This product was added to computer science because of the content, defects on the quality assurance side of the editor. This is done to bring the quality of the articles from the computer science subject area to an acceptable level. Help us to eliminate the substantive shortcomings of this article and take part you in the discussion! ( ) Reason: 1 brief introduction and 'ne list of examples, but no further explanation, no demarcation, nothing. And "How It Works " has nothing to do with " Disk Operating System ", but also applies to many other systems ( which, as I said, the demarcation yes missing). - Arilou (talk) 14:03, 2nd Oct. 2012 ( CEST)

As a Disk Operating System (English pronunciation [ dɪsk ɒpəɹeɪtɪŋ sɪstəm ]; short DOS) operating systems for computers are called, whose main task is the management of magnetically stored information in the form of files on the rotating object (disk ) is storage media such as floppy disks and hard disks.

A disk operating system consists of at least

  • An anchored in the operating system kernel for the consistency of the stored patterns in the respective file system (API for programs)
  • A user interface for operator (eg via cmd.exe)
  • Numerous commands for file system management, especially for example for formatting, copying, sorting files, displaying the contents of the storage medium (dir ( command line ) ).
  • 2.1 Initialization via batch commands



The roots of MS-DOS systems lie in the operating systems of mainframes. In the 1960s, the DOS/360 was delivered as an operating system for mainframes System/360 Generation as the successor and development of the TOS ( " Tape Operating System" ) from IBM. Under DOS, the first time it was possible to process multiple program sequences (batch jobs) or less in parallel without IPL, and thus go beyond the purely sequential write and read operations of the tape drive, as is appropriate for magnetic disk storage media.

Another important step was the OS/360-Systeme since 1966, the time sharing -enabled CP / CMS systems since 1967, and Unix ( AT & T) since 1969, with which the storage management is integrated in a more complex operating system.

In the course of the 1970s was followed by numerous other Disk Operating systems.


The AmigaDOS was the DOS of the Commodore Amiga and core components of AmigaOS after 1985. This DOS was based on the multi-user system TRIPOS Cambridge University and implemented at the time revolutionary approaches, such as micro- kernel architecture and rechargeable device driver today as it was common in all modern higher operating systems is.

Apple DOS

Apple DOS was taken July 1978 by Apple for the Apple II generation on the market. It appeared in version 3.1, the predecessor were internal development versions. Prior to the Apple computers only saving on audio cassette was possible. Prevalent Apple DOS version is the DOS 3.3 August 1980, 1983 it was replaced by the more powerful Apple ProDOS, in addition to the previous 13-cm (5.25 -inch ) disks, the new 9 -inch (3 0.5 -inch ) disks as well as hard disks supported. The Apple DOS systems are then merged with the advent of 16 -bit architecture in the graphical operating systems GS / OS and Mac OS from 1984.

Atari DOS

The Atari DOS from Atari came in 1979 on the market. Version 2.0 had a real -memory kernel ( DUP.SYS ). It was the version 4.0 public domain, and has spawned several derivatives of third parties.

Atari DOS should not be confused with Atari TOS or GEMDOS - the latter, without thereby being an originally designed as a substructure of Digital Research GEM DOS for 68000 processors, which is based away from MS -DOS binary compatible.

Commodore DOS

Commodore DOS / CBM DOS is the system for the Commodore PET, developed by Commodore Business Machines in 1977. Unlike its competitors, it is not in the computer, but in the floppy drive itself, and is therefore not a computer operating system, but the storage hardware itself, ie firmware. This DOS was first delivered with the Commodore 2040/3040-Floppydrives that the last generation model in 1581 in the format of 3.5 ", were indeed sufficiently PC compatible, the concept of the floppy controller firmware is but disappeared.

( Commodore DOS should not be confused with Commodore MS -DOS, MS -DOS OEM version that came with later IBM PC compatible Commodore PCs and is treated in the article PC compatible DOS. )

CP / M

CP / M from Digital Research was one in the late 1970s and early 1980s, very popular operating system for 8 -bit CPUs. It is the only noteworthy DOS system for microcomputer before 1980. It was oriented approximately at TOPS -10 ( timeshare / Total OS) for mainframes, but is simpler in design because the demands on these early computers were much lower than on the mainframe: in particular, the permanent memory work took place only on floppy disks, which was already developed in 1969 at IBM for the 360s - hard drives have established themselves only in the mid- 1980s on the home consumer market. It is the first platform-independent operating system for this market, and the technique of the hardware abstraction layer introduced which separates the file system work of BDOS ( Basic Disk Operating System) by hardware-based BIOS (Basic Input Output System ) for the device driver.

PC compatible DOS

Runnable Within the group of the PC in the narrower sense (IBM - PC and more or less to compatible computers ) systems a family has evolved to MS- DOS compatible operating systems (often in the PC context short simply as " DOS compatible " means ), which represent the main one MS- DOS from Microsoft or PC DOS from IBM.

MS -DOS and PC DOS was originally designed as QDOS/86-DOS 1980 by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products developed as CP/M-80-Klon for Intel 8086-Prozessoren/x86-Computer ( IBM PC -compatible computers ), because the notion of Digital Research's CP/M-86 had to wait for 8086 processors on itself. The easy adaptability of CP/M-80-Quelltexten to the new system was in the foreground, therefore 86- DOS oriented very close to the model, but without providing binary compatibility. Later, 86- DOS was bought by Microsoft, licensed to IBM and developed by two companies together as MS- DOS or PC DOS. This now also available CP/M-86 was offered at a higher price and came despite some more extensive capabilities over MS-DOS/PC DOS increasingly falling behind.

Over the decades, various MS-DOS/PC to DOS compatible operating systems have been developed, including by Digital Research itself (Concurrent DOS, Multiuser DOS, DOS Plus, DR -DOS, DR PalmDOS ) from which additional systems (such as FlexOS Datapac system Manager, IMS REAL/32, Novell DOS or Caldera OpenDOS ) emerged. These and other alternative systems such as DOS Datalight ROM -DOS, General Software Embedded DOS, PTS -DOS, RxDOS, FreeDOS, inter alia, be treated in the article PC compatible DOS.

Other DOS Operating Systems

  • In the 1970s there was also on the computers HP 1000 from Hewlett -Packard is a single - user operating system (English Single User OS ) called DOS
  • DOS -11: simple operating system for PDP -11 computers from DEC
  • PalmDOS: used inter alia on screen Typewriter Olivetti ( not to be confused with the developed in the early 1990s under the codename Merlin DR PalmDOS, a special DR DOS version for mobile systems such as handhelds, which is treated in the article PC compatible DOS )
  • MSX- DOS from Microsoft for the MSX computer


Initialization via batch commands

Under DOS batch files are often ( German also " batch files " ) used to automatically execute sequences of commands. Since some DOS systems can not save settings and therefore expire after a restart, batch files are used to set them again at every system startup (for example using AUTOEXEC.BAT batch file that various DOS systems automatically when you start to run ).

Today's use

DOS systems are considered obsolete and are today, unless they are an operating system component, practically only used on legacy systems for the operation of old DOS software in appropriate emulators or in niche markets. In addition, DOS operating systems are also used for embedded systems.