Process Scheduling – Operating System

  • August 5, 2021
  • Aashish Mishra

Process Scheduling

  • The process scheduling is the activity of the process manager that handles the removal of the running process from the CPU and the selection of another process on the basis of a particular strategy.
  • Process scheduling is an essential part of a Multi-programming operating systems.
  • Such operating systems allow more than one process to be loaded into the executable memory at a time and the loaded process shares the CPU using time multiplexing.

Process Scheduling Queues

  1. Job queue − This queue keeps all the processes in the system.
  2. Ready queue − This queue keeps a set of all processes residing in main memory, ready and waiting to execute. A new process is always put in this queue.
  3. Device queues − The processes which are blocked due to unavailability of an I/O device constitute this queue.


Note –  The OS can use different policies to manage each queue FIFO, Round Robin, Priority, etc.).


  • Schedulers are special system software which handle process scheduling in various ways.
  • Their main task is to select the jobs to be submitted into the system and to decide which process to run.
  • Schedulers are of three types − Long- Term Scheduler, Short- Term Scheduler, Medium- Term Scheduler.

Long- Term Scheduler

  • It is also called a job scheduler.
  • A long-term scheduler determines which programs are admitted to the system for processing.
  • It selects processes from the queue and loads them into memory for execution. Process loads into the memory for CPU scheduling.
  • The primary objective of the job scheduler is to provide a balanced mix of jobs, such as I/O bound and processor bound.
  • It also controls the degree of multi-programming. If the degree of multi-programming is stable, then the average rate of process creation must be equal to the average departure rate of processes leaving the system.
  • On some systems, the long-term scheduler may not be available or minimal.
  • Time-sharing operating systems have no long term scheduler.

Short- Term Scheduler

  • It is also called as CPU scheduler.
  • Its main objective is to increase system performance in accordance with the chosen set of criteria.
  • It is the change of ready state to running state of the process.
  • CPU scheduler selects a process among the processes that are ready to execute and allocates CPU to one of them.
  • Short-term schedulers, also known as dispatchers, make the decision of which process to execute next.
  • Short-term schedulers are faster than long-term schedulers.

Medium- Term Scheduler

  • Medium-term scheduling is a part of swapping.
  • It removes the processes from the memory.
  • It reduces the degree of multi-programming. The medium-term scheduler is in-charge of handling the swapped out-processes.
  • A running process may become suspended if it makes an I/O request. A suspended processes cannot make any progress towards completion. In this condition, to remove the process from memory and make space for other processes, the suspended process is moved to the secondary storage. This process is called swapping, and the process is said to be swapped out or rolled out.

Context Switch

  • A context switch is the mechanism to store and restore the state or context of a CPU in Process Control block so that a process execution can be resumed from the same point at a later time.
  • Using this technique, a context switcher enables multiple processes to share a single CPU.
  • Context switching is an essential part of a multitasking operating system features.
  • When the scheduler switches the CPU from executing one process to execute another, the state from the current running process is stored into the process control block. After this, the state for the process to run next is loaded from its own PCB and used to set the PC, registers, etc. At that point, the second process can start executing.


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