuitive modern user experiences and interfaces poses a difficulty because of its dependency on Java.
  • Most apps tend to run in the background even when closed by the user draining the battery.
  • Performance is bound to take a hit as multiple programs run simultaneously in the background at any given time.
  • Android phones overheat especially when indulged in hardcore productivity tasks or heavy graphics.
  • Apps have lower security profiles and make users more susceptible to data breaches.

7. iOS Mobile Operating System:
iOS which is short for iPhone OS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware like A12 Bionic chip that presently powers many of its mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The iOS user interface is based upon using multi-touch gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch. The purpose of these finger actions is to provide the user with fast responsive inputs given from multiple fingers to the multi-touch capacitive screen display.

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  • It is written in C, C++, Objective-C and Swift and is based on the Macintosh OS X.
  • Has excellent and intuitive user interface and very fluid response.
  • Performance of iOS is unbeatable.
  • iOS comes with a lot of default apps, including an email client, web browser, media player and the phone app.
  • Availability of higher quality apps which can be downloaded from the Appstore.
  • Apple has provided its own iOS software development kit (SDK) for the developers to create applications for Apple mobile devices.
  • iOS is much safer than other mobile operating systems and has fewer security breaches as well.
  • Provides regular updates and security patches.


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  • The OS is closed source instead of open source hence beta testing taking a lot of time since its only available to limited developers.
  • The amount of memory space the iOS applications occupy is very large when compared with other mobile platforms.
  • Lack of customization compared to other operating systems.
  • Doesn’t allow third party installations.
  • Having intense graphics and animations consumes more power and causes battery drains.
  • iOS is resource intensive operating system due to which older devices struggle to run it.

Applications and their suitable Operating Systems:
These are explained as following below.

1. Database and Web Server Management:
The best suitable operating system for database and web server management is SOLARIS, is Unix Operating system, which itself is designed for enterprise web servers where robust applications and database is deployed where throughput is very high and needs the server 24×7 up and less down time.

  • Solaris has Zettabyte File System(ZFS) which is a revolutionary file and logical volume manager that control the storage and retrieval of data which is not found in any other operating system.
  • Solaris is provided with a Service Management Facility (SMF) that is responsible for management of system and application services that improves the availability of a system by ensuring that essential system and application services function normally without any troubles even in the case of hardware or software failures which is also known as Oracle Solaris Predictive Self-Healing capability.
  • Solaris provides awesome observability utilities which can be used to find performance bugs, functional bugs and kernel bugs.
  • Solaris scales well on multi-socket multicore systems with large number of cores due to Solaris’ broader CPU support but also to the architecture of the OS itself. Solaris you can mix and match vertical and horizontal scalability whereas most of the other operating systems only provide vertical scaling.
  • Solaris has always provided strict security providing additional barriers and immune systems to prevent any data breaches to their servers.

Hence since Solaris is reliable, very stable, extremely fast, and secure operating system comparing to other OS which have raw performance and security problems it is the ideal operating system for any database management systems like SQL and web service servers .

2. Cluster Computing:
Clustering is a technique where multiple computers, storage devices and redundant interconnections are used to create a single highly available system. Each computer in it is a node. The best preferred operating system for cluster computing is LINUX which is a UNIX based open source freely distributed operating system which offers many robust network features.

  • Since Linux operating system is highly customizable, which plays an important role in resource management and performance optimization which makes it most convenient for building or setting up large, multi-processor clusters
    while such modifications are very limited or in some cases restricted in other operating systems like windows.
  • Management of storage access is often troublesome when multiple computers are organized to form a cluster, this where Linux’s clustered file system may be come in handy to organize data storage and access across all of the cluster nodes connected.
  • Linux clustered file systems will employ utilities to actually power down the faulty node.
  • Linux is scalable hence making it easy to add resources to the cluster.
  • Linux has the added advantage of availability of most scientific and engineering software and compilers readily through package managers and they can be easily configured and compiled without hassle.

Since clustering applications are such that they require an OS with utmost portability, performance, scalability and serious computational power, Linux distributions like Redhat or CentOS are best suited for these computer cluster like Beowulf cluster.

3. Productivity and Daily Tasks:
The best suitable operating system for productivity is WINDOWS because it is intuitive, cohesive, functional and very user friendly. Windows offers best selection of software and can run on widest variety of hardware that the user has.

