CS333 - Introduction to Operating Systems
Fall 2013

When: Mon/Wed 1200-1350
Where: UTS 203
Instructor: Jonathan Walpole
Instructor Office Hours - by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Fan Zhang
TA Office Hours - By appointment.


This course will introduce the core concepts of operating systems, such as processes and threads, scheduling, synchronization, memory management, file systems, input and output device management and security. The course will consist of assigned reading, weekly lectures, a midterm and final exam, and a sequence of programming assignments. The goal of the readings and lectures is to introduce the core concepts. The goal of the programming assignments is to give students some exposure to operating system code. Students are expected to read the assigned materials prior to each class, and to participate in in-class discussions.

Students should have previous familiarity with programming in a high-level object-oriented language (such as C++ or Java); assembly language programming; CPU organization, instruction sets, registers; program development in the Unix environment (edit, compile, link, load, execute, makefile, using the shell); the Unix system call interface; basic data structures (lists, trees, graphs); object-oriented concepts (class, object, method). CS 200 (Computer Systems Programming) is a prerequisite for this class.

Text Book
The main text book for the course will be:

        Operating System Concept Essentials, by Silbershatz, Galvin, and Gagne, John Wiley & Sons 2011. ISBN 978-0-470-88920-6.

In addition, the following supplemental reference material will be required for the project assignments:

        "The BLITZ System", by Harry Porter, approx. 200 pages.

This packet documents the BLITZ software we'll be using in this course. This material is available online here If you don't want to access it online or print it off yourself there are hardcopies of the material available for purchase at CleanCopy, located on Broadway.


Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

        project - 50%;
        midterm exam - 25%;
        final exam - 25%;


The programming assignments for this class are based on the BLITZ system. BLITZ is a collection of software, written by Harry Porter, designed to streamline the process of learning about, and experimenting with, operating system kernel code. BLITZ includes a complete operating system, assembler, linker, loader and debugger, together with software to emulate an underlying CPU and various devices. The emulated CPU and devices are representative of real-world systems, but without some of the low-level complexity that complicates the process of learning about the key underlying concepts. By using BLITZ students are able to study, in detail, the low-level operating system code that interacts with the hardware, as well as design, code and test their own modifications to the operating system.

The due dates for each of these projects are given in the class schedule below.

        Project 1: [ Handout.pdf ] [ Directory Containing Files ]
        Project 2: [ Handout.pdf ] [ Directory Containing Files ]
        Project 3: [ Handout.pdf ] [ Directory Containing Files ]
        Project 4: [ Handout.pdf ] [ Directory Containing Files ]
        Project 5: [ Handout.pdf ] [ Directory Containing Files ]

Mailing List

A "MailMan" e-mailing list will be maintained for this class. The list, called cs333@cs.pdx.edu, is for communicating information relating to the course, and can be used by students as well as the TA and instructor. All students should subscribe to this list. Go to the following web page and follow the instructions:


9-30-13 Course Overview and Introduction to Operating Systems
Course outline. Overview of course project and expectations. Introduction to hardware support for operating systems: privileged mode execution, saving and restoring CPU state, traps and interrupts, timers, memory protection. Operating system techniques for protecting user and hardware resources. Overview of the key operating system abstractions and the use of system calls to manipulate them.

Slides: [ .pptx .pdf ]
Reading: Chapters 1 and 2
Start Project 1 - Introduction to BLITZ (due 10-7-13)
10-2-13 The Process Concept
Complete the overview of the key operating system abstractions and the use of system calls to manipulate them. Program execution, the process concept, process-related state, the process table, saving and restoring process state, the role of the scheduler.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 3
10-7-13 Threads and Concurrency
Threads, process context switch vs thread switch, true concurrency vs pseudo concurrency, operating systems as concurrent programs, concurrency through multi-threading, concurrency through interrupt handling, concurrent access to shared memory, race conditions, mutual exclusion, synchronization primitives based on atomic instructions.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 4
Project 1 due at start of class.
Start Project 2: Threads & Synchronization (due 10-23-13)
10-9-13 Synchronization Primitives
Atomic instructions, locks, spinlocks, mutex semaphores, counting semaphores, and their use in solutions to Producer Consumer synchronization.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 6
10-14-13 Classic Synchronization Problems
Classic synchronization problems: Producer Consumer, Dining Philosophers, Readers and Writers, Sleeping Barber.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 6
10-16-13 Monitors and Message Passing
Monitors, condition variables, message passing, and their use in solutions to classic synchronization problems: Producer Consumer, Dining Philosophers, Readers and Writers, Sleeping Barber.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 6
10-21-13 Deadlock
Deadlock, livelock, deadlock detection, avoidance, and prevention.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 6
10-23-13 Scheduling
Separation of policy from mechanism, scheduling mechanisms, preemptive vs non-preemptive scheduling, example scheduling policies, FIFO, round-robin, shortest job first, priority scheduling, Unix-style feedback scheduling, proportional share scheduling, lottery scheduling.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 5
Project 2 due at start of class.
Start Project 3: Synchronization Problems (due 11-6-13)
10-28-13 Memory Management
Memory addresses and binding, static and dynamic addresses translation, address translation using base and limit registers, memory management algorithms using linked lists and bitmaps, external and internal fragmentation, paged virtual memory.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 7
10-30-13 Midterm Exam
In class, closed-book exam based on material covered so far.

11-4-13 Virtual Memory 1
Physical address spaces, virtual address spaces, page table design, single-level and multi-level page tables, hardware support for dynamic address translation using a TLB, hardware and software managed TLB refill.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 8
11-6-13 Virtual Memory 2
Inverted page tables, the memory hierarchy, TLB miss faults, segmentation faults, protection faults, page faults, hardware support for memory protection, segmentation.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 8
Project 3 due at start of class.
Start Project 4: Kernel Resource Managers (due 11-25-13)
11-13-13 Virtual Memory 3
Implementation issues, page sharing, copy-on-write, page fault handling, segmentation, segmentation with paging.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 8
11-18-13 Paging Algorithms
Demand paging, swapping, placement and replacement algorithms, memory hierarchy revisited, overview of cache architecture, performance modeling for memory management systems.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 8
11-20-13 Input/Output
Devices, memory mapped devices, DMA, device drivers, interrupt handling, scheduled vs non-scheduled I/O processing, block vs character devices.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 12
11-25-13 Secondary Storage Management
Disks, sectors, tracks, blocks, disk head scheduling algorithms, the file abstraction, directories, links.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 11
Project 4 due at start of class.
Start Project 5: User Level Processes (due 12-4-13)
11-27-13 File Systems 1
File system architecture, file system data structures and system calls.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapters 9 and 10
12-2-13 File Systems 2
File system architecture and design criteria.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapter 10
12-4-13 Security
Protection domains and mechanisms, access control lists, capabilities, user authentication, encryption, common internal and external attacks.

Slides: [ .ppt .pdf ]
Reading: Chapters 13 and 14

Project 5 due at start of class.
Final Exam

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