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Operating Systems Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Operating systems terms

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Roles of an OS

Applic­ation software
Programs that help us solve real-world problems
Systems software
Programs that manage a computer system and interact with hardware
Operating system
System software that manages computer resources and provides an interface for system intera­ction


The operating system in its relative position among computer system elements.

Memory, Process, and CPU Management

The technique of keeping multiple programs in main memory at the same time, competing for the CPU
Memory management
The act of keeping track of how and where programs are loaded in main memory
The dynamic repres­ent­ation of a program during execution
Process management
The act of keeping track of inform­ation for active processes
CPU scheduling
The act of determ­ining which process in memory is given access to the CPU so that it may execute
A system in which CPU time is shared among multiple intera­ctive users at the same time
Virtual machine
The illusion created by a timesh­aring system that each user has a dedicated machine
A large, multi-user computer often associated with early timesh­aring systems
Dumb terminal
A monitor and keyboard that allow the user to access the mainframe computer in early timesh­aring systems

Memory Management

Logical address
A reference to a stored Logical address value relative to the program making the reference
Physical address
An actual address in the main memory device
Address binding
The mapping from a logical address to a physical address