Operating Systems
Course: Operating Systems (320202)
Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
TAs: Anuj Sehgal, Corneliu-Claudiu Prodescu, Bogdan-Alexandru Matican
Monday 08:15 - 09:30 CS Lecture Hall
Wednesday 09:45 - 11:00 CS Lecture Hall
Start: February 1st 2012

This course provides an introduction to the concepts underlying operating systems. Students will develop an understanding how operating systems realize a virtual machine that can be used to execute multiple concurrent application programs. The course discusses resource allocation algorithms and how concurrency problems can be solved.

Topics: Operating system architectures, system calls and interrupts, concurrent processes and threads, scheduling, synchronization, deadlocks, virtual memory, file systems, inter-process communication, socket programming interface.

Course Materials:
  • A. Silberschatz, P.B. Galvin, B. Peter, G. Gagne, "Applied Operating System Concepts" John Wiley, 2000
  • A.S. Tanenbaum, "Modern Operating Systems", Prentice Hall, 2008
  • A.S. Tanenbaum, "Modern Operating Systems", Prentice Hall, 2001
  • W. Stallings, "Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles", Prentice Hall, 2005
  • R. Love, "Linux Kernel Development", Sams Publishing, 2003
2012-02-01 Introduction
2012-02-06 2012-02-08 Hardware, System Calls
2012-02-13 2012-02-15 Processes, Threads
2012-02-20 2012-02-22 Synchronization (Mutual Exclusion, Semaphores)
2012-02-27 2012-02-29 Synchronization (Condition Variables, Monitors)
2012-03-05 2012-03-07 Deadlocks, Scheduling
2012-03-12 2012-03-14 Memory Management (Segmentation)
2012-03-19 2012-03-21 Virtual Memory (Paging, Working Sets)
2012-03-26 2012-03-28 Embedded Operating Systems
2012-04-02 2012-04-04 Spring Break
2012-04-09 2012-04-11 Inter-Process Communication (Signals)
2012-04-16 2012-04-18 Inter-Process Communication (Pipes, Sockets)
2012-04-23 2012-04-25 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2012-04-30 2012-05-02 File Systems
2012-05-07 2012-05-09 Block and Character Devices
2012-05-14 Virtualization and Virtual Machines
2012-02-15Quiz q1System Calls and Processes
2012-02-22Assignment p1Processes and Threads
2012-02-29Quiz q2Synchronization
2012-03-11Assignment p2Synchronization (p2-disco-template.c)
2012-03-14Quiz q3Deadlocks
2012-03-28Assignment p3Memory Maps and Dynamic Loading
2012-03-28Quiz q4Memory Management
2012-04-20Assignment p4Signals and Process Groups
2012-04-18Quiz q5Signals and Pipes
2012-05-04Assignment p5Sockets (happy eyeballs - name resolution)
2012-05-02Quiz q6Filesystems
2012-05-18Assignment p6Sockets (happy eyeballs - non-blocking connect)
2012-05-30Final Exam12:30 Lecture Hall - Research III (closed book)


The final grade is made up of homeworks/assignments (30%), bi-weekly quizzes (30%), and the final exam (40%). The homeworks and projects must be submitted individually. It is required to submit the solution for programming assignments electronically. Late submissions will not be accepted. Homeworks and project work may have to be defended in an oral interview.

Note 1: Students must submit solutions individually.

Note 2: If you copy material verbatim from the Internet (or other sources), you have to provide a proper reference. If we find your solution text on the Internet without a proper reference, you risk to lose your points.

Note 3: Any cheating cases will be reported to the registrar. In addition, you will lose the points (of course).

Note 4: If you are unhappy with the grading, please report immediately (within one week) to the TAs. If you can't resolve things, contact the instructor. Problem reports which come late, that is after the one week period, are not considered anymore.

Electronic submission is the preferred way to hand in homework solutions. Please submit documents (plain ASCII text or PDF, no Word) and your source code (tar, zip) via the online grader system. If you have problems, please contact one of the TAs.

Any programs which have to be written will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • correctness including proper handling of error conditions
  • proper use of programming language constructs
  • clarity of the program organization and design
  • readability of the source code and any output produced

For any questions stated on assignment sheets, quiz sheets, exam sheets or during makeups, we by default expect a reasoning for the answer given, unless explicitely stated otherwise.

The policy on makeup quizzes and exams is the following: To be able to get a makeup, you have to either (a) have an official excuse from the registrar's office or (b) approach me well in advance of the quiz/exam with a very good reason for not being able to participate (e.g., because you take a GRE computer science subject test at the day of a quiz). Furthermore, I require that people take action to immediately contact me when they return to campus so that we can fix a date for the makeup. Once a week has passed, I do not feel obliged to offer a makeup anymore.