What is resource allocation in operating system

1 min


A resource can be either a printer, hard drive, scanner or keyboard. The operating system (OS) allocates resources to the computer processes.

A process is any program in execution. The program needs resources to complete the task. Suppose the MS Word program is running and it needs a printer to print the document. If the printer is free then OS assigns that printer resource to the MS Word program. If the printer is already assigned to another process or program then the MS Word program or process has to wait.

Types of resource allocation

Two types of resource allocation occur in the operating system

Resource allocation with deadlock

Suppose there are two processes P1 and P2. And two resources R1 and R2.

Resource allocation in operating system

P1 is holding R2 and P1 is requesting R1

P2 is holding R1 and P2 is requesting R2

As shown in the diagram it is making a circle and if a circle is made between processes and resources then there are chances that deadlock will occur.

Resource allocation without deadlock

If there are multiple instances of the resource, there are chances that deadlock will not occur. Also if the circle is not made between processes and resources then deadlock will not occur.

Example of resource allocation

An example of resource allocation is MS word which is a process and it is requesting a printer that is a resource. If a printer is held by another process then MS Word has to wait.

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Junaid Rehman

I am a blogger and freelance web developer by profession. I love to blog and learn new things about programming and IT World.