• CPU scheduling deals with the problem of deciding which of each process in the ready queue is to be allocated to the CPU.
  • There are many algorithms available for scheduling purpose each with its own advantages and disadvantages as well. CPU scheduling algorithms are important to make the effective use of CPU time.
  • Some most common CPU scheduling algorithms are as follow.
  1. First Come First Serve (FCFS)
  2. Shortest Job First (SJF)
  3. Priority Scheduling
  4. Round – Robin Scheduling
  • In this article, we are going to discuss First Come First Serve CPU scheduling algorithm in detail.

First Come First Serve (FCFS)

  • It is the simplest CPU scheduling algorithm. According to this scheme, a first process that request to CPU first is allocated the CPU first based on the rule “first come first serve”. The implementation of FCFS policy is easily managed by FIFO queue. When a process enters into the ready queue, its PCB is linked at the end of the queue.
  • When the CPU is free, it is allocated to the process at the head of queue.
  • Let us see first come first serve algorithm at work by the following example:

Consider the following processes and their CPU burst time and find out average waiting time and average turn around time using FCFS CPU scheduling algorithm. Note that processes are given in their arrival order.

Process Burst Time (Mils)
P1 5
P2 9
P3 7
P4 3
  • According to First Come First Serve policy the process that comes first will be allocated the CPU first.
  • In our example, the first process is the process P1 with the burst time of 5 millisecond so process P1 will get the CPU first. Since P1 is the first process, waiting time for P1 will be zero.
  • Process P2 will get the CPU next but it has to wait till the process P1 gets completed i.e. five milliseconds. Process P1 will execute for 5 milliseconds so waiting time for process P2 will be five milliseconds, after that P3 wiil get the CPU and so on.
  • So first of all we need to prepare gent chart to represent each process as follow:

FCFS Scheduling Algorithm

  • Waiting Time of the Processes will be as follow:
P1: -> 0, P2 -> 5, P3 -> 14 (5+9), P4 -> 21 (5+9+7)

Average Waiting Time = Total Time / No.of Process

= 0 + 5 + 14 + 21

= 40 / 4

= 10 Mills.

Average Turnaround Time = Total Turnaround Time / No.of Process

P1 -> 5 , P2 -> 14, P3 -> 21, P4 -> 24

= 5 + 14 + 21 + 24

= 64 / 4

= 16 Mills.
  • A CPU burst time varies, and average waiting time may also vary. It is non- preemptive scheduling scheme.
  • Once the CPU has been allocated to the memory, the process keeps the CPU until it releases the CPU, either by terminating or by requesting input/output.


  • The main advantage of FCFS scheduling algorithm is that code for FCFS scheduling is simple to write and easy to understand.
  • It can be easily implemented with the use of FIFO queue. Whenever a new request arrives it is added at the rear end of the FIFO queue and scheduler selects process from the front side for the CPU allocation. so this way all processes that comes first will have chance get the CPU first.


  • Limitation of FCFS scheduling algorithm is that average waiting time is often quite long. It works fine if early arrived processes have shorter CPU burst time and later arrived processes have higher CPU burst time but processes that comes first have higher CPU burst time and later arrived processes have shorter CPU burst time than they have to wait for longer period of time until all processes with higher CPU burst time gets completed as they are arrived first.
  • FCFS algorithm is particularly troublesome for time-sharing system, when each user needs to share CPU at regular interval because this is not possible in FCFS scheme.