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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Features of Linux Operating System

Features of Linux Operating System


Linux allows many programs to be executed simultaneously by different users. This feature is called multi-programming.


Multi-programming is made possible on the Linux system by the concept of time-sharing. The operating system has to manage the various programs to be executed. The programs are queued and CPU time is shraed among them. Each program gets CPU time for a sepcific period and is then put back in the queue to wait its turn again as the next program in the queue is attended to.


A program in Linux is broken down into tasks, each task being something like reading from or writing to the disk, or waiting for input from a user. The ability of an OS to handle the execution of multiple tasks is kn own as multi-tasking.

When a task is waiting for the completion of an activity, the CPU, instead of wasting time, starts executing the next task. Therefore, while one task is waiting for input from the user, another program could be reading from the hard disk.

To explain the concept of multi-taskign, let's make a simple example. You are having a cup of coffee, reading a book, and talking to your friend over the phone. You are actually performing more than one task simultaneously.

However, at a given point in time, you would be either sipping coffee, reading the book, or speaking over the phone. As you notice, you divide your time into smaller units and in each unit of time.

you would be doing only one of the tasks. Similarly, the CPU divides the time between all the active task.
The kernel is responsible for scheduling the tasks.

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