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3: What is an Operating System?

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    As the name implies, the operating system (OS) is the software that operates you computer. Common operating systems are Unix, Windows, Mac OS and Linux Distributions.  The Raspberry Pi OS is a Linux distribution based on the Debian distribution, where Linux is the kernel, the part of the operating system that interacts with both hardware and software applications.  So when you down load and install software or hardware drivers (like those for your printer) you need to choose a package that is appropriate for your OS.  \(\PageIndex{1}\) shows the key components of an operating system

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Key components of the operating system. (Belford CC-BY)

    For the Raspberry Pi OS uses a Linux kernel and a bash (Bourne Again Shell) shell, and you can provide bash commands to the kernel through the terminal Command Line (user) Interface. Linux commands are really bash commands, but we will call them Linux commands because bash is so commonly used in Linux OS distributions. Some of the key processes the Linux kernel performs are:

    • Memory Management
    • Process Management
    • File System Management
    • Device Management
    • Software Application Management
    • User Interface
    • Security and System Calls
    • Networking

    The Raspberry Pi OS is specifically designed for the PI SOC (System on a Chip) and has commands that are unique to the RPi hardware

    3: What is an Operating System? is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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