Operating Systems

What is an operating system?Edit

An operating system is software that manages and organises that computer's resources and basic functions, including:

  • User interface
  • Memory
  • Processing time
  • Security
  • Peripherals (e.g. printers, hard drives)
  • multi tasking
  • manages errors

Operating System ListEdit


Operating system Unix was developed by a group of employees from Bell Labs under the guidance of Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson and Brian Kernighan in 1969. This operating system was created under the fundamentals of simplicity as they had few people working on the project and wanted to complete it relatively quickly. The design standards set by Unix paved the way for the modern computing world (except Windows).


At the end of 1970's, the University of California, Berkeley made a number of improvements to the source code of UNIX, including the work with protocols of TCP/IP. Their work was known as BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). It spread under licence, allowing to refine and improve the product and transfer the result to third parties, with or without source codes, provided that authorship of the code written in Berkeley is indicated. While there was some legal trouble, the case was ruled in favor of the Regents of California and that set a precedent that Unix-like operating systems are not under copyright so long as they contain no original Unix source code. Thus the BSD project had to remove all Unix based code from 4.4 BSD terming their new creation 4.4BSD lite. This BSD was limited in features so projects like FreeBSD and NetBSD sprung up to fill in the gaps.


In the beginning of the 1990s, a student from Helsinki University Linus Torvalds started kernel development for IBM computers, that was known as w:Linux\Linux. Currently, GNU/Linux (a set of different distributions built on the basis of the Linux kernel) ranks second in popularity among OSs used on user desktops (first place belongs Microsoft Windows)

Linux-Begginer - Beginners. What, where, how and why. Main directions. Linux-FAQ - Most asked questions and answers to them. Linux-Articles - Subject articles. Would you like to place your own, wouldn't you? :) Linux-Books - Comments about favourite books Linux-Links - Collection of useful links Linux-hand-book - Short useful reference for commands Linux-About - What to add, in what format and how to ask questions.

Amiga OSEdit

The operating system for Amiga-based personal computers (Motorola 68k processor) has an atypical microkernel called Exec. Classic AmigaOS is considered to be a combination of two components: Kickstart and Workbench.

Kickstart provides abstraction from Amiga's unique hardware and contains: a displacing preemptive multitasking scheduler (Exec), a disk operating system (AmigaDOS) and a graphical interface library (Intuition).

Workbench is a graphical user interface, and is usually presented with a desktop of the same name or another file manager.

The history of AmigaOS begins in 1984. It was the first operating system in which real-time preemptive multitasking, a graphical user interface, and a command line were simultaneously implemented. It has 3 full branches (inheriting the AmigaOS architecture):

  • AROS - AmigaOS-compatible OS at API level, developed by AROS Team on the principles of Open-Source (x86 processors).
  • AmigaOS 4.x is a version of the proprietary AmigaOS, developed by Hyperion Ent. for the AmigaONE PC family (PowerPC processor);
    • AmigaAnywhere is a cross-platform application environment similar to Java. It exists for all processors;
  • MorphOS - AmigaOS-compatible OS mixed with Open-Source type, originally developed by Genesi for the Pegasos PC family (PowerPC processor);


In 1980, QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) was created by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP). QDOS, for the most part, was a 16-bit clone of CP/M, but with a new filesystem - FAT. QDOS was renamed to 86-DOS, because it was designed to work on an Intel 8086 processor. Microsoft acquired QDOS for $ 60,000 and sold it to IBM as PC-DOS (MS-DOS).

August 1, 1984 IBM announces the release of a new generation of personal computers - IBM PC/AT.

Free DOSEdit

Free DOS - free-to-use functional copy of a known MS-DOS operating system.


FreeBSD is a Unix free operating system descending from 4.4 BSD lite which was created at UC Berkeley. FreeBSD has many interesting features such as jails and ZFS. As a BSD, FreeBSD is licensed under the BSD license and as anyone may take any portion of it into a different project, even if that other project is not open source. Many companies such as Sony (playstation) and Apple are known to use a portion of FreeBSD code

Mac OSEdit

Mac OS - is a Unix operating system system developed by Apple Computers Co. in 1984, under the name "System 1". In 1997, the 8th version of the operating system was released, and the operating system was changed to Mac OS (Full name: Macintosh Operating System).

macOS XEdit

macOS is the tenth release of the Mac OS line being developed and manufactured by the American company Apple Computers Co. (Today: Apple Inc.) Unlike Mac OS 9, macOS X was developed on the XNU core, and had code from FreeBSD. Beginning with OS X Yosemite versions, the Hand Off feature was introduced. With this function, it was possible to borrow with iOS and intercept application data, and transfer data to an iOS device with a running application.

Microsoft WindowsEdit

Microsoft Windows is a family of Microsoft operating systems. Was created for IBM computers with MS-DOS support.

IBM OS/2Edit

OS/2 is an operating system developed by IBM (initially jointly with Microsoft, later independently). Currently, work on client versions has been discontinued due to the widespread use of the Windows NT family of operating systems. Server versions continue to be supported. It was widely used in the USA, in the banking and manufacturing sectors.


ReactOS is an operating system, one of the projects of the Open Source community. During the development it is planned to achieve full compatibility with Microsoft Windows NT4 applications and drivers. It is an open operating system based on the principles of the Windows NT® architecture (such Microsoft products as Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 are built on the Windows NT architecture). The system was developed from scratch, and thus is not based on Linux and has nothing to do with the UNIX architecture.

Plan 9Edit

Plan 9 is an operating system developed at Bell Labs - the cradle of UNIX and the C language. Built on the idea of using file hierarchies to represent any operating system and hardware resources. Ideal for building distributed systems.

Inferno OSEdit

Inferno - the successor of the Plan9 ideas, a distinctive feature of which is the small requirements for computer resources and the ability to work both on top of the installed OS and independently.

Menuet OSEdit

Menuet is a standalone operating system written in assembly language. The 64-bit version is commercial and requires payment.


Kolibri is a branch from Menuet OS, unlike Menuet, is completely free.


iOS - (until June 24, 2010 - iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system for smartphones, electronic tablets, wearable players and some other devices based on macOS X, developed and produced by the American company Apple.


ANDROID is an operating system created on FreeBSD, designed for smartphones, tablets, e-books, digital players, watches, fitness bracelets, game consoles, laptops, netbooks, smartbooks, "Google Glass" Glasses, TVs and other devices (in 2015 support for car entertainment systems and home robots).

Ideas for the classroomEdit

Ask students to consider the similarities and differences between operating systems - they could make a poster/fact sheet/presentation to illustrate.


Big thanks to Esteban16, Marshmallych, Hydriz, SGBookYT, Billinghurst and WikiSystems for creating and changing the Russian page of this site