Operating Systems


  • Course: Operating Systems (CO20-320202)
  • Semester: Fall 2018
  • Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
  • TA: Milen Asenov Vitanov (Group B)
  • TA: Fanlin Wang (Group A)
  • Class: Thursday, 15:45-17:00 (Lecture Hall Research II)
  • Class: Friday, 14:15-15:30 (West Hall 5, Lecture Hall Research III)
  • Office: Monday, 11:15-12:30 (Research I, Room 87)
  • Start: 2018-09-06


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.



  • A. Silberschatz, P.B. Galvin, B. Peter, G. Gagne: "Applied Operating System Concepts", John Wiley, 2000
  • A.S. Tanenbaum, H. Bos: "Modern Operating Systems", Prentice Hall, 4th edition, Pearson, 2015
  • W. Stallings: "Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles", 8th edition, Pearson, 2014
  • R. Love: "Linux Kernel Development", 3rd edition, Addison Wesley, 2010
  • R. Love: "Linux System Programming: Talking Directly to the Kernel and C Library", 2nd edition, O'Reilly, 2013


Th 15:45 Fr 14:15 Topics
2018-09-06 2018-09-07 Introduction, Libraries, Function Call, System Calls, Tools
2018-09-13 2018-09-14 Hardware, Processes, Threads
2018-09-20 2018-09-21 Synchronization (Mutual Exclusion, Semaphores)
2018-09-27 2018-09-28 Synchronization (Condition Variables, Monitors, Deadlocks)
2018-10-04 2018-10-05 Deadlocks and CPU Scheduling
2018-10-11 2018-10-12 Memory Management (Segmentation, Paging, Working Sets)
2018-10-18 2018-10-19 Inter-Process Communication (Signals, Pipes)
2018-10-25 2018-10-26 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2018-11-01 2018-11-02 Inter-Process Communication (Sockets)
2018-11-08 2018-11-09 File Systems
2018-11-15 2018-11-16 Memory Mapping / Dynamic Linking
2018-11-22 2018-11-23 Block and Character Devices
2018-11-29 2018-11-30 Virtualization and Virtual Machines
2018-12-06 2018-12-07 Distributed Systems


Date/Due Name Topics
2018-09-20 Quiz #1 requirements, library vs. system calls, hardware (cpu, devices, memory)
2018-09-27 Sheet #1 library vs. system calls (scat), repeated execution (watch)
2018-10-04 Quiz #2 synchronization (semaphores, locks, condition variables, ...)
2018-10-11 Sheet #2 multi-threaded coin flipping (pthreads and mutexes)
2018-10-18 Quiz #3 deadlocks, linking
2018-10-25 Sheet #3 scheduling, synchronization (timed condition variables, runner-template.c)
2018-11-01 Quiz #4
2018-11-08 Sheet #4
2018-11-15 Quiz #5
2018-11-22 Sheet #5
2018-11-29 Quiz #6
2018-12-06 Sheet #6


The final grade is made up of homeworks/assignments (30%), bi-weekly quizzes (30%), and the final exam (40%).

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 submission system. If you have problems, please contact one of the TAs.

Late submissions will not be accepted. Homeworks may need to be defended in an oral interview.

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.

Students must submit solutions individually. 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. Any cheating cases will be reported to the registrar. In addition, you will lose the points (of course).

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

Source code must be accompanied by a README file providing an overview of the source files and giving instructions how to build the programs. A suitable Makefile is required if the build process involves more than a single source file.

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.

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.