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Report on multi user operating systems

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REPORT On MULTI USER OPERATING SYSTEMS By Annie Paterson For Catherine Ross TABLE OF CONTENTS Principle Features of a Multi-User Operating System Resource Sharing Multitasking Background Processing Types of Multi-User Operating Systems Multi Processor Time-Sliced Distributed Hardware Components Processor Memory Data Storage Devices Terminals Input/Output Devices Software Components Kernel Device Handlers Spoolers User Interface Bibliography Index Principal Features Of Multi-User Operating System Resources Sharing - Concepts of Resource Sharing A multi user operating system can support more that one user at a time, this means that multiple users can share the same system resources simultaneously. The users of a multi user operating system can share both hardware and software resources, the operating system carries out complicated routines to manage all the processes that the users are running. - List of shared resources: - * Hardware CPU Power, RAM, Hard drive, Peripherals (printer, Scanner, CD ROM) Other peripherals may be made available in a MUOS for users who require them (Floppy disk drive, Speakers, Head Phones, Video Cameras etc.) * Software - Scheduler Software (needed to manage and prioritise tasks). - Batch Job Some processes take a long time to complete and can often disturb other computer tasks that are important. ...read more.


In some expensive operating systems it is possible to connect more CPUs to the system and have them work together to execute tasks. Multiprocessing can significantly reduce the time taken to execute each process. An operating system with multiple processors can perform different tasks separately or a task can be split up and processed by different CPUs. - Advantages / Disadvantages An advantage is that multi processing systems can be very speedy at completing tasks. A disadvantage is that this type of system is very expensive. Time-Sliced As multi user operating systems share resources, different processes can require different amounts of time. It is possible and to interrupt a large process so that a smaller process to be completed. If you were using a time slicing system then the processor will switch between processes at timed intervals (Pre-emptive). The amount of time allocated to each process is called a time slice. The length of time given for each time-slice is allocated by a program called a scheduler. - An advantage is that larger or more important processes may be given more time slices than a smaller task so it can be completed, however this could also be a disadvantage if there are many users executing smaller tasks as they will take longer to be finished. ...read more.


Communication with the hardware is through the kernel. In multi user operating systems it is the kernel's job to keep each process and user separate and to organize access to the system hardware, including CPU, memory, disk and other I/O devices. Device Handlers A device is any piece if hardware that is used in an operating system. A device handler is a piece of software within the operating system that communicates with the devices and tells them what to do. This is part of the operating system that is responsible for servicing requests of the device request queue. Spoolers (Simultaneous peripheral operations on-line) Spooling is used when data is waiting to go to an output device after it has been processed. The data is placed into a queue so that the CPU can process something else instead of having to slow down to the speed of the output device. Spoolers are used on mainly old devices e.g. old printers that can only handle one job at a time User Interface This is how the user can view the data within the operating system. The main types of user interfaces are; the graphical user interface e.g. Windows and Command driven interface e.g. MS DOS and standard UNIX. The CDI was more complicated to use than a GUI as you would have to know certain commands to do very basic tasks. ...read more.

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