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Host operating system

Host operating system definition

A host operating system (or a host OS) is the primary operating system on your computer (e.g., Windows, macOS, or Linux). Without the operating system, the computer wouldn’t work at all, so it’s pretty essential. The OS manages your computer’s hardware and lets you use various applications. The host OS also plays a key role in creating virtual machines which run on guest operating systems.

See also: hypervisor

What a host operating system does

  • The host OS manages your computer’s processing power, storage devices, and memory. In other words, it’s responsible for overseeing all parts of it and making sure your computer runs smoothly.
  • The host OS also handles file storage and organization, meaning you can create, find, delete, read, and write files.
  • It allocates resources to different programs so they function without problems.
  • The host OS lets you run applications and do everyday things like browsing the web, gaming, watching videos, listening to music, and more.
  • The host OS provides the user interface you use to interact with your computer.
  • It helps programs connect to other devices (like printers and keyboards).
  • The host operating system uses many security measures to protect the computer from online threats.
  • The host OS manages network connections, protocols, and configurations so your computer can talk with other devices over the network.
  • Some host operating systems support virtualization, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on one device.