  • Windows operating systems offer a suite of built-in utilities and applications like text processors, e-mail clients, calendars, calculators, image and video viewers, editors, snapshot tools, voice recorders, and web browsers, and apps for maps, cameras, news, weather, and contacts and many more can be installed from the internet if the user desires.
  • Windows provides a suite of productivity applications under Office suite like Word, Presentations, Spreadsheets etc.
  • Microsoft’s cloud storage platform OneDrive which helps the users to backup files and use them in any device anywhere.
  • Windows provides a huge range of interface customization options.
  • Windows 10 had full touch screen support, and it offers a Tablet mode that lets users to switch between using the pen and keyboard for inputs to increase productivity.
  • Windows even provides a voice assistant that is capable of tasks like opening apps and web pages, informing the weather, etc.
  • Windows OS makes it easier to arrange windows on the screen and lets users to create multiple virtual desktops for multi-tasking applications.

Hence for creative, productive and daily tasks of users like creating presentations, editing images, surfing the internet, etc Windows is the best operating system.

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My Personal Notesarrow_drop_up


What are the 7 types of operating system? ›

Given below are the different types of Operating System along with brief information about each of them:
  • Batch Operating System. ...
  • Real-Time Operating System. ...
  • Time-Sharing Operating System. ...
  • Distributed Operating System. ...
  • Embedded Operating System. ...
  • Network Operating System. ...
  • Mobile Operating System.

What are the 5 types of operating system? ›

For the most part, the IT industry largely focuses on the top five OSs, including Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Google's Android OS, Linux Operating System, and Apple iOS.

What are the different types of operating system explain? ›

There are two basic types of network operating systems, discussed as follows: Peer-to-Peer Network Operating Systems: allow users to share network resources saved in a common, accessible network location. Client/Server Network Operating Systems: provide users with access to resources through a server.

What is the 10 operating system? ›

Windows 10 is the most recent version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. There have been many different versions of Windows over the years, including Windows 8 (released in 2012), Windows 7 (2009), Windows Vista (2006), and Windows XP (2001).

What are 6 common operating systems? ›

What are the most common operating systems?
  • Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Windows first launched in 1993. ...
  • Mac OS. Despite being known as the main Windows alternative, macOS predates Windows. ...
  • Android OS. Android is a mobile operating system based on Linux and other open-source software. ...
  • Linux. ...
  • Ubuntu. ...
  • Chrome OS. ...
  • Fedora.
Jul 1, 2022

What are the 3 main operating systems? ›

There are many operating systems that are available however the three most common operating systems are Microsoft's Windows, Apple's macOS and Linux.

What are the 3 categories of operating system? ›

Types of operating systems

The three most common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

What is the difference between types of operating system? ›

A multi-tasking operating system allows more than one program to be running at the same time, from the point of view of human time scales. A single-tasking system has only one running program. Multi-tasking can be of two types: pre-emptive and co-operative.

What are the 5 main functions of an operating system with examples? ›

What are the Functions of Operating Systems?
  • Security. ...
  • Control over System Performance. ...
  • Job Accounting. ...
  • Error Detecting Aids. ...
  • Coordination between Users and Other Software. ...
  • Memory Management. ...
  • Process Management. ...
  • Device Management.

What is an operating system with 10 examples? ›

Comparison Of The Top Operating Systems
OS NameComputer Architecture SupportedWebsite
WindowsX86, x86-64,Windows
Mac OS68k, Power PCMac OS
UbuntuX86, X86-64, Power PC, SPARC, Alpha.Ubuntu
FedoraX86, X86-64, Power PC, SPARC, Alpha.Fedora
1 more row
Feb 21, 2023

What are the popular types of operating system? ›

Here are the different types of operating systems you need to know:
  • Batch OS. The batch operating system does not have a direct link with the computer. ...
  • Time-sharing or multitasking OS. ...
  • Distributed OS. ...
  • Network OS. ...
  • Real-time OS. ...
  • Mobile OS.
Jun 22, 2021

How many classifications of operating systems are there? ›

Classification of Operating Systems

Single-User: just allows one user to use the programs at one time. Multiprocessor: Supports opening the same program more than just in one CPU. Multitasking: Allows multiple programs running at the same time.

How many types of operating system processes are there? ›

Basically there are two types of process: Independent process. Cooperating process.

What is an operating system and give examples? ›

Operating System is defined as a collection of programs that coordinates the operations of computer hardware and software. It acts as a bridge for the interface between man and machine. Examples of Operating System are: Windows Linux BOSS etc.

What are the 10 most popular operating system in computers? ›

Top 10 Operating Systems
  • Windows 10.
  • iOS.
  • Windows 7.
  • Ubuntu.
  • macOS Sierra.
  • Android.
  • Red Hat Linux.
  • CentOS.

What operating system is 11? ›

Android 11 (codenamed internally as Android Red Velvet Cake) is the eleventh major release and 18th version of Android, the mobile operating system developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google. It was released on September 8, 2020.

