Operating Systems (Winter 2012)

Dr. Melanie Rieback // R4.33, ext 87634 // melanie@cs.vu.nl


This course is offered in an intensified form: there will be two classes every week, which implies it is imperative to study the material during the period it is taught.

The first class is on:
Tuesday, 7 February 15.30-17.15.

Classes are in:
M6.07 on Tuesdays 15.30-17.15
M6.23 on Thursdays 13.30-15.15

The examination is on:
Monday 26 March, 15.15-18.00

The re-examination is on:
Monday 11 June, 18.30-21.15

Slides can be found here. Chapters and sections refer to:

A.S. Tanenbaum, A.S. Woodhull. Operating Systems, Design and Implementation. 3rd Edition, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 2006

You are strongly advised to install MINIX and play with it. Using other UNIX-alikes would also be OK, as long as you can act as superuser to do the nifty things.


There are no longer any midterm exams. The final exams are in March and June

In-class quizzes will be given on an occasional basis.
These quizzes can collectively add a maximum of 2 points of extra credit to your exam score. (2012 ONLY!)
Therefore, you are strongly advised to keep up with the assigned material, and to attend class.
Please note that the extra credit from the quizzes applies to the first exam ONLY. (These points are NOT applied to the make-up exam!)

Quiz scoring equation - for 2012 ONLY:
N = percentage on quizzes (earned points / total points)
A = % above failing (N-0.5)
BP = bonus points to add (4 * A) = maximum of 2 points

Bonus points are calculated BEFORE the final curve.

Previous Exams

There is a (not yet) extensive set of previous exams here, including solutions.

The results of the last exam (June 2007) can be found here (available only to VU and Windesheim students).

Detailed schedule

1 7 Feb Tue General introduction Sec. 1-1.4
2 9 Feb Thu Processes: Intro + IPC Sec. 1.5-2.2
3 14 Feb Tue Processes: IPC/Scheduling Sec. 2.3-2.4
4 16 Feb Thu Processes: MINIX implementation Sec. 2.5-2.6
5 21 Feb Tue Processes: MINIX implementation Sec. 2.6
6 23 Feb Thu Processes: Wrap up Sec. 2.7-2.9
7 28 Feb Tue Input/Output: Intro + Deadlock Sec. 3-3.3
8 1 Mar Thu Input/Output: Block Devices Sec. 3.4-3.5
9 6 Mar Tue Input/Output: Char Devices + Wrap up Sec. 3.6-3.9
10 8 Mar Thu Memory Management: Intro Sec. 4-4.3
11 13 Mar Tue Memory Management: Paging/Segmentation Sec. 4.4-4.7
12 15 Mar Thu Memory Management: MM in Minix Sec. 4.8-4.9
13 20 Mar Tue File Systems: Intro + Security Sec. 5-5.5
14 22 Mar Thu File Systems in MINIX: Arch + Implementation Sec. 5.6-5.8
  26 Mar Mon Exam