Types of Operating System For Computer

An operating system is a set of programs that provide common services for controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating networking, managing file systems. Important types of operating system areWindows, Linux, Unix, and mac os.

Operating System

An operating system is a set of programs that control and manages all computer resources and operations. The operating system is the most important type of system software that executes user programs and makes an easier solution of user problems. Users also interact with the computer through an operating system.

Furthermore, A computer can do nothing without an operating system. An OS must be installed on every computer. when a computer is turned on, the operating system runs a check that all parts of the computer are functioning properly. The operating system manages all operations on a computer after loading.


In addition, an operating system is a set of program that acts as an interface between a user and computer hardware. Some popular types of operating system are DOS, Windows, Unix, OS/2, and Linux, etc.

types of operating system

Types of Operating System

Earlier, many operating systems were device-dependent and proprietary.  A type of software that runs only on a specific type of computer is called device-dependent. A type of software that is privately owned and limited to a specific vendor or computer model is called proprietary software.

Another type of operating system that recognizes and works with application software written for an earlier operating system is called downward-compatible.

Manufacturers normally introduced a different operating system for each new computer model and it was a problem for the user to switch from one computer model to another. The application software could not work on different computer models. Important types of operating system are as follows:

  • Multi-user OS
  • Multiprocessor OS
  • Multitasking OS
  • Multithreading OS
  • Time-Sharing OS
  • Stand-Alone OS
  • Network OS
  • Embedded OS

Multi-User Operating System

A multi-user operating system allows multiple users to share data and the same computer at the same time. A powerful computer server controls how the computer works and communicates. Some examples of multi-user types of the operating systems are Linux, UNIX and Windows 2000.


Multi-Processor Operating System

Multiprocessor operating system supports two or more processors that running programs at the same time. All the CPUs are work with close communication and are sharing their resources like computer buses, peripheral devices, and memory. Examples of multiprocessing operating systems are Linux, UNIX & Windows 2000.

Multitasking Operating System

A multitasking operating system executes more than one program at the same time. This operating system monitors your position inside these tasks and shifts from one task to another without any loss of information. Some examples of the multitasking operating systems are UNIX and Windows 2000.

Multithreading Operating System

An operating system that allows different parts of a program to run concurrently is called multithreading operating system. This operating system allows a user to support multiple threads of execution inside a single process. Examples of multithreading operating systems are Linux, UNIX and Windows 2000 also.

Time-Sharing Operating System

The time-sharing operating system enables a large number of users to share the computer simultaneously. It is used when many users are linked through communication networks to a single computer. The computer first works on one user’s task for a fraction of time and then goes to the next computer rapidly.

It also switches back and forth among different tasks.


Stand-Alone Operating Systems

An operating system that can be operated on a desktop, notebook computer or any mobile computing device is called a stand-alone operating system. A stand-alone operating system that combines works with a network operating system is called a client operating system.

Some examples of stand-alone operating systems are DOS, Windows 95, Windows NT Workstation, Windows Me and also Windows XP Home Edition, etc.


DOS stands for Disk Operating System. This operating system is also called Command Prompt operating system. DOS was developed by Microsoft in the early 1980s for personal computers. It is a type of single-user operating system in which only one user can work at a time.

Windows XP

Windows XP is also a product of Microsoft Corporation. It was released in 2001. XP stands for experience. It provides a quicker startup, better performance, and a new visual look. Three versions of Windows XP are Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Server.

Mac OS

Macintosh’s operating system is a product of Apple. It was one of the first successful GUI. It was released with Macintosh computers in1984. The latest version of this operating system is called Mac OS X. It is a desktop interface with 3-D visualization. UNIX and old Mac applications are easy runs on Mac OS X.

Network Operating Systems

An operating system that is developed to support personal computers, terminals, and workstations connected over a network is called a network operating system. It normally works on a server. Some examples of network operating systems are Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, NetWare, UNIX, Linux, and Solaris.


Novell’s Netware is a network operating system. It is designed for a client/ server network. In addition, it is also important to know that the server portion of this operating system resides on a network server and the client portion resides on each client computer.

Windows NT Server

Windows NT Server is also a product of Microsoft. It is designed for client/server networks. The server in the network uses the Windows NT Server operating system. The client computers use Windows NT Workstation or other stands alone version of windows.


UNIX is a multitasking operating system. It was developed in the early 1970s at Bell Laboratories.  Many versions of this operating system are available also. It uses a command-line interface. UNIX is mainly used in network environments and is very popular for its security also.


Linux is a free and multitasking operating system. This operating system was developed in 1991. It is also open-source software. It means that its code is available to the public. Some versions of Linux use a command-line interface and others use GUI. Examples of  Linux are LINUX MINT, Manjaro DEBIAN, UBUNTU, etc.


Solaris is a version of the UNIX operating system. It was developed by Sun Microsystems. Solaris is a network operating system and also designed for e-commerce applications. In addition, it can manage high traffic accounts and security for web transactions. The client version of Solaris is also called CDE.

Embedded Operating Systems

An operating system that is used in most handheld computers and small devices is called an embedded operating system. It resides on a ROM chip. Some examples of embedded operating systems are Windows CE, Pocket PC 2002 and Palm OS also.

Windows CE

Windows CE is a scaled-down operating system. It was released in 1996. It is designed for use on wireless communications devices. Window CE is also used in handheld computers, in-vehicle devices, and some Web-enabled devices. Window CE supports color, sound, multitasking, email, and internet capabilities.

Pocket PC 2002

Pocket PC 2002 is a scaled-down operating system. It was also designed by Microsoft for a particular type of handheld computer called Pocket PC. Pocket PC is used to access PIM  (personal information manager) functions like contact lists, schedules, tasks, calendars, and notes.

Pocket PC 2002 also provides facilities to check email, browse the Web, listen to music, watch a video, sends and receive instant messages and record a voice message, etc.

Palm OS

Palm OS also called Garnet OS. It is an operating system for handheld computers. it is also used to manage schedules and contacts and synchronize this information with a desktop computer. Some handheld computers provide wireless access to the internet and email.

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