What Is Fragmentation In OS?

Are you curious to know what is fragmentation in os? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about fragmentation in os in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is fragmentation in os?

In the intricate world of operating systems, fragmentation emerges as a concept that significantly impacts system performance and efficiency. This article aims to unravel the complexities of fragmentation, exploring its types, implications, and the mechanisms employed to mitigate its effects.

What Is Fragmentation In OS?

Fragmentation in OS, as explained by GeeksforGeeks, refers to the phenomenon where memory or storage space becomes divided into smaller, non-contiguous segments. This fragmentation can occur in various forms, leading to challenges in resource optimization and system responsiveness.

What Is Internal Fragmentation In OS:

Internal fragmentation is a type of fragmentation where allocated memory blocks have unused space within them. This unused space, while allocated to a process, does not contribute to useful data storage. Internal fragmentation can lead to inefficient memory utilization and hinder overall system performance.

Segmentation In OS:

Segmentation in OS is a memory management technique where the logical address space is divided into variable-sized segments. Each segment corresponds to a specific type of data or function. While segmentation can enhance memory organization, it may also contribute to fragmentation, both internally and externally.

Difference Between Internal And External Fragmentation:

Understanding the nuances between internal and external fragmentation is crucial:

  • Internal Fragmentation: Unused space within allocated memory blocks.
  • External Fragmentation: Free memory scattered throughout the system, making it challenging to allocate contiguous blocks for new processes.

What Is Fragmentation In Computer:

In the realm of computers, fragmentation extends beyond memory to include file systems. Disk fragmentation occurs when files are stored in non-contiguous clusters, impacting read and write speeds. Defragmentation tools are often employed to rearrange files for optimal disk performance.

External Fragmentation In OS:

External fragmentation is a scenario where free memory blocks are scattered throughout the system, preventing the allocation of large contiguous blocks for new processes. This phenomenon can lead to inefficient use of available memory and hinder system performance.

Internal And External Fragmentation In OS:

Internal and external fragmentation are two sides of the same coin:

  • Internal Fragmentation: Wasted space within allocated memory blocks.
  • External Fragmentation: Dispersed free memory blocks, complicating the allocation of contiguous memory for new processes.

Compaction In OS:

Compaction is a technique employed to alleviate external fragmentation. This process involves rearranging memory contents to place all free memory blocks together, creating a more significant contiguous space for future allocations. Compaction is especially valuable in systems where memory is dynamic.


Fragmentation in operating systems is akin to solving a jigsaw puzzle – understanding the pieces, their arrangement, and optimizing the overall picture for seamless functionality. Whether it’s internal or external fragmentation, the implications for system performance are substantial. By grasping these concepts and the techniques like compaction, system administrators and developers can enhance resource utilization and, ultimately, deliver a smoother computing experience.


What Is Fragmentation In OS With Example?

For example, if a system allocates a 64KB block of memory to store a file that is only 40KB in size, that block will contain 24KB of internal fragmentation. When the system employs a fixed-size block allocation method, such as a memory allocator with a fixed block size, this can occur.

What Is The Concept Of Fragmentation?

Fragmentation is a method of asexual reproduction, where the body of the organism breaks into smaller pieces, called fragments and each segment grows into an adult individual. Examples: Hydra, Spirogyra, etc.

What Is Fragmentation And Segmentation?

The primary distinction between fragmentation and segmentation lies in their nature and purpose. Fragmentation refers to a state where memory blocks remain unutilized, while segmentation is a methodology that involves dividing a process into multiple modules or sections.

What Is Internal Fragmentation And External Fragmentation?

Internal fragmentation occurs when memory is divided into fixed-sized partitions. External fragmentation occurs when memory is divided into variable size partitions based on the size of processes.

I Have Covered All The Following Queries And Topics In The Above Article

What Is Fragmentation In OS Geeksforgeeks

What Is Internal Fragmentation In OS

Segmentation In OS

Difference Between Internal And External Fragmentation

What Is Fragmentation In Computer

External Fragmentation In OS

Internal And External Fragmentation In OS

Compaction In OS

What Is Fragmentation In OS