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System software

From Academic Kids

System software is a generic term referring to any computer software whose purpose is to help run the computer system. Most of it is responsible directly for controlling, integrating, and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system.

System software is opposed to application software that helps solve user problems directly.

System software performs tasks like transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a display. Specific kinds of system software include loading programs, operating systems, device drivers, programming tools, compilers, assemblers, linkers, and utilities.

Software libraries that perform generic functions also tend to be regarded as system software, although the dividing line is fuzzy; while a C runtime library is generally agreed to be part of the system, an OpenGL or database library is less obviously so.

System software can be stored on non-volatile storage on integrated circuits that is usually termed firmware.

Classification and examples

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