Utility Software

Utility software is system software designed to help to analyze, configure, optimize or maintain a computer.[1] It is used to support the computer infrastructure - in contrast to application software, which is aimed at directly performing tasks that benefit ordinary users. Utilities often form part of application systems however. For example a batch job may run user-written code to update a database and may then include a step that runs a utility to back up the database, or a job may run a utility to compress a disk before copying files.

Although a basic set of utility programs is usually distributed with an operating system (OS), and utility software is considered part of the operating system, users often install replacements or additional utilities. It provides additional facilities to carry out tasks which are beyond the capabilities of the operating system.

Many utilities which might affect the entire computer system require the user to have elevated privileges, while others, which operate only on the user's data, do not.

System utilities

Storage device management utilities

  • Disk checkers scan an operating hard drive and check for logical (filesystem) or physical errors.
  • Disk compression utilities transparently compress/uncompress the contents of a disk, increasing the capacity of the disk.
  • Disk defragmenters detect computer files whose contents are scattered across several locations on the hard disk, and move the fragments to one location to increase efficiency.
  • Disk formatters prepares a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk or USB flash drive for initial use.
  • Disk partition editors divide an individual drive into multiple logical drives, each with its own file system which can be mounted by the operating system and treated as an individual drive.
  • Disk space analyzers provide a visualization of disk space usage by getting the size for each folder (including sub folders) and files in folder or drive. showing the distribution of the used space.
  • Tape initializers write a label to a magnetic tape or other magnetic medium. Initializers for DECtape formatted the tape into blocks.

File management utilities

  • Archivers output a stream or a single file when provided with a directory or a set of files. Archive suites may include compression and encryption capabilities. Some archive utilities have a separate un-archive utility for the reverse operation.
  • Backup software makes copies of all information stored on a disk and restores either the entire disk (e.g. in an event of disk failure) or selected files (e.g. in an event of accidental deletion).
  • Cryptographic utilities encrypt and decrypt streams and files.
  • Data compression utilities output a shorter stream or a smaller file when provided with a stream or file.
  • Data synchronization utilities establish consistency among data from a source to a target data storage and vice versa. There are several branches of this type of utility:
    • File synchronization utilities maintain consistency between two sources. They may be used to create redundancy or backup copies but are also used to help users carry their digital music, photos and video in their mobile devices.
    • Revision control utilities can recreate a coherent structure where multiple users simultaneously modify the same file.
  • Disk cleaners find files that are unnecessary to computer operation, or take up considerable amounts of space. Disk cleaner helps the user to decide what to delete when their hard disk is full.
  • File managers provide a convenient method of performing routine data management, email recovery and management tasks, such as deleting, renaming, cataloging, uncataloging, moving, copying, merging, generating and modifying folders and data sets.

Miscellaneous utilities

References

  1. ^ Parsons, June Jamrich; Oja, Dan (2013). New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 2014: Comprehensive. Course Technology. p. 129.

See also


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Utility_software
 



 

Connect with defaultLogic
What We've Done
Led Digital Marketing Efforts of Top 500 e-Retailers.
Worked with Top Brands at Leading Agencies.
Successfully Managed Over $50 million in Digital Ad Spend.
Developed Strategies and Processes that Enabled Brands to Grow During an Economic Downturn.
Taught Advanced Internet Marketing Strategies at the graduate level.


Manage research, learning and skills at defaultlogic.com. Create an account using LinkedIn to manage and organize your omni-channel knowledge. defaultlogic.com is like a shopping cart for information -- helping you to save, discuss and share.


  Contact Us