Multi User Operating System Example
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Single User Operating System vs. Multi User Operating System
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Threads have been successfully used in implementing network servers and web server. They also provide a suitable foundation for parallel execution of applications on shared memory multiprocessors. The following figure shows the working of a single-threaded and a multithreaded process. In this case, the thread management kernel is not aware of the existence of threads. The thread library contains code for creating and destroying threads, for passing message and data between threads, for scheduling thread execution and for saving and restoring thread contexts.
The application starts with a single thread. In this case, thread management is done by the Kernel. There is no thread management code in the application area. Kernel threads are supported directly by the operating system. Any application can be programmed to be multithreaded. All of the threads within an application are supported within a single process. The Kernel maintains context information for the process as a whole and for individuals threads within the process. Scheduling by the Kernel is done on a thread basis. The Kernel performs thread creation, scheduling and management in Kernel space. Kernel threads are generally slower to create and manage than the user threads. Some operating system provide a combined user level thread and Kernel level thread facility.
Solaris is a good example of this combined approach. In a combined system, multiple threads within the same application can run in parallel on multiple processors and a blocking system call need not block the entire process. Multithreading models are three types. The many-to-many model multiplexes any number of user threads onto an equal or smaller number of kernel threads. The following diagram shows the many-to-many threading model where 6 user level threads are multiplexing with 6 kernel level threads.
In this model, developers can create as many user threads as necessary and the corresponding Kernel threads can run in parallel on a multiprocessor machine. This model provides the best accuracy on concurrency and when a thread performs a blocking system call, the kernel can schedule another thread for execution. Many-to-one model maps many user level threads to one Kernel-level thread. The main features of multi user operating systems are resource sharing, multi tasking and background processing.
Each user in turn is given a small time slice of the CPU time. Because these time slices are very small the users believe that they are all using the mainframe at the same time. Resource sharing also lets users share peripherals such as printers or hard drives and also lets users share files on a network. One example of a multi tasking could be editing a word document while browsing the Internet. The way this is done is by the processor using time slicing.
There are three main types of multi user operating system. These are distributed systems, time sliced systems and multi processor systems. This is completely hidden from the user. Each individual host within such a distributed could be any type of computer at all. These time slices are so small that it appears to the user that their programs are running continuously when in fact the CPU is jumping from user to user. Each time slice is milliseconds long so each user is actually given several time slices every second. The more each user tries to do the slower their programs will run as their time slice has to split between their different tasks.
Users will again be distributed time slices but since there will be more than one processor there will be more allocation of time to each user rather than if there were only one processor. There are many components that are needed to run a multi user operating system. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor. The computer can only manipulate data that is in main memory, therefore, every program that you execute and every file that you access must be copied from a storage device such as a hard drive into main memory.
The amount of main memory on a computer is crucial because it determines how many programs can be run at one time and how much data can be readily available to a program. The term usually refers to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives or tape drives. Large amounts of data such as the operating system itself and any other programs that are installed on the computer are all kept on such devices so that can be accessed by the RAM and then processed to be used by the user. The main types of storage are: —. Optical drives hold a large capacity but are not as fast as hard drives but are as portable as floppy disks and with the right equipment CD Writer can be used to read and write data.
One is a dumb terminal, which just consists of a computer and a keyboard, but practically no processing power. They allow a user to carry out work on the remote server, minicomputer or mainframe. Smart terminals provide additional resources to perform local editing and simple processing. Basically, smart terminals are low cost PC platforms with no external storage like hard drives booting from a network. For instance an input device may be a keyboard or a mouse and output devices can be things such as monitors and printers. The main software components of a multi user operating system are the kernel, device handlers, spoolers and the user interface. This ensures fairness in the way resources are allocated and used, and dealing with interrupts having different priorities, which arrive to signal internal and external events.
There are device drivers for every hardware component on a computer. If a complex device is added to the machine then a device handler must be added to the operating software because this will contain the code needed to communicate with the device. Most operating systems come with one or more spoolers, such as a print spooler for spooling documents. In addition, some applications include spoolers. Many word processors, for example, include their own print spooler.
A good print spooler should allow you to change the order of documents in the queue and to cancel specific print jobs. Acronym for simultaneous peripheral operations on-line, spooling refers to putting jobs in a buffer, a special area in memory or on a disk where a device can access them when it is ready. Spooling is useful because devices access data at different rates. The buffer provides a waiting station where data can rest while the slower device catches up.