What are the types of an Operating System?

In the previous blog i.e. "What is an Operating System and what are the goals and functions of an Operating System?", we saw what an Operating System is and what are its goal and functions. We saw that an Operating System is a software that acts as an intermediate between the user and the hardware components of the system. The Operating System is responsible for managing various resources of the system. Now, in this blog, we will see what are the different types of an Operating System. So, let's get started.

1. Batch Operating System

In a Batch Operating System, the similar jobs are grouped together into batches with the help of some operator and these batches are executed one by one. For example, let us assume that we have 10 programs that need to be executed. Some programs are written in C++, some in C and rest in Java. Now, every time when we run these programmes individually then we will have to load the compiler of that particular language and then execute the code. But what if we make a batch of these 10 programmes. The benefit with this approach is that, for the C++ batch, you need to load the compiler only once. Similarly, for Java and C, the compiler needs to be loaded only once and the whole batch gets executed. The following image describes the working of a Batch Operating System.


  1. The overall time taken by the system to execute all the programmes will be reduced.
  2. The Batch Operating System can be shared between multiple users.


  1. Manual interventions are required between two batches.
  2. The CPU utilization is low because the time taken in loading and unloading of batches is very high as compared to execution time.

2. Time-Sharing Operating System

In a Multi-tasking Operating System, more than one processes are being executed at a particular time with the help of the time-sharing concept. So, in the time-sharing environment, we decide a time that is called time quantum and when the process starts its execution then the execution continues for only that amount of time and after that, other processes will be given chance for that amount of time only. In the next cycle, the first process will again come for its execution and it will be executed for that time quantum only and again next process will come. This process will continue. The following image describes the working of a Time-Sharing Operating System.


  1. Since equal time quantum is given to each process, so each process gets equal opportunity to execute.
  2. The CPU will be busy in most of the cases and this is good to have case.


  1. Process having higher priority will not get the chance to be executed first because the equal opportunity is given to each process.

3. Distributed Operating System

In a Distributed Operating System, we have various systems and all these systems have their own CPU, main memory, secondary memory, and resources. These systems are connected to each other using a shared communication network. Here, each system can perform its task individually. The best part about these Distributed Operating System is remote access i.e. one user can access the data of the other system and can work accordingly. So, remote access is possible in these distributed Operating Systems. The following image shows the working of a Distributed Operating System.


  1. Since the systems are connected with each other so, the failure of one system can't stop the execution of processes because other systems can do the execution.
  2. Resources are shared between each other.
  3. The load on the host computer gets distributed and this, in turn, increases the efficiency.


  1. Since the data is shared among all the computers, so to make the data secure and accessible to few computers, you need to put some extra efforts.
  2. If there is a problem in the communication network then the whole communication will be broken.

4. Embedded Operating System

An Embedded Operating System is designed to perform a specific task for a particular device which is not a computer. For example, the software used in elevators is dedicated to the working of elevators only and nothing else. So, this can be an example of Embedded Operating System. The Embedded Operating System allows the access of device hardware to the software that is running on the top of the Operating System.


  1. Since it is dedicated to a particular job, so it is fast.
  2. Low cost.
  3. These consume less memory and other resources.


  1. Only one job can be performed.
  2. It is difficult to upgrade or is nearly scalable.

5. Real-time Operating System

The Real-time Operating Systems are used in the situation where we are dealing with some real-time data. So, as soon as the data comes, the execution of the process should be done and there should be no dealy i.e. no buffer delays should be there. Real-time OS is a time-sharing system that is based on the concept of clock interrupt. So, whenever you want to process a large number of request in a very short period of time, then you should use Real-time Operating System. For example, the details of the temperature of the petroleum industry are very crucial and this should be done in real-time and in a very short period of time. A small delay can result in a life-death situation. So, this is done with the help of Real-time Operating System. There are two types of Real-time Operating System:

  1. Hard Real-time: In this type, a small delay can lead to drastic change. So, when the time constraint is very important then we use the Hard Real-time.
  2. Soft Real-time: Here, the time constraint is not that important but here also we are dealing with some real-time data.


  1. There is maximum utilization of devices and resources.
  2. These systems are almost error-free.


  1. The algorithms used in Real-time Operating System is very complex.
  2. Specific device drivers are used for responding to the interrupts as soon as possible.

So, we have seen some of the important Operating System types. That's it for this blog. Hope you enjoyed this blog.

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