An operating system (OS)
is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function.
Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage, printing, and other resources.
For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and frequently makes system calls to an OS function or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on many devices that contain a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to web servers and supercomputers.
Examples of popular modern operating systems include BlackBerry, BSD, iOS, Linux (Android, Chrome OS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, PCLinuxOS, RHEL ), OS X, QNX, Steam OS, Microsoft Windows (and variant Windows Phone), and z/OS. The first seven of these examples share roots in Unix. Popular hard real-time operating systems include FreeRTOS, Micrium and VxWorks.