Operating Systems (Winter 2019)

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Course Outline

Here is the course outline for COMP 3000: Operating Systems.

Lectures & Tests

Note that the topics below are primarily chapters from the class textbook, Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces. Note that while introductory and summary dialogues are not linked below, they are worth reading for an informal take on the material.

Assigned readings are subject to change, please check this page each week.

Date

Topic

Jan. 7

Lecture 1: Introduction

Jan. 9

Lecture 2: Process API

Jan. 14

Lecture 3: Processes

Jan. 16

Lecture 4: Files

Jan. 21

Lecture 5: Address Spaces (Dialogue)

Jan. 23

Lecture 6

Jan. 28

Lecture 7

Jan. 30

Lecture 8

Feb. 4

Lecture 9: I/O Devices, Hard disk drives, Filesystem implementation, FSCK and Journaling

Feb. 6

Lecture 10

Feb. 11

Lecture 11: Midterm Review

Feb. 13

Midterm Exam No class, snow

Feb. 25

Midterm Exam (solutions)

Feb. 27

Lecture 12

Mar. 4

Lecture 13

Mar. 6

Lecture 14

Mar. 11

Lecture 15

Mar. 13

Lecture 16

Mar. 18

Lecture 17

Mar. 20

Lecture 18

Mar. 25

Lecture 19

Mar. 27

Lecture 20

Apr. 1

Lecture 21

Apr. 3

Lecture 22

Apr. 8

Lecture 23

Apr. 10

Lecture 24

Apr. 15

Final Exam (7-9 PM, AH rows 1-13)

Tutorials

Date

Tutorials

Jan. 14-16

Processes

Jan. 21-23

3000shell

Jan. 28-30

3000test

Feb. 4-6

Filesystems

Mar. 4-6

Kernel modules

Mar. 11-13

Kernel memory management

Mar. 18-20

EBPF: bcc tools

Mar. 25-27

3000pc

Apr. 1-3

TOCTTOU

Assignments

Assignments are due before class on the due dates (2:30 PM).

Due Date

Assignments

Jan. 29

Assignment 1

Feb. 11, 4 PM

Assignment 2

Mar. 24 Mar. 26

Assignment 3

Apr. 10

Assignment 4

Course Software

In this course we will primarily working with Ubuntu, a widely-used family of Linux distributions. We will be using Ubuntu Server on the SCS's Openstack installation (accessible only from the Carleton network).

You may use other Linux distributions to complete the assigned work; there will be differences, however, in some aspects (such as installing software), particularly if you use a distribution not based on Ubuntu or Debian.

Online Resources

Other than the textbook, there are many, many other good online sources of information about operating systems. Here are a few that may be of interest:

Tutorial Grading

Each week you will get a progress grade from 0-4, given to you by a TA. If you are being diligent, you should be able to get 4's every week. The easiest way to get your grade is to come to tutorial and meet with your TA; alternately, you can meet a TA in their office hours or, at their discretion, discuss things with them online. Tutorials from before the Midterm must be completed by the Midterm, and Tutorials after the Midterm must be completed by the last day of classes (if you wish to receive credit).

Tutorial grades will be given out as follows:

  • 2: student attended the tutorial (50%)
  • 3: student worked on most of the tutorial material (75%)
  • 4: student is learning the material in a way that should lead to success on assignment and the exams (100%)

It should be easy to get a 3 if you show up and attempt the material. To get a 4, however, you need to be demonstrating that you are conducting experiments and actively engaging with the material in a way that is likely to lead to success.

It is possible to upgrade your grade on a tutorial at any time before the midterm (for the first four tutorials) or before the last day of classes (for the last five tutorials).

How to Succeed and How to Fail in COMP 3000

While the use of outside resources is acceptable, even encouraged, use them to achieve understanding rather than answers.

It is very possible to get full tutorial marks by doing little more than showing up, and assignments can be quickly finished (and you can even get most of the marks) by working with partners, looking at old assignments, and doing lots of online searches. If this is all you do, however, you will fail the tests and you won't get a very good grade in the course.

Successful students use the tutorials and assignments as learning opportunities. They look at the code and ask "what does that do?" - not just in a general sense, but by looking at every line and asking why it is there. They modify the code in order to better understand it, and when they are confused they ask questions until they get the answers they need. This sort of learning takes time, generally much more than the time allocated for lectures and tutorials. A tutorial is only "finished" when you understand essentially all the material in it - not when 80 minutes are up.

If you find you are confused about the concepts, make sure to read and review the textbook and the Linux man pages. They provide much deeper answers than most online resources. The tutorials are designed to help you ask the right questions - the textbook and manual pages (and the lectures) help provide the answers.

Take the tutorials seriously. Understand the answers for all the questions on the assignments. Use the textbook and manual pages. Ask questions.

Good luck!