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Multiprogramming Operating System

In this article, you will learn about the multiprogramming operating system, its working, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is the Multiprogramming Operating System?

A multiprogramming operating system may run many programs on a single processor computer. If one program must wait for an input/output transfer in a multiprogramming operating system, the other programs are ready to use the CPU. As a result, various jobs may share CPU time. However, the execution of their jobs is not defined to be at the same time period.

When a program is being performed, it is known as a "Task", "Process", and "Job". Concurrent program executions improve system resource consumption and throughput as compared to serial and batch processing systems.

The primary goal of multiprogramming is to manage the entire system's resources. The key components of a multiprogramming system are the file system, command processor, transient area, and I/O control system. As a result, multiprogramming operating systems are designed to store different programs based on sub-segmenting parts of the transient area. The resource management routines are linked with the operating system core functions.

Types of the Multiprogramming Operating System

There are mainly two types of multiprogramming operating systems. These are as follows:

  1. Multitasking Operating System
  2. Multiuser Operating System

Multitasking Operating System

A multitasking operating system enables the execution of two or more programs at the same time. The operating system accomplishes this by shifting each program into and out of memory one at a time. When a program is switched out of memory, it is temporarily saved on disk until it is required again.

Multiuser Operating System

A multiuser operating system allows many users to share processing time on a powerful central computer from different terminals. The operating system accomplishes this by rapidly switching between terminals, each of which receives a limited amount of processor time on the central computer. The operating system changes among terminals so quickly that each user seems to have continuous access to the central computer. If there are many users on a system like this, the time it takes the central computer to reply can become more obvious.

Working of the Multiprogramming Operating System

Multiple users can accomplish their jobs simultaneously in the multiprogramming system, and it can be stored in the main memory. When one program is engaged in I/O operations, the CPU may deliver time to various programs while sitting in idle mode.

When one application is waiting for an I/O transfer, another is ready to use the processor at all times, and numerous programs may share CPU time. All jobs are not run simultaneously, but there could be numerous jobs running on the processor at the same time, and parts of other processes being executed first, then another segment, etc. As a result, the overall goal of a multiprogramming system is to keep the CPU busy until some tasks are available in the job pool. Thus, the numerous programs can run on a single processor computer, and the CPU is never idle.

Examples of Multiprogramming Operating System

There are various examples of multiprogramming operating systems, including download apps, transfer data, MS-Excel, Google Chrome, Firefox browser, and many more apps. Other examples are Windows O/S, UNIX O/S, Microcomputers such as XENIX, MP/M, and ESQview.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiprogramming Operating System

There are various advantages and disadvantages of the multiprogramming operating system. Some of the advantages and disadvantages are as follows:


There are various advantages of the multiprogramming operating system. Some of the advantages are as follows:

  1. It provides less response time.
  2. It may help to run various jobs in a single application simultaneously.
  3. It helps to optimize the total job throughput of the computer.
  4. Various users may use the multiprogramming system at once.
  5. Short-time jobs are done quickly in comparison to long-time jobs.
  6. It may help to improve turnaround time for short-time tasks.
  7. It helps in improving CPU utilization and never gets idle.
  8. The resources are utilized smartly.


There are various disadvantages of the multiprogramming operating system. Some of the disadvantages are as follows:

  1. It is highly complicated and sophisticated.
  2. The CPU scheduling is required.
  3. Memory management is needed in the operating system because all types of tasks are stored in the main memory.
  4. The harder task is to handle all processes and tasks.
  5. If it has a large number of jobs, then long-term jobs will require a long wait.

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