What do I have to learn to create an operating system?

Have you ever wondered how an operating system works, and what it takes to create one? What processes are involved in developing a user-friendly operating system, and what type of technical knowledge and expertize is required? The creation of a functioning, user-friendly operating system is no small feat; it requires extensive knowledge of hardware and software architectures, programming languages, data structures, and debugging tools, just to name a few.
The development of an operating system is a complex undertaking, as evidenced by the problems that have arisen in the past as a result of faulty or incomplete systems. For example, earlier operating systems would often crash or become vulnerable to security flaws, resulting in the loss of stored data. This was especially the case during the early days of personal computing. Today, more complex systems are being created and code must meet higher standards of security and reliability.
In this article, you will learn about the wide range of topics that must be studied to create an effective operating system. We will discuss the different components of an operating system, the design considerations, and the various coding languages and architecture patterns that must be considered for scalability and reliability. You will also gain an insight into the strategies used for debugging, testing, and optimization of the operating system. Finally, the advantages of open source operating systems will be examined.


An operating system (OS) is the software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer. It is a collection of software that makes the computer hardware accessible and useful for the user. The OS can be divided into four main areas: the kernel, the shell, the system programs, and the application programs.
Kernel: The kernel is the central part of the operating system. It is responsible for managing system resources, such as memory, processes, and disk space. It also provides an interface between the computer hardware and the application programs.
Shell: The shell is the set of commands and programs used to communicate with the operating system. It provides the user with an interface for manipulating files and programs and for issuing commands to the OS.
System Programs: System programs are low-level programs used by the OS. They are responsible for basic operations such as memory management, process scheduling, and input/output operations.
Application Programs: Application programs are programs that run on top of the operating system. These programs are used by users to perform specific tasks. Examples of application programs include word processors, web browsers, and games.
In order to create an operating system, one must have a deep understanding of computer programming, data structures, computer architecture, operating system design, and other related topics. Additionally, one must also understand how to use different programming languages and tools. Finally, one must be able to debug and test the OS in order to ensure that it is working correctly.
In order to create an OS, it is important to have a clear understanding of the different components of an operating system and how they interact with each other. Additionally, it is important to understand the various software tools and programming languages that can be used to create an operating system. Finally, one must be proficient in debugging and testing the operating system.

You’ll Be Sorry if You Miss This:  Is SDLC a waterfall or Agile?

I. Background Knowledge

Creating an operating system can be a daunting and complex task, requiring a deep understanding of operating system fundamentals. To get started, it’s important to first have a basic grasp of the following concepts:

Concepts of Operating Systems

Operating systems control the resources of the device, manage programs running on the device, and provide a user interface for interacting with the device. The fundamentals of operating systems include multitasking, multitasking scheduling, memory management, security, and virtualization.

Data Structures and Algorithms

The design and implementation of an operating system requires knowledge of data structures and algorithms. Data structures are used to store data and refer to the way the data is organized. Algorithms are used to calculate the data and are the overall building blocks of any programming language.


Networking knowledge is necessary to create an operating system that can communicate with other systems and networks. Knowledge of different network protocols, such as TCP/IP, PPP, Ethernet, and UDP, is essential. Understanding how to configure and troubleshoot networks is also important.


An understanding of a computer’s hardware components is essential in developing an operating system. Familiarity with the components, such as the processor, hard drive, RAM, and other peripherals, is vital for understanding the device’s capabilities and limitations.


Having a working knowledge of a programming language is necessary for the development of an operating system. C and C++ are the most common programming languages used to create operating systems. However, other languages such as Java and Python can also be used.

II. Development Tools


A compiler is a software program that takes low-level code written in an instruction set and translates it into a high level language that can be read and used by a computer. This process of translation is called ‘compilation’. It is a process in which the code is analyzed, modified and optimized. By using a compiler, a programmer is able to write binary code (raw machine code) which is understandable by the computer’s processor. Some of the popular compilers used to develop an operating system are C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, and Python.

You’ll Be Sorry if You Miss This:  Is artificial intelligence related to software engineering?

Linkers and Assemblers

A linker is a program which takes code from various source files and combines them into a single binary file. This binary file is read by the operating system. Assemblers are software which translates assembly language into machine code. Assembly language is a much simplified version of machine code which uses user-friendly mnemonics instead of binary numbers. Assemblers help to speed up the process of system programming, as it is easier to debug and maintain code written in assembly.
Debugging and Testing Tools
Debugging is a crucial step in the development of an operating system. Debugging and testing tools help developers identify and fix issues like memory leaks, coding errors, and security vulnerabilities. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), such as Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Netbeans are popular options. Additionally, Visual Debuggers are also used to analyze the code to identify programming errors. Automated testing tools like TestNG, Maven, and Jenkins help to check and test the code for errors.
The development of an operating system requires a number of different tools and technologies, such as compilers, linkers, assemblers, and debugging and testing tools. The selection of the right tools and technology is essential to successfully build an efficient and secure operating system. Different operating systems might be built using different combinations of these tools and technologies.