7 Types of Operating Systems and Their Advantages and Disadvantages

7 types of operating systems and their advantages and disadvantages

Pre-requisite: What are operating systems?

What is operating system?

Operating systems are the backbone of computing systems. It manages and looks after the basic tasks on a daily basis. It acts as an interface between the user and the programming application. The primary function of an operating system is to create smooth communication between the user and the hardware. As the hardware is incapable of decoding human commands on its own, the operating system helps the hardware interpret those instructions into machine code. There are numerous IT Training Courses available, which assist you to understand IT concepts easily and mold you into an industry-ready individual. These courses are designed in a way that anyone who is eager enough to learn about these concepts, can understand and learn from scratch irrespective of their educational background.

For an easy and better understanding of operating systems, let's put light on the types and advantages or disadvantages of the operating system.

    • 1. Batch Operating System:

    • A batch operating system is the most suited operated system to use in lengthy and time taking tasks. A computing system has various tasks to perform at the same time. Hence, the batch operating system helps with grouping the jobs or tasks which are similar in nature and executes those tasks without any human interaction. For this operating system, the user has to manually insert the job prepared and submit it with the help of a device to the computer system.
    • Advantages:

      • The batch operating system consists of a job scheduler, which is responsible for organizing and prioritizing tasks based on the requirements and system resources.
      • The batch operating system accomplishes a high utilization of the CPU as recurring tasks are being processed by the computer system by grouping tasks that are similar in nature without any gap in between.
      • The tasks performed by batch operating systems are usually greater in volume and are run without any manual input for a long time.
    • Disadvantages:

      • The jobs performed by the batch operating system are sequenced one after the other and hence until the lined-up job is not completed, the user cannot access the feedback on the particular, leading to lack of user interaction.
      • Since batch operating system takes up relatively up jobs that are bigger in nature, the completion and submission of the jobs also take up quite more time than usual.
      • Handling or detecting an error in the task is difficult as the jobs are lined one after the other. Its subsequent nature of processing tasks has a high chance of affecting the tasks assigned in the line.

    • 2. Multi-programming Batched System:

    • In a multi-programming batched system, the operating system reads and tries to store the maximum memory of the tasks assigned. After the commencement of a task, if the task reaches a point where it has to wait for another resource, the operating system takes up another task stored in its memory, while the task lined up prior would wait for the resource (like any command from an external IO device). In this way, the multi-programming batched system is capable of operating more than one task at a time.
    • Advantages:

      • The multi-programming batched system improves the efficiency of the job assigned by reducing idle time as it takes up another job if the last job requires help.
      • Since multiple jobs are concurrently taking place, user interactivity with the jobs is easy. Hence, jobs requiring assistance are resolved quickly, which leads to saving time and faster response.
      • Multi-programming batched systems facilitate the resources and peripherals among the jobs assigned. This leads to better utilization and better efficiency.
    • Disadvantages:

      • Multi-programming batched systems are responsible for the concurrent working of the jobs and hence such programming adds complexity to the implementation.
      • The execution of multiple programming with memory management techniques and sophisticated scheduling algorithms makes the programs more difficult to develop and maintain.
      • Context switching between various programs can cause increased overhead due to managing and storing programming states.

    • 3. Time-sharing Operating System:

    • A time-sharing operating system is also called a Multi-tasking system. The time-sharing operating system works by allocating time to a batch of tasks and switching between tasks frequently. This leads to more response time between the jobs assigned. It enables multiple users to interact with the computer system simultaneously.
    • Advantages:

      • As a time-sharing operating system allows multiple users at one time it turns out to be cost-effective. Multiple users can access one hardware infrastructure system. This makes it suitable for organizations with limited budgets.
      • Time-sharing operating systems enables users to access the system through different remote locations. This enables convenient access to resources, collaborations among users, and remote system management.
      • Time-sharing operating system typically uses scheduling algorithms to allocate CPU time fairly to multiple users. This ensures a timely and fair responsive period for each user.
    • Disadvantages:

      • Sharing resources through different programs can lead to contention and conflicts. If the system is overloaded or poorly managed, the user would not be in a position of smooth functioning and it may lead to decreased performance.
      • Time-sharing systems can have security issues as multiple users are able to access the hardware structure. It requires a robust security system in order to ensure proper isolated security between different users.
      • The complex nature of the time-sharing operating system due to it concurrent processes, and scheduling algorithms can cause troubleshooting more challenging.

