Operating System: Definition, Types and Uses in Computer Systems

Operating system

In the world of computers, the operating system is the main basis for the computer to run properly.

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Many people know this system as well-known brands such as Windows, MacOS, and so on.

So what is an operating system? And what are its uses in the world of computers, let’s look at the following article.

Definition of Operating System

Is a type of program or software that is on the first layer in the computer’s memory so that it is responsible for turning on the computer which is called the boot process.

While the software that is run will be run by the operating system while providing services to the software.

Prior to the existence of the operating system, computers only used an analog signal system and digital signals. Then along with the development of technology, now there are various types with their respective advantages.

This system has a systematic scheduling that includes the calculation of memory usage, data storage, data processing, and other resources.

Understanding the Operating System According to Experts

That was an understanding of the operating system in general, but there are also some definitions of the operating system according to experts, let’s look at the following explanation.

According to Iim Rusyamsi

Is software that performs the task of controlling and managing hardware as well as other basic operating systems that can run application programs.

According to MCLEOD (PEARSON)

Is a computer program that manages hardware and software resources on the computer.


Is a system that is used to run all the application programs on the computer.

According to M. Suyanto

Is a system that consists of several software components that have the function to control all activities on the computer.


Is the first stage of software that is entered into the computer’s memory when it is turned on.

Operating System Functions

As for some of the functions of the operating system on a computer system, among others:

Computer Resource Management

This system can set the time the applications run, share processor usage when applications run simultaneously, provide disk access, and much more.

Serves As A Basic Application Of A Device

Is the basis of the formation of existing programs on a device. This application can also be said to be the most vital part that manages all the things needed to carry out the functions of a device.

Optimizing the Functions of a Device

Being able to optimize the performance of hardware and software, this system can manage and control the relationship between hardware and software so they can work together properly.

Connect Hardwards

Can coordinate all devices that are connected to the gadget at the same time, such as internal storage, mouse, speakers, and processors. In terms of being able to connect hardware with software.

Set the Device Working System

The operating system manages and also controls all running hardware functions, starting from the processor, memory, storage, and so on. That way, all computer systems can synergize with each other and form a unit that can improve the function of a device.

Examples of Kinds of Operating Systems

The following are five examples of the most popular and widely used operating systems around the world:


Microsoft Windows is one of the most popular existing computer systems. This Windows OS has been around since the 1980s, Windows has various versions and updates such as Windows 98, Windows vista, WWindows 7/8/10 and most recently Windows 11.

Every Windows update version has improvements that can make it easier for users in their daily use, starting from updating control panels, desktops, and so on. So many people use this Windows OS, many of them try to hack it with malware and viruses.


Mac OS is Apple’s output system that is devoted only to Apple’s exclusive desktop and laptop computers. The advantage of MAC OS is that it is highly optimized for the Apple device itself so that it has a fast processing speed, a simple UI, and is not susceptible to viruses.


Linux is one that is also widely used because of its ease of use and offers modifications to the operating system. The advantage of Linux is that it is open source, aka free and free to modify.


Yes, of course we are very familiar with Android, which is widely used on smartphones and tablets. This Android first appeared in 2007 which continues to grow until now.


iOS is a mobile device developed by Apple which is widely used on its iPhone devices.

Differences between Commercial Operating Systems and Open Source Operating Systems

Operating systems are divided into 2 general categories namely commercial and open source. Actually there is another term for a network operating system, but this is usually one in the commercial category. So what’s the difference between these two types? Let’s look at the following explanation.

Commercial operating system

Developed by technology companies to be traded freely, the easiest example is Windows.

Open Source operating system

Free to use by anyone without paying for it. This open source OS can also be modified and used on other devices for commercial purposes, examples of open source OS are Linux and Android.

The following are some of the most detailed differences between the two operating systems:

  1. Open source OS like Linux usually has a light performance so it feels very smooth when used compared to the Windows OS, the newer the version, the heavier the performance.
  2. Open source OS usually do not collect user data whereas Windows collect all user data which leads to privacy.
  3. Open source can kill applications easily and quickly, while Windows requires many times.
    Linux can support a wide variety of free software. But Windows offers a lot of support for software and video games though.
  4. On Linux, almost all of the software can be used for free, while on Windows, most of it is paid with offering better features and security.
  5. Open source OS like Linux is easier to identify bugs and fix them, while Windows has a large user base that makes it a target for virus or malware developers.
  6. Linux OS is usually used in companies as a Server OS and operating system for security purposes on Google, Facebook, Twitter and others. For Windows OS mostly used for business as well as playing games.

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