Why paging is used?

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    Pitter John

    Why paging is used?


    Paging is solution to external fragmentation problem which is to permit the logical address space of a process to be non-contiguous, thus allowing a process to be allocating physical memory wherever the latter is available.

    Ayush Nair

    Paging is a memory management technique used in computer operating systems to handle the organization and allocation of physical memory. It is one of the most common forms of virtual memory implementation. The primary reasons for using paging are as follows:

    1. Abstraction of Physical Memory: Paging allows the operating system to present a virtual address space to processes, abstracting away the complexities of physical memory. Each process can access a contiguous range of virtual addresses, and the operating system handles the mapping of these virtual addresses to actual physical addresses in RAM.

    2. Address Space Isolation: Paging ensures that each process has its own separate address space. This isolation protects processes from interfering with each other’s memory regions, enhancing stability and security.

    3. Larger Address Space: Paging enables the use of a larger address space than the available physical memory. Processes can have a larger virtual address space than the actual RAM, allowing them to work with more extensive data sets than would otherwise be possible.

    4. Non-contiguous Physical Memory: With paging, the physical memory can be fragmented or scattered across the system. This means that a process’s virtual address space does not have to be continuous in physical memory, which simplifies memory allocation and management.

    5. Memory Protection: Paging allows the operating system to enforce memory protection. Each page of memory can be marked as readable, writable, or executable. Unauthorized access to memory regions can be prevented, enhancing the overall security of the system.

    6. Demand Paging and Swapping: Paging enables the implementation of demand paging, where only the required pages of a process are brought into physical memory from the disk, as they are needed. Unused or less frequently used pages can be swapped out to the disk, freeing up physical memory for other processes.

    7. Shared Memory and Copy-on-Write: Paging allows multiple processes to share the same physical memory pages, which is useful for implementing shared libraries or inter-process communication. Additionally, the copy-on-write technique allows processes to share memory until one of them tries to modify it, at which point a private copy is made.

    Overall, paging provides several benefits for memory management, including abstraction, isolation, larger address space, memory protection, and efficient use of physical memory resources. It is an essential component of modern operating systems, enabling them to handle multiple processes and efficiently manage memory for optimal performance.

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