How many operating systems exist as of today? ›

How many operating systems are there? There are three main operating systems for computers: Windows, Apple, and Linux. The two main operating systems for mobile are Android and iOS.

What are the latest operating system? ›

As of September 2022, the most recent version of Windows is Windows 11 for consumer PCs and tablets, Windows 11 Enterprise for corporations, and Windows Server 2022 for servers.

What is the basic of popular operating system? ›

Basics of Popular Operating Systems (Windows, LINUX)

It provides Graphical User Interface (GUI), multitasking capability to users. It also provides virtual memory management and several peripheral devices. According to statistics, about 90% of computers have migrated to Windows operating system.

What is the most common operating system? ›

Microsoft's Windows is the most widely used computer operating system in the world, accounting for 70.39 percent share of the desktop, tablet, and console OS market in January 2023.

What are the two most popular operating systems? ›

For desktop and laptop computers, Windows is the most used at 76%, followed by Apple's macOS at 16%, and Linux-based operating systems at 5% (i.e. "desktop Linux" at 2.6%, plus Google's ChromeOS at 2.4%, in the US up to 6.2%).

Is Windows 10 a operating system? ›

Windows 10 is a Microsoft operating system for personal computers, tablets, embedded devices and internet of things devices. Microsoft released Windows 10 in July 2015 as a follow-up to Windows 8.

What is difference between Linux and DOS? ›

Linux is an operating system that evolved from a kernel created by Linus Torvalds when he was a student at the University of Helsinki. The main difference between UNIX and DOS is that DOS was originally designed for single-user systems, while UNIX was designed for systems with many users.

What mobile OS do you use? ›

Some common mobile OS are as follows:
  • Android OS.
  • Apple iOS.
  • Bada.
  • Blackberry OS.
  • Windows Mobile OS.
  • Symbian OS.
  • Palm OS.
  • Web OS.

What is the operating system structure? ›

The operating system is divided into various different structural types: simple structure, monolithic approach, layered approach, micro-kernels, exokernels, and virtual machines. Each time one of these methods or structures changed, the OS became progressively better.

What is the 8 operating system? ›

Windows 8 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012; it was subsequently made available for download via MSDN and TechNet on August 15, 2012, and later to retail on October 26, 2012.

Is Google an operating system? ›

Google Chrome OS is an open source lightweight operating system (OS). It uses one-sixtieth as much hard drive space as Windows 7 and is intended for netbooks or tablet PCs that access Web-based applications and stored data from remote servers.

Is Microsoft Office an operating system? ›

Windows is the operating system; Microsoft Office is a program.

Which is not an operating system? ›

Out of the given options, Oracle is not an operating system.

What is Linux used for? ›

Linux is used in the following ways: Server OS for web servers, database servers, file servers, email servers and any other type of shared server. Designed to support high-volume and multithreading applications, Linux is well-suited for all types of server applications. Desktop OS for personal productivity computing.

Is Java an operating system? ›

Most platforms can be described as a combination of the operating system and underlying hardware. The Java platform differs from most other platforms in that it's a software-only platform that runs on top of other hardware-based platforms. The Java platform has two components: The Java Virtual Machine.

What are the 12 functions of the operating system? ›

Functions of Operating System
  • Security.
  • Control over System Performance.
  • Job Accounting.
  • Error Detecting Aids.
  • Coordination between Users and Other Software.
  • Memory Management.
  • Process Management.
  • Device Management.

How many types of Windows 7 operating systems are there? ›

There are six editions of Windows 7 operating system. The different versions are listed below: NOTE: Each version includes the feature set of the lower version and additional features. The versions are listed in order from lowest to highest.

What are the 4 main purposes of the operating system? ›

An operating system is a software which performs all the basic tasks like file management, memory management, process management, handling input and output, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.

What are the 5 main functions of an operating support system? ›

In general, an OSS covers at least the following five functions:
  • Network management systems.
  • Service delivery.
  • Service fulfillment, including the network inventory, activation and provisioning.
  • Service assurance.
  • Customer care.

How many operating systems are there in PC? ›

An Operating System is a software program that acts as an interface between the hardware, the application software, and the users. There are mainly 5 popular operating systems: Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Google's Android OS, Linux Operating System, and Apple iOS.

How many types of Microsoft operating systems are there? ›

Microsoft Windows has seen nine major versions since its first release in 1985. Over 29 years later, Windows looks very different but somehow familiar with elements that have survived the test of time, increases in computing power and – most recently – a shift from the keyboard and mouse to the touchscreen.

How many versions of Windows OS are there? ›

Personal computer versions
Windows 7Windows 7NT 6.1
Windows 8Windows 8NT 6.2
Windows 8.1BlueNT 6.3
Windows 10 version 1507ThresholdNT 10.0
47 more rows


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