Operating System Concepts - 10th Edition

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36 Questions

What is the main purpose of the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS)?

To perform a Power-On Self-Test (POST) and check the essential hardware components

Which component is responsible for locating and starting the main part of the operating system (the kernel)?

Bootstrap Loader

What is the primary function of the Operating System?

To load the full operating system (like Windows or macOS) into memory

Why do we study operating systems, according to the text?

The text does not provide a reason for studying operating systems

What keeps track of the location of a program in memory?

Memory Management

Which component reassigns the CPU to the next program waiting in line?

Process Management

What cooperates to store modified file results in secondary storage?

Memory Management and File Management

Which component releases a program's space in main memory?

Memory Management

What is considered an active entity in the system according to the provided text?


Which component displays the results and readies for the next command?

User Interface

What is the main purpose of an operating system according to the text?

Execute user programs and make solving user problems easier

What aspect concerns users of dedicated systems like workstations?

Dedicated resources but shared resource usage

What does the OS kernel primarily do according to the text?

Performs essential system tasks and provides hardware protection

Why is an OS described as a control program in the text?

To control program execution and prevent errors and improper use

Which term best describes the part of an OS that resides in memory at all times and performs essential system tasks?

'OS nucleus' or kernel

How is resource utilization handled by an OS in a shared computing environment according to the text?

By prioritizing convenient use over all users' satisfaction

What is the main responsibility of the operating system in connection with process management?

Memory allocation and deallocation

What is the function of a single-threaded process in terms of executing instructions?

Executes instructions sequentially, one at a time

In memory management, what activities are involved in deciding what to move into and out of memory?

Deciding which processes or data to move into and out of memory

What is the purpose of an I/O subsystem in an operating system?

Hiding hardware device peculiarities from users

Which component of the operating system is responsible for providing a uniform, logical view of information storage?

File Management

What is the responsibility of the OS in mass-storage management regarding disks?

Managing free-space on disks

What is the primary goal of protection mechanisms in an operating system?

Defending against internal and external attacks

In a computing environment, what is the key difference between traditional stand-alone machines and network computers (thin clients)?

'Thin clients' rely heavily on network services for computing tasks

Why must multitasking environments ensure the use of the most recent value in the storage hierarchy?

To prevent cache coherency issues in multiprocessor environments

What is the functional difference between handheld smartphones and tablets compared to traditional laptops?

Smartphones and tablets have limited processing power compared to laptops.

What is the primary function of an operating system?

To manage hardware resources and provide an interface for applications

How does an interrupt transfer control to the interrupt service routine (ISR)?

Through the interrupt vector, which contains the addresses of service routines

What is the purpose of a device controller in a computer system?

To control and manage a particular type of I/O device

What is the difference between a trap and an interrupt?

A trap is software-generated, while an interrupt is hardware-generated

What is the purpose of the wait instruction in the context of I/O operations?

To idle the CPU until the next interrupt occurs

What is the purpose of caching in a computer system?

To increase the speed of data access by storing frequently used data in faster storage

What is the advantage of using Direct Memory Access (DMA) for I/O operations?

All of the above

What is the purpose of the device-status table in an operating system?

To store the current status and state of each I/O device

What is the purpose of the interrupt vector in an interrupt-driven operating system?

To store the addresses of interrupt service routines

What is the role of the system call in the context of I/O operations?

To request the operating system to allow the user to wait for I/O completion

Study Notes

Computer System Organization

  • A computer system consists of one or more CPUs and device controllers connected through a common bus, providing access to shared memory.
  • Concurrent execution of CPUs and devices competes for memory cycles.
  • I/O devices and the CPU can execute concurrently.

Interrupt Handling

  • Interrupts transfer control to the interrupt service routine (ISR) through the interrupt vector.
  • Interrupt architecture must save the address of the interrupted instruction.
  • A trap or exception is a software-generated interrupt caused by a user request or error.

Interrupt Timeline

  • The OS preserves the state of the CPU by storing registers and the program counter.
  • The OS determines which type of interrupt has occurred and takes appropriate action.

I/O Structure

  • After I/O starts, control returns to the user program either upon I/O completion or without waiting for I/O completion.
  • A system call is a request to the OS to allow the user to wait for I/O completion.
  • The device-status table contains entries for each I/O device, indicating its type, address, and state.

Storage Hierarchy

  • Storage systems are organized in a hierarchy based on speed, cost, and volatility.
  • The storage hierarchy includes main memory, secondary storage, and tertiary storage (e.g., optical storage, magnetic tape).


  • Caching involves copying information from slower to faster storage systems temporarily.
  • The cache is smaller than the storage being cached.

Direct Memory Access (DMA) Structure

  • DMA is used for high-speed I/O devices that can transmit information at close to memory speeds.
  • The device controller transfers blocks of data from buffer storage directly to main memory without CPU intervention.

Process Management

  • Process management involves creating and deleting processes, suspending and resuming processes, and providing mechanisms for process synchronization and communication.
  • A single-threaded process has one program counter specifying the location of the next instruction to execute.
  • A multi-threaded process has one program counter per thread.

Memory Management

  • Memory management determines what is in memory and when.
  • Memory management activities include keeping track of memory usage, deciding which processes and data to move into and out of memory, and allocating and deallocating memory space.

File Management

  • The OS provides a uniform, logical view of information storage.
  • File management involves creating and deleting files and directories, and providing access control to determine who can access what.

Mass-Storage Management

  • Mass-storage management involves managing free space, storage allocation, and disk scheduling.
  • Tertiary storage includes optical storage, magnetic tape, and other slow, non-volatile storage media.

I/O Subsystem

  • The I/O subsystem is responsible for managing I/O devices, including buffering, caching, and spooling.
  • The I/O subsystem provides a general device-driver interface and drivers for specific hardware devices.

Protection and Security

  • Protection involves controlling access to resources defined by the OS.
  • Security involves defending the system against internal and external attacks.
  • User identities, group identifiers, and privilege escalation are used to control access to resources.

Computing Environments

  • Traditional computing involves general-purpose machines connected to the Internet.
  • Mobile computing involves handheld devices, tablets, and laptops with wireless networks.
  • Networking is becoming ubiquitous, even in home systems.

This quiz explores the fundamental concepts of operating systems as discussed in the 10th edition of the book 'Operating System Concepts'. Topics include the role of an operating system, goals of an OS, and user perspectives on OS functionalities.

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