Guide to Operating Systems 4

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Guide to Operating Systems 4th edition Palmer & Walters

Chapter 2

Popular Operating Systems


This chapter lists some of the more commonly used operating systems, and gives some details about their history and included features. The goal of the chapter is to give some insight into the more interesting features that set apart each operating system.


  • Describe operating systems that laid the groundwork for current desktop and server operating systems

  • Identify the basic features and characteristics of popular desktop and server operating systems

  • Understand when to use certain operating systems

Key Terms

  • activate A procedure to register your copy of a Windows operating system starting with the Windows XP version. Without this activation, you will not be able to run your operating system for more than a small amount of time.

  • Active Directory A Windows 2000 database of computers, users, shared printers, shared folders, and other network resources and resource groupings that is used to manage a network and enable users to quickly find a particular resource.

  • Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) Allows Active Directory and software applications to communicate. It provides coordination and authentication of users and user information.

  • Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) Enables one sign-on for both network and Web-based resources.

  • ActiveX An internal programming standard that allows various software that runs under the Windows operating system to communicate with the operating system and other programs.

  • Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) A variant of the UNIX operating system upon which a large proportion of today’s UNIX software is based.

  • client In a networking environment, a computer that handles certain user-side software operations. For example, a network client may run software that captures user data input and presents output to the user from a network server.

  • clustering The ability to share the computing load and resources by linking two or more discrete computer systems (servers) to function as though they are one.

  • common language runtime (CLR) A feature developed in Windows Server 2003 that verifies code before it is run and monitors memory to clean up any leakage before it becomes a problem.

  • Component Object Model (COM) Standards that enable a software object, such as a

graphic, to be linked from one software component into another one.

  • Distributed File System (DFS) A set of client and server services to organize distributed shared files into logical file system.

  • domain A logical grouping of computers and computer resources that helps manage these resources and user access to them.

  • driver signing Setting up all drivers so that they cannot be inadvertently overwritten by earlier driver versions, and only certified versions of drivers can be installed.

  • external commands Operating system commands that are stored in separate program files on disk. When these commands are required, they must be loaded from disk storage into memory before they are executed.

  • failover clustering Server clusters that are used to provide a high availability of services from the cluster.

  • File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) Allows files to be located on servers in the organization based on predetermined naming conventions.

  • gadgets Small applications for readily accessing information and tools.

  • high-performance computing (HPC) Microsoft HPC Server 2008 is designed for applications that need high speed and highly efficient computing.

  • HomeGroup A home networking system found in Windows 7.

  • Hyper-V Allows a server to run multiple independent operating systems at the same time along with running multiple virtual servers on one physical server.

  • Infrared Data Association (IrDA) A group of peripheral manufacturers that developed a set of standards for transmitting data using infrared light. Printers were some of the first devices to support the IrDA specifications.

  • IP Security (IPsec) A way to secure Internet protocol (IP) traffic by encrypting and authenticating each packet.

  • jump list A list of items such as documents recently opened, music listened to, or Web sites visited.

  • Kerberos A security system developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to enable two parties on an open network to communicate without interception by an intruder, creating a unique encryption key per each communication session.

  • library A Windows 7 feature consisting of virtual folders that contain data and information from various places on the network and the local computer.

  • line editor An editor that is used to create text a line at a time.

  • Microsoft Management Console (MMC) A flexible system to provide server administrators one place to configure the servers and monitor their function.

  • .NET Framework A large library available to all programming languages supported by .NET, which allows multiple programming languages to utilize code from other languages.

  • peer-to-peer networking A network setup in which any computer can communicate with other networked computers on an equal or peer-like basis without going through an intermediary, such as a server or network host computer. Mac OS is a peer-to-peer operating system.

  • Plug and Play (PnP) Software utilities that operate with compatible hardware to facilitate automatic hardware configuration. Windows versions starting with 95 recognize PnP hardware when it is installed, and, in many cases, can configure the hardware and install required software without significant user intervention.

  • Print Management Console A console that allows a system administrator to manage printers and printing throughout the network.

  • privileged mode A feature of the operating system kernel introduced in Windows NT which protected it from problems created by a malfunctioning program or process.

  • ReadyBoost A disk cache feature that allows any kind of portable mass storage as cache.

  • registry A Windows database that stores information about a computer’s hardware and software configuration.

  • Rights Management Services (RMS) A feature developed in Windows Server 2003 to secure documents from copying, forwarding, and printing.

  • Server Core A scaled-back version of Windows Server 2008 where all configurations and maintenance are done via the command-line interface.

  • SharePoint Services A collection of Microsoft software used for collaboration, Web publishing, and file sharing.

  • single-sign-on (SSO) A way to log on once and have access to everything you have been granted access to across the network.

  • storage area network (SAN) A set of storage devices that appear to the server as being locally attached, but in fact are on their own network with access granted to the server.

  • System V Release 4 (SVR4) A variation of the UNIX operating system. It is very popular today along with the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).

  • task supervisor A process in the operating system that keeps track of the applications that are running on the computer and the resources they use.

  • total cost of ownership (TCO) The cost of installing and maintaining computers and equipment on a network, which includes hardware, software, maintenance, and support costs.

  • Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) An initiative of more than 80 companies to develop products that can be quickly added to a computer or network. These include intelligent appliances for the home. More information can be found at the Web site

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) A serial bus designed to support up to 127 discrete devices with data transfer speeds up to 5 Gbits/s (gigabits per second).

  • User Account Protection (UAP) A feature of some Microsoft operating systems that allows for better protection of user accounts by controlling permissions and by limiting the software applications that can be run from an account.

  • virtual folder A combination of folders and files based on content. The files can be in any location on the local computer or the network.

  • virtual private network (VPN) A private network that is like a tunnel through a larger network—such as the Internet, an enterprise network, or both—and restricted to designated member clients.

  • Web browser Software to facilitate individual computer access to graphical data presented over the Internet on the World Wide Web, or over a local area network in a compatible format.

  • Windows Hardware Error Architecture (WHEA) supports memory and cache error recovery without the operating system being aware of this process.

  • X Window A windowed user interface for UNIX and other operating systems.

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