    • 4. Distributed sharing systems:

    • A distributed operating system is designed to run on a network of computers and allows them to work together as a single system. It enables resource sharing, load balancing, and fault tolerance across multiple machines. The processors in the distributed operating system vary in size and functionality.
    • Advantages:

      • Distributed operating systems distribute tasks across different nodes, allowing for parallel processing and improved performance. It ensures that tasks are delivered to less busy nodes, leading to efficient resource utilization and increased performance.
      • By distributing tasks between different nodes distributed operating system includes high fault tolerance and high availability. If one node fails, the other nodes can take up its task and thus it reduces the time for downsizing, which ensures better time management.
      • Distributed operating systems help with geographical access to the resource across multiple locations via multiple nodes. This enables collaboration and access to resources regardless of physical location.
    • Disadvantages:

      • Distributed operating systems are complex to design, implement and manage. They require synchronized scheduling and efficient working protocols and distributed file systems.
      • Distributed operating systems work on network connectivity. Any occurrence of network failure, latency, or malfunction can directly impact the performance and the efficiency of the task in the process.
      • Communication and coordination between different nodes are challenging and can introduce overheads. The messages circulated through different nodes need to be received, read, and understood which can lead to latency, further affecting the performance efficiency.

    • 5. Network Operating System:

    • A network operating system provides features and services specifically designed for networked environments. They are installed on a server, providing users the accessibility to manage and share data. It facilitates sharing of resources such as files, printers, and applications through a network.
    • Advantages:

      • The Network Operating system helps with the centralized administration of the system. NOS enables management and control over the network through a central location for user permissions, software installation, and system updates.
      • NOS is built with one of the most security-enhanced features. The protocol for security enhancement includes user authentication, access control, and encryption mechanisms to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access.
      • New devices and users can be easily added to the network for quicker access to different resources. NOS allows for better scalability and interface for new users. The user accessibility in NOS is very flexible.
    • Disadvantages:

      • The performance and availability of the resources and working process depend highly on the network infrastructure. The slightest of malfunctions or network failures will directly affect the performance which might lead to latency and impact all over user experience.
      • The complexity of the network system increases as more and more devices are linked to the network on which they are connected. It requires expertise in network administration, security management, and troubleshooting.
      • Implementing and maintaining network operating systems can be difficult and costly. It requires investment in network infrastructure, severe hardware, and software licenses, ongoing maintenance, and upgrades.

    • 6. Real-Time Operating System:

    • Real-time Operating System is specially designed to handle time-critical applications that require precise and timely execution of tasks. The real-time operating system is time constrained and executes tasks under a particular deadline. If constraints do not manage the operating system, it may lead to system failure. The real-time operating system is commonly used in industrial organizations such as aerospace, robotics, and industrial automation.
    • Advantages:

      • The real-time operating system is designed in a deterministic responsive way, where execution and assigning of tasks are done on the basis of predictable timing. This is crucial for sensitive applications, where meeting deadlines is essential.
      • RTOS provides real-time task management for the tasks assigned to it. It handles, prioritizes, interrupts, and synchronizes tasks for better execution of the tasks allotted to it. These features help the developers to implement and execute timely-precise tasks.
      • Mechanisms of the system often maintain error handling and system failures. Different methods are provided by the system to detect and recover from system failures without affecting the tasks in real time.
    • Disadvantages:

      • The real-time operating system is responsible for real-time task management, making it a system that is difficult to maintain, implement, and design. Its low-level programming and higher hardware interaction might increase its complexity.
      • Real-time systems often require dedicated resources to guarantee predictable and deterministic behavior. Thus, this increased complexity leads to increased overhead, such as processing and memory than that of non-real-time systems.
      • Real-time systems have time constraints which makes them rigid and causes them to lose the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements or accommodate dynamic workload variations.

    • 7. Mobile Operating System:

    • Mobile-Operating Systems are specifically designed for mobile devices like smartphones, and tablets. They provide various specific features for mobile use, including touch-screen support, wireless network, power management, and mobile app ecosystems. The features of a personal computer with additional features are combined for the use of a handheld device.
    • Advantages:

      • Mobile operating systems offer user-friendly interface which enables easy understanding of the operating system which is specifically designed for touchscreen optimization. Easy navigation, simple gestures, and visual elements also contribute to the easy accessibility of the operating system.
      • The mobile needs of an individual can be reflected in their cellular device. Customization and personalization promotes users to change the font style, screen layout, wallpapers, widgets, and notifications according to their own preferences.
      • Mobile OS platforms seamlessly integrate with cloud services, enabling users to store data, sync files, and access their information across multiple devices via remote access. This integration allows for easy data backup, collaboration, and synchronization, ensuring that users have access to their content from anywhere with an internet connection.
    • Disadvantages:

      • Mobile devices have inherent hardware limitations compared to desktop computers or laptops. They have smaller screens, limited processing power and hence limits the overall performance and functionality of certain application or tasks.
      • The mobile market is highly fragmented, making it difficult for users to understand which mobile to choose with such a wide variety of different operating systems. This fragmentation can result in compatibility issues between apps and devices, making it challenging for developers to ensure consistent performance across a wide range of devices.
      • The popularity of mobile devices and the large number of apps available make them attractive targets for hackers and malicious actors. Users need to exercise caution and employ security measures to protect their devices and data.


With this, we come to the end of our article on 7 types of Operating Systems with their advantages and disadvantages. I hope this article for insightful and equally helpful for you. Thank you for sticking till the very end. Will be waiting for your keen interest at the beginning of my next blog. Happy learning!