Different types of operating systems everyone must know

Did you know?

Interacting with your computer, smartphone or any other system is only possible because of an operating system. 

Well it may sound bizarre but computers only understand machine language which is simply a sequence of 0s and 1s. Though, interacting with a system in the same language is not easy for a layman. This is where an operating system comes into play.

An operating system is simply an interface between the user and hardware that allows you even a layman to interact with a system. In simpler terms, it behaves like an intermediary between the user and the system and translates instructions from one end to the other.

However, with the advancement of technology, operating systems have also evolved. There are multiple types of operating systems including multiprocessing operating systems, batch operating systems and real-time operating systems. 

Here, we will explain to you all the types of operating systems that you must know. But before everything else, let’s understand what an operating system is.

Understanding Operating Systems

An operating system is a software interface between the hardware and the user that allows you to communicate with the system and perform desired actions. To do this, an operating system uses two major components including a Kernel and a shell.

The kernel is responsible for handling processes and components from the hardware side. These processes include memory management, process management, and I/O management. 

However, the shell behaves as an outer layer that helps you interact with the system. It uses a shell script or user input to give commands to the hardware.

Some common examples of operating systems include MS Windows, macOS, DOS, Linux, and Android.

Types of Operating Systems

There are multiple types of operating systems that every person should be familiar with. These include

  • Batch operating systems
  • Multiprocessing operating systems
  • Time Sharing operating systems
  • Distributed operating systems
  • Multi-programming operating systems
  • Network Operating systems

Batch Operating System

In this type of OS, there is no direct interaction with the computer. It uses an operator which works on similar types of jobs which have the same requirements. 

On the basis of the requirements, the processes are grouped into batches. The operating system here works on sorting the jobs having similar requirements and then carrying them out.

Some common examples of this type of operating system include bank statements and payroll systems.


  • Different users can use the same batch systems.
  • Managing work becomes easier in batch systems.
  • There is very little idle time in a batch processing system.


  • The cost of installing a batch processing system is high.
  • Debugging becomes difficult in batch systems.

MultiProcessing Operating Systems

When it comes to multiprocessing operating systems, different CPUs are connected to each other to execute a given task much faster. 

After completing the whole process, the outputs from all the connected CPUs are compiled together and a final and wholesome output is produced. 

The most common example of a multiprocessing operating system is Unix.


  • The reliability of the whole system is increased in this type of system. Therefore, if one of the processors fails, the other ones can be used to produce the required output.
  • With multiple processors, a complex task can be performed in less time.


  • Managing these systems is difficult as they are more complex and sophisticated.

Time-sharing Operating System

This type of operations system provides the same and shared user interface to all the users who have logged in at the same time. It allows different users to simultaneously access the same files, documents, applications and other resources of the system. 

The most common examples of time-sharing operating systems include Unix and Multics.


  • Equal opportunities are available for every task.
  • CPU idle time is less.


  • This type of OS is not very reliable.
  • Sometimes data communication problems may also occur.

Distributed Operating Systems

The distributed operating system is specially designed to work on a network consisting of multiple networks. This type of system is then used to manage resources available on multiple systems and distribute applications and software on the network. 

In this operating system, different systems are interlinked with each other over a single communication channel.

One of the most common examples of distributed operating systems is LOCUS.


  • Failure of any one component will not have any effect on the overall communication channel.
  • There is less load on the host system.


  • If the main network fails, the whole system will stop working.
  • Implementing a distributed system costs a lot of money.

Multi-Programming Operating Systems

A multiprogrammed operating system allows multiple programs to simultaneously run on a single processor. It simply means that more than one task is present in the main memory of the system at once. Windows is one of the most prominent operating systems of multiprogrammed operating systems.


  • CPU utilization is much more in this type of operating system.
  • It offers effective memory utilization.


  • Interacting with the jobs while they are running is not possible.
  • You can not modify the process while executing the program.

Network Operating Systems

Such operating systems work on a server and provide you with the capability to control users, groups, data, applications, security and additional networking functions of the system. 

Another important advantage of network OS is that every user is well-aware of all the underlying configurations, individual connections and other systems and users present in the network.

Some common examples of network operating systems are Linux, Unix, Novell NetWare, and BSD.


  • This system has highly centralized and stable servers.
  • Servers are responsible for handling security-related concerns.


  • The servers are quite costly.
  • These systems require regular updating and maintenance.


The operating system is a crucial part of a computer system because, without it, it will be very difficult for a user to interact with the system. 

Generally, for personal computers, Windows, Linux, Firefox, and macOS are used which are some examples of multiprogrammed operating systems. These systems allow you to work on multiple tasks at the same time.

However, there are multiple types of operating systems available that you can use depending on the requirement of your business or personal use.