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An operating system is an operating program.





zeda
Probably it is more clear to speak about an operating program. A computer is called a system sometimes. So when a program like an operating program is called a system this can cause confusion.
Fire Boar
sys·tem Noun /ˈsistəm/: A group of related hardware units or programs or both, esp. when dedicated to a single application.

An operating system is not just one program, so calling it "an operating program" is extremely misleading. It is a group of programs that work together to allow your computer to function.

Take the GNU/Linux operating system as an example. Linux is the kernel, that is, the interface between software and hardware, the core software component. But the kernel alone is not an operating system, because you can do nothing with it. You can't log on, you can't give commands, the kernel simply receives keyboard input (or whatever) and sends the keyboard event to any interested programs.

To complete the operating system picture, we need the other component of the operating system, called GNU. GNU is the interface between the user and the kernel, consisting of a large number of programs. The absolute bare essentials are a shell program (such as /bin/dash), the mv, cp, cd, pwd and other file manipulation commands. Now the user can interface with the computer, and these together with Linux could be considered "an operating system". But GNU is far more sophisticated than that, and contains plenty more useful components, most of them optional but highly recommended. A selection of command-line text editors (from ed to emacs), the grep utility, and so on.

Taking it one step further, if you include the windowing system and desktop environment in your definition of operating system, that's even more programs. In the case of GNU/Linux though, it is generally accepted that the operating system is just GNU and Linux, with extra programs provided as part of a distribution. Windows, on the other hand, says "this is the Windows operating system" broadly sweeping over all its applications, certainly including the desktop environment, windowing system and even web browser.
ocalhoun
If we want to rewrite the language here, "operating software" would probably be the best word for it... unless you just want to completely make a word up, in which case I'd recommend: 'Stalwham'
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