Operating Systems (Spring 2014)
Course: Operating Systems (320202)
Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
TAs: Andrei Giurgiu, Georgi Yuliyanov Gyurchev,
Monday 08:15 - 09:30 CS Lecture Hall
Wednesday 09:45 - 11:00 CS Lecture Hall
Start: February 3rd 2014

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
2014-02-03 2014-02-05 Introduction, Libraries, Function Call, System Calls, Tools
2014-02-10 2014-02-12 Processes, Threads
2014-02-17 2014-02-19 Synchronization (Mutual Exclusion, Semaphores)
2014-02-24 2014-02-26 Synchronization (Condition Variables, Monitors)
2014-03-03 2014-03-05 Synchronization Pattern, Deadlocks, Scheduling
2014-03-10 2014-03-12 Memory Management (Segmentation)
2014-03-17 2014-03-19 Virtual Memory (Paging, Working Sets)
2014-03-24 2014-03-26 Inter-Process Communication (Signals, Pipes)
2014-03-31 2014-04-02 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2014-04-07 2014-04-09 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2014-04-14 2014-04-16 Spring Break
2014-04-21 2014-04-23 File Systems
2014-04-28 2014-04-30 Memory Mapping / Dynamic Linking
2014-05-05 2014-05-07 Block and Character Devices
2014-05-12 2014-05-14 Virtualization and Virtual Machines
2014-02-12Quiz q1system calls, processes, threads
2014-02-19Assignment p1msh job control
2014-02-26Quiz q2semaphores
2014-03-05Assignment p2pthread programming (IETF cookie breaks)
2014-03-12Quiz q3deadlocks
2014-03-19Assignment p3memory and paging
2014-03-26Quiz q4virtual memory and signals
2014-04-02Assignment p4piped version of tee
2014-04-09Quiz q5pipes and sockets
2014-04-23Assignment p5crazy fork() - how fast is it?
2014-04-30Quiz q6file systems
2014-05-14Assignment p6syncbox
2014-05-27Final Exam12:30 Conference Hall / Campus Center


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.