1. [syn: operating system, OS]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (computer science) software that controls the execution of
computer programs and may provide various services [syn:
operating system, OS]
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[techspeak] (Often abbreviated ?OS?) The foundation software of a machine;
that which schedules tasks, allocates storage, and presents a default
interface to the user between applications. The facilities an operating
system provides and its general design philosophy exert an extremely strong
influence on programming style and on the technical cultures that grow up
around its host machines. Hacker folklore has been shaped primarily by the
Unix, ITS, TOPS-10, TOPS-20/TWENEX, WAITS, CP/M, MS-DOS,
and Multics operating systems (most importantly by ITS and Unix). See
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
(OS) The low-level software which handles
the interface to peripheral hardware, schedules tasks,
allocates storage, and presents a default interface to the
user when no application program is running.
The OS may be split into a kernel which is always present
and various system programs which use facilities provided by
the kernel to perform higher-level house-keeping tasks,
often acting as servers in a client-server relationship.
Some would include a graphical user interface and window
system as part of the OS, others would not. The operating
system loader, BIOS, or other firmware required at boot
time or when installing the operating system would generally
not be considered part of the operating system, though this
distinction is unclear in the case of a rommable operating
system such as RISC OS.
The facilities an operating system provides and its general
design philosophy exert an extremely strong influence on
programming style and on the technical cultures that grow up
around the machines on which it runs.
Example operating systems include 386BSD, AIX, AOS,
Amoeba, Angel, Artemis microkernel, BeOS, Brazil,
COS, CP/M, CTSS, Chorus, DACNOS, DOSEXEC 2,
GCOS, GEORGE 3, GEOS, ITS, KAOS, Linux, LynxOS,
MPV, MS-DOS, MVS, Mach, Macintosh operating system,
Microsoft Windows, MINIX, Multics, Multipop-68,
Novell NetWare, OS-9, OS/2, Pick, Plan 9, QNX,
RISC OS, STING, System V, System/360, TOPS-10,
TOPS-20, TRUSIX, TWENEX, TYMCOM-X, Thoth, Unix,
VM/CMS, VMS, VRTX, VSTa, VxWorks, WAITS.
Usenet newsgroup: news:comp.os.research.