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Unix System Architecture And Its Explanation

Layered Architecture






Unix System  Architecture

  • Unix system follows a layered approach . It has 4 Layers
  • The inner most layer is the hardware layer.
  • In the second layer , the KERNEL is placed.
  • The utilities and other application programs form 3rd
  • Fourth layer is the one with which the user actually interacts.



  • Kernel is that part of OS which directly makes interface with the hardware system.


Actions :

  • Provides mechanism for creating and deleting processes.
  • Provides processor scheduling, memory & I/0 management
  • Provides inter – process communication


The Shell

  • A utility program that comes with the UNIX system


Features of shell are  :

  • Interactive processing
  • Back ground processing
  • I/ O Redirection
  • Pipes
  • Shell Scripts
  • Shell Variables
  • Programming constructs


Process Management

  • A process is a program in execution
  • Several processes can be executed simultaneously a UNIX system.
  • A process is generally created using the “fork ()”.system call
  • The process that invokes the “fork ()” system call is the parent process, and the newly created process is called the child process


CPU Scheduling

  • UNIX uses round – ration scheduling to support its multi-user and time – sharing feature.
  • Round – robin fashion of scheduling is considered to be the oldest, simplest and widely used algorithm.
  • Every process is given a time slice.


     Memory Management  

  • Virtual memory
  • Swap area
  • Demand paging


File Management

  • UNIX uses a hierarchical file system with ‘1’ as its root
  • Every non – leaf node of the tree is called as directory file
  • Every leaf node can either be a file, or an empty directory.


Types of UNIX users

  • Broad classification of users

–  root

– non-root

  • Group

–  Unix allows user ID’s to be grouped

–  A single user ID can be member of multiple groups

  • Differentiating users with respect to file access






Working with UNIX

  • User logs in with a valid user ID.
  • User logs out to terminate the login session.



Excel, Excel p, Excel e, Excel v, Excel vp – executes a file



# include <Unistd. h>

Extern char ** en viron;

Int excel  (const char  * path , const char * arg,……………);

Int excel p (const char  * file , const char * arg,……………);

Int excel   e  (const char  * path , const char * avg,…, char * const envp [] ) ;


Return Value

If any of the exec () functions returns , an error will have occurred. The return value is -1, and the global variable err no will be set to indicate the error.





System ()

System  – executes a shell command



# include <stdlib.h>

Int system (const char  * command;)



System () executes a command specified  in command by calling /bin/sh – c command, and returns  after the command   has been completed. Using execution of the command , SIGCHLD will  be blocked and SIGINT and SIGQUIT will be ignored.


Return Value

‘- 1’ on error

If  the value of command is NULL, sys n () returns non – Zero  if the shell is available and if not system () does not effect wait status of at other children .



$ PS:

2561 Pts/0 00:00:00 Bash
2752 Pts/0 00:00:00 PS


$ bash // opened bash for your own


$ Ps – l:

0 S 6524 2561 2559 0 75 0 1177 wait Pts/0 00:00:00 Bash
0 S 6524 2767 2561 0 76 0 1176 Wait Pts/0 00:00:00 Bash
0 S 6524 2785 2767 0 76 0 1084 Pts/0 00:00:00 PS





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