This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in operating systems, including processes and threads, interprocess communication and synchronization, memory management, segmentation, paging, linking and loading, scheduling, file systems, and input/output. This course revolves around the implementation of an x86 operating system kernel, divided into four separate projects, which accounts for the majority of the grade. Students will develop these projects in pairs. To successfully complete these projects, students must understand fundamental concepts in operating system design and implementation, which are provided through the lectures. There will also be a midterm and a final.
The projects use the Pintos instructional kernel, which already implements some of the low-level functionality of the kernel, allowing the students to concentrate on implementing higher-level operating system functionality, such as thread management, memory management, etc.
while still allowing them to peek under the hood.
The project is divided into four parts:
- Threads: Students are given a minimally functional thread system, which they will extend to gain a better understanding of synchronization problems.
- User Programs: Pintos already supports loading and running user programs, but no I/O or interactivity is possible. Students will enable programs to interact with the OS via system calls.
- Virtual Memory: Pintos is limited by the machine’s main memory size. In this project, students will remove this limitation by implementing a virtual memory management system.
- File Systems: Students will improve Pintos’ basic file system.
The project involves large amounts of low-level C programming, and students are assumed to already be comfortable with C Programming.