Operating Systems


  • Course: Operating Systems (CO20-320202)
  • Semester: Fall 2016
  • Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
  • TA: Al-Eryani, Aiman
  • Class: Monday, 08:15-09:30 (Lecture Hall Research III)
  • Class: Tuesday, 14:15-15:30 (Lecture Hall Research III)
  • Final: Friday, 2016-12-14, 12:30-14:30 (CNLH)
  • Office: Monday, 11:15-12:30 (Research I, Room 87)
  • Start: 2016-09-05


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.


  • Abraham Silberschatz, Peter B. Galvin, Greg Gagne: "Applied Operating System Concepts", John Wiley, 2000
  • Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Herbert Bos: "Modern Operating Systems", Prentice Hall, 4th edition, Pearson, 2015
  • William Stallings: "Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles", 8th edition, Pearson, 2014
  • Robert Love: "Linux Kernel Development", 3rd edition, Addison Wesley, 2010
  • Allen B. Downey: "The Little Book of Semaphores", Version 2.2.1, Green Tea Press, 2016


Mo 08:15 Tu 14:30 Topics
2016-09-05 2016-09-06 Introduction, Libraries, Function Call, System Calls, Tools
2016-09-12 2016-09-13 Processes, Threads
2016-09-19 2016-09-20 Synchronization (Mutual Exclusion, Semaphores)
2016-09-26 2016-09-27 Synchronization (Condition Variables, Monitors, Deadlocks)
2016-10-03 2016-10-04 Memory Management (Segmentation)
2016-10-10 2016-10-11 Virtual Memory (Paging, Working Sets)
2016-10-17 2016-10-18 Inter-Process Communication (Signals, Pipes)
2016-10-24 2016-10-25 Reading Days
2016-10-31 2016-11-01 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2016-11-07 2016-11-08 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2016-11-14 2016-11-15 File Systems
2016-11-21 2016-11-22 Memory Mapping / Dynamic Linking
2016-11-28 2016-11-29 Block and Character Devices
2016-12-05 2016-12-06 Virtualization and Virtual Machines


Date/Due Name Topics
2016-09-13 Quiz #1 system calls, library calls, hardware
2016-09-20 Sheet #1 processes, fork(), exec(), wait()
2016-09-27 Quiz #2 race conditions, critical sections, semaphores
2016-10-04 Sheet #2 pthread programming (p2-runner-template.c template)
2016-10-11 Quiz #3 deadlocks
2016-10-18 Sheet #3 Linux scheduling (CFS vs. BFS)
2016-11-01 Quiz #4 memory management
2016-11-08 Sheet #4 memstress and pipes
2016-11-15 Quiz #5 inter-process communication
2016-11-22 Sheet #5 event-driven programming
2016-11-29 Quiz #6 devices
2016-12-06 Sheet #6 file systems
2016-12-14 Final Exam 12:30-14:30 CNLH (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 <i>grader</i> 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 is the following: There won't be any quiz makeups. If you (a) get an official excuse for a quiz from the registrar's office or (b) approach we well in advance of the quiz 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), then the weight of the final exam will be increased according to the weight of the quiz you got excused for.