Utility software

A utility (also system or auxiliary program, English utility) is a computer program that performs general, often low-level tasks for the user or administrator of a computer. Usually includes a number of utilities supplied with an operating system, each utility is most often specialize in a very specific task. Utilities are part of the system software - as opposed to application programs.

Functions and more details

Among the functions that perform the utilities include, for example:

  • Display and editing of files ( text editors, hex editors, image viewer )
  • Scheduling and execution control for tasks of batch or background processing
  • Defragmenter
  • Disk management program
  • Configure the hardware and the operating system
  • Converting file formats
  • Copying, sort, backup and restore of files
  • Network management program
  • Spooler for print jobs
  • Statistics and accounting programs that determine the utilization of hardware or user charges
  • Management of users

Utilities are divided into intrinsic and external programs. Internal programs or modules of the operating system to be loaded when the computer starts into memory, external only when necessary.

In Unix systems, such programs are typically located in the / bin, / sbin, / usr / sbin or / usr / bin.

The concept

The term utility is controversial. Some users reject it outright as spongy cliché or overly literal translation from the English service program. Before completely into disuse, he was initially mainly to be found in publications by Microsoft from the late 1990s and has been adopted by many media. Mid-2000s, he lost popularity and is now again become rare.