An operating system is system software that provides that an interface for the user to interact with the computer. Without a computer Operating System a computer would be useless. The purpose of an operating-system is to organize and control hardware and software so that the devices it manages behave in a flexible but predictable way.

7.1       Types of Operating System

Operating systems are classified on the basis of various features such as user interaction, how many tasks they can perform at a time, and how many processors they can support etc. On the basis of user interaction there are two types of operating system

  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) Operating-system
  • Command Line Operating System

7.1.1    Graphical User Interface Operating System

A GUI operating system provides a graphical user interface to establish the user communication with the computer. The user does not require memorizing commands to perform various tasks such as copying a file, opening a document, printing a spreadsheet etc. The user uses graphical objects (e.g. icon, windows, button etc) to perform different tasks. He / She just requires recognizing various graphical objects and tasks that can be performed with them. Examples of GUI operating-system are Windows, Linux, and Solaris etc.

7.1.2 Command Line Operating System

            A command line operating system provides a command prompt to the user for typing different commands to interact with the computer. The user needs to memorize commands to perform deferent tasks. Examples of Command line operating system are DOS (Disk Operating System), Unix etc.

7.1.3 Command Line Interface Operating System Vs Graphical User Interface Operating System


Command Line O.S. GUI O.S.


Because of the memorization and familiarity needed to operate a command line interface new users find it much more difficult to successfully navigate and operate a command line interface. Although new users may have a difficult at time learning to use the mouse to operate and use a GUI most users pick up this interface much easier when compared to a command line interface.


Users have much more control of their file system and operating-system in a command line interface. For example users can easily copy a specific type of file from one location to another with a one-line command. Although a GUI offers plenty of control of a file system and operating-system, often advance users or users who need to resort to a command line to complete that task.


Although many command line environments are capable of multitasking they do not offer the same ease and ability to view multiple things at once on  one screen. GUI users have windows that enable a user to easily view, control, and manipulate multiple tasks at once and are commonly much faster.


Because command line users only need to use their keyboards to navigate a command line interface and often only need to execute a few lines to perform a task. An advanced command line interface user would be able to get something done faster. And / or keyboard to navigate and control your operating-system for many tasks is going to be much slower in this case.


A command line interface enables a user to easily script perform a task or execute a program. Although a GUI enables a user to create shortcuts, tasks, or other similar actions to complete a task or run a program it doesn’t even come close in comparison to what is available through a command line.

7.1.4 Purpose of Operating System

At the simplest level, there are two basic purpose of an operating-system:

  • It manages the hardware and software resources of the system. These resources include the processor, memory, disk space, etc.
  • It provides a stable, consistent way for applications to deal with the hardware without having to know all the details of the hardware.
graphical user interface operating system

7.1.1 graphical user interface operating system


7.1.2 Command line operating system