Home TECH Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

In this tutorial, we are going to unfold the key concepts of multiprocessing and multiprogramming operating systems.

We are going to understand these terms in-depth while unleashing some of the key differences in both concepts.

A multiprocessing operating system is defined to have multiple processors that are connected to a single computer. On the other hand, in the multiprogramming operating system, multiple processes get executed at the same time by the same computer system.

If you are interested to know about these concepts in detail, you are on the right blog post!

Read on to know more!

What do you know about Multiprocessing?

Multiprocessing is defined as the ability of your operating system which supports more than a single processor at any given time. All types of applications in these multithread systems are generally divided into several small routines which can run independently.

Your operating system will ideally allocate all these threads to improve the overall performance of your system.


There are mainly two types of multiprocessing which includes:

  • Symmetric Multiprocessing: In case of symmetric multiprocessing, all the processors would be having a mutual relationship or the same type of equality. All these processors communicate together as each one of them contains the copies of similar operating systems.
  • Asymmetric Multiprocessing: In case of the asymmetric multiprocessing, there will be a master processor which gives all the instructions to other processors while assigning any particular task.

What is Multiprogramming?

In the case of multiprogramming, you can run multiple processes at any given time in order to maximise the utility of a CPU. This structures all the codes and data so that the CPU will work in an efficient manner.

The goal in this case would be to keep various tasks in your main memory. Moreover, another job can be assigned to your CPU if any one job becomes busy. As the multiple programs will get stored in the memory, any next program will be dispatched as soon as the execution of your first program will get completed.

  • The goal of multiprocessing would be to maximise your CPU utilisation
  • To use the main memory so as to enhance the efficiency and performance of overall system

Difference Between Multiprocessing and Multiprogramming

Multiprocessing and the multiprogramming operating systems forms the base of the operating system arena. Know about key differences between these two concepts with the below-mentioned pointers.



It is defined as a system that is having more than a single processor. Therefore, it is able to run different sets of instructions together.


Multiprogramming is defined as the practice in which many applications run in parallel to each other. Moreover, these applications generally run inside your main memory.



In computer science, the concept of multiprocessing allows the usage of more than one CPU as they work together as one machine.


Multiprogramming is considered as a technique that is basically used to maximise the usage of your processor in a way so that all the processors will run together. As a result of this concept, your operating system will run multiple programs simultaneously by sharing all the resources in an ideal way.



In the case of multiprocessing operating systems, the process can easily switch from one CPU to another CPU so that you can use the multiple processors at any given point of time.


In case of multiprogramming, several programs will be executed at the same time on any particular device.



In the case of a multiprocessing operating system, several processes will be simultaneously executed. For example; processor P1, P2, P3 and P4 will be waiting for their respective executions. In the case of a uniprocessor system, a process will be executed and then the next execution begins.

Here each process will be allocated to the different processors. If there is any dual-core processor, the two processes will be together executed at a much faster time which would be similar to a quad-processor.


In this case, multiple programs will get executed in your main memory. CPU will also give time to the programs as they will not sit idle especially when a particular function is busy with some other function.

When any single program is waiting for the input, output transfer, the next program would be ready to be utilised by the processor. In this case, several processors will share the same run time with your CPU.



In the case of a multiprocessing operating system, there are multiple processing units which get used by a single device.


The concept of multiprogramming uses a batch operating system. The CPU in this case will execute all the operations at the same time.



When it comes to multiprocessing, more than a single processor at any given time will be available. Your system will execute several types of instructions that are in parallel to each other.


There are concurrent applications in case of multiprogramming operating systems wherein more than a single program will be executed at the same time. Though, all these applications will reside in the main memory.

Time Taken


In the case of multiprocessing, more than one CPU will be used. Hence, the job processing will take less time.


However, in the case of multiprogramming, only one CPU is used to perform all the operations, job processing may take more time.

Additional Learning – Paging in Operating System

When you are going to learn about operating systems, you can’t leave the concept of Paging in Operating System.  Memory paging is defined as a scheme where a computer will store and retrieve data from the secondary storage to use it in the main memory.

This concept also eliminates the need of storing in the physical memory and enhances your memory space.

Wrapping Up

Multiprocessing operating system and multiprogramming operating system are two fundamental components that should be known to every aspirant.

Learn about the key differences between these concepts in detail with the help of our blog post.

Happy learning!

Related Articles

Excellent Extension: How to Break Your Domain Name Creation Block

Excellent Extension: How to Break Your Domain Name Creation Block

Domain names, at first glance, may seem innocuous. After all, they are...

Secret Weapon of Reliable Research Inter-Rater Reliability Explained

Secret Weapon of Reliable Research: Inter-Rater Reliability Explained

Inter-rater reliability is like a secret tool for good research. It makes...

How To Automate an RFP Response 2

How To Automate an RFP Response

Responding to request for proposals (RFPs) is a meticulous task often fraught...

Keeping Your Digital Trail Safe

Keeping Your Digital Trail Safe

In our digital world, our lives are practically built on data. But...