Operating Systems Principles
(half-course, 4VL + 2PR)

Instructor(s): Prof. Jens-Peter Redlich, Dipl-Inf. Kurth

Computer Science Department
Systems Architecture Group

 Prüfungstermine: 22.-23. August und 10.-11. Oktober 2006.
Anmeldung bitte frühestmöglich über Frau Albrecht (Sekretärin).

Prüfungskomplexe finden Sie hier

Abstract: An operating system (OS) is the software responsible for controlling and managing hardware and basic system operations, as well as running application software such as word processing programs and Web browsers. In general, the operating system is the first layer of software loaded into computer memory when it starts up. All other software that gets loaded after it depends on the operating system to provide various common core services, such as disk access, memory management, task scheduling, and user interfaces. As operating systems evolve, ever more services are expected to be common core. These days, an OS may be required to provide network and Internet connectivity and also to protect the computer's other software from damage by malicious programs, such as viruses. Operating systems in widespread use on personal computers (PC) have consolidated into two families: the Microsoft Windows family and the Unix-like family. Mainframe computers and embedded systems use a variety of different operating systems, many with no direct connection to Windows or Unix.

Building Operating Systems is much about studying existing systems, knowing common problems, knowing what other people did, and figuring out if their ideas can be applied to a given problem. These long-lasting principles - as opposed to specific details of today's systems/software - is what this half course is about.

  • Half-Course, Praktische Informatik, Hauptstudium.
  • Offered regularly, at least once every two years, usually in spring.
  • 2 lectures per week, 2h each, over one semester (4SWS VL).
  • 1 lab (Praktikum) per week, 2h each, over one semester (2SWS PR).

Credits and grading:

  • There will be a few, short, unannounced, closed-book quizzes to verify your existence and to test your understanding.
  • To qualify for the final examination, you have to complete all lab assignments to the satisfaction of the teaching assistant (70% of the available points).
  • Regular class attendance is expected; frequent absences are grounds for a failing grade regardless of other performance. You may be missing up to 1 lecture per semester without prior and reasonable excuse. 'prior' means notification by email before the end of business the day before the lecture. 'reasonable' means sickness or study-related events that require your attendance.
  • Lectures begin on time. Students arriving more than 10 minutes late will not be admitted to the lecture and will be counted as 'missing' that day.


  • Successful completion of PI-1.
  • Practical experience with C and C++, Software Development Tools on Unix.
    Here some useful tutorials:
    C Intro
    C++ Intro

Lab (Praktikum):

Syllabus - Lecture:
  1. Historical Review     (slides)
    Dijkstra: The structure of the THE multiprogramming system (THE)
    Corbato: An Experimental Time-Sharing System (CTSS)
    Feiertag: The Multics Input Output system (MULTICS)
    Ritchie: The UNIX time-sharing system (UNIX)
    Rashid: Accent - A communication oriented network OS kernel (MACH)
  2. Basics (What is an OS, System Generation)  (slides)  (Memory Management)
    Kaashoek: Exterminate all operating system abstractions
    Kaashoek: Exokernel: An operating system architecture for application-level resource management
  3. Virtual Machines     (slides)
    Rosenblum: Virtual Machine Monitors: Current Technology and Future Trends
    Bugnion: Disco: running commodity operating systems on scalable multiprocessors
    Barham: Xen and the art of virtualization
    Robin: Analysis of the Intel Pentium's Ability to Support a Secure Virtual Machine Monitor
    Hand: Self-Paging in the Nemesis Operating System
  4. Processes      (slides)
    Unix Programming FAQ - Process Control
  5. CPU Scheduling       (slides)
  6. Threads       (slides)
    An Introduction to Programming with Threads
    Getting Started With POSIX Threads
    Multithreaded Programming Guide
    Engelschall: Portable Multithreading  (signal stack trick for User-Level Threads)
  7. Concurrency and Synchronization        (slides)
    Lamport: A fast mutual exclusion algorithm
    Fast Mutual Exclusion for Uniprocessors (Restartable Atomic Sequence)
    Lampson: Experience with Processes and Monitors in Mesa
  8. Deadlocks and Starvation        (slides)
  9. Memory Management - Virtual Memory        (slides)
  10. Memory Management - Paging and Trashing        (slides)
  11. Memory Management - Linking        (slides)
    How To Write Shared Libraries
    Linkers and Loaders (book manuscript):
  12. File System - Disks, Files, Directories        (slides)
    Reference Guide - Hard Disk Drives:
    RAID: High-Performance, Reliable Secondary Storage

Further Readings:

Silberschatz, Galvin, Gagne. Operating System Concepts. 6th Edition. John Wiley & Sonns, 2003. ISBN 0-471-25060-0
William Stallings. Betriebssysteme – Prinzipien und Umsetzung. 4. Auflage. Prentice Hall, 2003. ISBN 3-8273-7030-2
Andrew Tanenbaum. Moderne Betriebssysteme. 2002. ISBN 3827370191
R. G. Herrtwich and G. Hommel. Kooperation und Konkurrenz - Nebenläufige, verteilte und echtzeitabhängige Programmsysteme. Springer-Verlag, 1989. ISBN 3-540-51701-4.
H. Kopetz. Real-Time Systems: Design Principles for Distributed Embedded Applications. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997. ISBN 0-7923-9894-7.
Joseph Pranevich, The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6. (cached pdf)
Unix Programming FAQ:
Book: Silberschatz
OS Principles
Open VMS
HP Documentation
Prof. Polze: Operating Systems Principles
Dr. Bell: Unix System Architecture
Exokernel Operating System

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