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The OS as a Memory Manager

The operating system dictates which processes get to live in main memory at a given time to control the use of shared hardware resources.

Memory Management
Lesson 1 of 1
  1. 1
    One of the jobs of the operating system is to control processes’ access to our computer’s shared hardware resources, including and especially its memory. Memory stores the information necessary for…
  2. 2
    The term memory is a catch-all for what is actually a highly diverse set of places where information is stored. These places differ in two fundamental respects: size and speed. The general rule o…
  3. 3
    In addition to their being multiple types of memory, there are also multiple ways of storing information in memory (in this case, main memory, or RAM). The first and simplest one is segmentation….
  4. 4
    If memory is allocated contiguously (which is the case under segmentation) think about what will happen over time as more and more blocks of memory are allocated and freed. At the beginning, our …
  5. 5
    Like any other of the computer’s shared hardware resources, the OS must protect memory so that rogue processes cannot disrupt the computer’s (and the other processes running on it) ability to run….
  6. 6
    Recall that, as memory is allocated and freed using segmentation, the size of contiguous blocks of free memory tends to decrease. In other words, our memory becomes fragmented. A far more efficien…
  7. 7
    After we are done writing a program, there is still work to be done in order to get that program in a state which our computer can execute. We must compile our code into a form the computer can und…
  8. 8
    Memory is possibly the most important resource our computer has, so the way in which information is stored in memory is critical to maintaining an efficient, safe computing environment. The term …

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