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CPS 356: Operating Systems

Department of Computer Science, University of Dayton

Fall 2017

Table of Contents (TOC)

Course Description

CPS 356 (3 hours) is a course that introduces the theoretical and practical issues underlying an operating system's structure and operation. Topics include process and thread creation and management, scheduling, concurrent, multi-threaded programming and synchronization, deadlock, memory management, virtual memory, and computer security. Concepts are demonstrated using the C, Go, and Elixir programming languages in a Linux environment. This course assumes no prior experience with Linux, C, Go, Lua, or Elixir.

Course Details

CPS 250 (Introduction to Computer Organization) or ECE 314 (Fundamentals of Computer Architecture) & CPS 350 (Data Structures & Algorithms).
Meeting times:
T Th 5:05pm-6:20pm, MH 203.
Dr. Saverio Perugini, e-mail id: sperugini1, tel: 229-4079, office: AN 145
OHs: T Th 6:30pm-7:30pm; Th 3:30pm-4:30pm (only when classes are in session); & by appointment.
Student helper:
Matthew Weiler (e-mail id: weilerm3); AN 131
OHs: M W 10:30am-1:00pm (only when class is in session) & by appointment.


Required Textbooks

    [LP] Linux Programming by S. Perugini. 2017. Draft (Available as a Resource in Isidore).

    [PLCI] Programming Languages: Concepts and Implementation by S. Perugini. 2017. Draft (Available as a Resource in Isidore; only Chapter 14: Concurrency and Synchronization needed for this course.).

    [SCMSW] Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel by P. Butcher. Pragmatic Programmers, Dallas, TX, 2014. ISBN-13:978-1-937785-65-9 (textbook webpage contains links to the source code of all programs in the text). An eBook of [SCMSW] is available free to all UD students in the library's eContent collection. To access it conduct a search for the title in the library's catalog at

Steps to access [SCMSW] off-campus:
  1. Go to
  2. Login using your standard UD credentials.
  3. Click on the link labeled: EBSCO Ebook Collection (formerly NetLibrary).
  4. This link will will take you to a page were you can perform a search. Search for "Seven concurrency models in seven weeks: When threads unravel" Click on "eBook Full Text".

    Note that there is a limit on how many people can view the book and once someone checks it out, no one else can use it. Also, if you incorrectly break your session (closing the page), the book remains checked out for a period of time and you cannot use the book in until the session ends.
    [SMLSW] Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks: Languages that are Shaping the Future by B.A. Tate, F. Daoud, I. Dees, & J. Moffit. Pragmatic Programmers, Dallas, TX, 2014. ISBN-13:978-1-941222-15-7 (textbook webpage contains links to the source code of all programs in the text). An eBook of [SMLSW] is available free to all UD students in the library's eContent collection. To access it conduct a search for the title in the library's catalog at Steps to access [SMLSW] off-campus: follow same steps above for accessing [SCMSW] (with the title of this book).


Course Wordle

CPS 356: Operating Systems/Fall 2017


Course Objectives


Course Outline

Course outline, required reading assignments, lecture notes, & homeworks & projects:
  1. Introduction to operating systems & the UNIX/Linux & C programming environment ([OSCJ8] Ch 1-2; [LP] Ch 1-5; [USP] Ch 1-2, 4)
    1. introduction to operating systems (review of computer organization, C exercises): Aug 24 29 31
    2. the UNIX philosophy (class UNIX/Linux page, vi quick reference, vi editor, UW vi reference): Sep 1
    3. files & directories (manipulation & management): self-study
    4. system libraries & I/O: Aug 24 29 31 Sep
    5. compiling C in UNIX (static vs. dynamic linking, macros, conditional compilation, error handling, & debugging; RMS's gdb tutorial, valgrind) [HW 1 due]: Sep 1

  2. Processes & threads ([OSCJ8] Ch 3-4; [LP] Ch 6-7; [USP] Ch 2-6)
    1. processes (identification; getpid, creation; fork, & termination): Aug 24 29 31 Sep 6
    2. memory allocation/deallocation: Aug 24 29 31 Sep 6 8 13 15
    3. process manipulation (wait) [HW 2 due]: Sep 8
    4. process manipulation (exec, strtok, & building an argument vector): Sep 8 [HW 3 due]: Sep 15 20
    5. the Linux shell (Learning the Shell) & process environment (variables, configuration, customization): Sep 20
    6. low-level I/O (open & close, & read & write): Sep 6 20
    7. storage & linkage classes in C : Sep 13
    8. context switching: Sep 20
    9. files & directories (data structures, inodes, & hard & symbolic links) [HW 4 due]: Sep 22
    10. implementing I/O redirection & interprocess communication (IPC; pipes & FIFOs): Sep 22
    11. threads & thread-safe functions: Sep 13 15
    12. (shell) job control (through signals) & terminals: Sep 22

    13. Exam I (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Sep 27

  3. Scheduling ([OSCJ8] Ch 5)
    1. types, evaluation criteria, & algorithms (FCFS, SJF, SRTF, RR): Oct 1
    2. multi-level queues & multi-level feedback queues: Oct 1 [HW 5 due]: Oct 6 8

  4. Concurrency and Synchronization ([PG] Ch 7, [SCMSW] Ch 5, & [SMLSW] Ch4)
    1. mutual exclusion & the critical section problem (§§ 6.1-6.4): Oct 13
    2. classical problems of synchronization (§ 6.6): Oct 13
    3. introduction to Go programming (Go by example, a tour of Go, command-line programming with Go, effective Go): Oct 15
    4. communicating sequential processes (CSP) (Go/CSP sheet) in Go ([PG] Ch7): Oct 15 20
      [Project due]: Oct 21
      communicating sequential processes (CSP): Oct 22 [HW 6 due]: Oct 27
      Exam II (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Oct 29
    5. the Actor model of concurrency in Elixir (sheet; [SCMSW] Ch5 & [SMLSW] Ch4) [HW 7 due]: Nov 5
      the Actor model of concurrency in Elixir (sheet; [SCMSW] Ch5 & [SMLSW] Ch4) [HW 8 due]: Nov 19
      Exam III (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Nov 24

  5. Deadlock ([OSCJ8] Ch 7)
    1. deadlock prevention (§§ 7.1-7.4): self-study
    2. deadlock avoidance & Banker's algorithm (§ 7.5) (Banker's examples): self-study
    3. deadlock detection & recovery (§§ 7.6-7.8): self-study

  6. Memory Management ([OSCJ8] Ch 8)
    1. fundamentals (overview of hardware, logical vs. physical address space, dynamic loading & linking) (§§ 8.1-8.2): Nov 29
    2. contiguous allocation (§ 8.3): Nov 29
    3. paging (§§ 8.4-8.5): Nov 29
      paging (§§ 8.4-8.5): Nov 29
    4. segmentation (§§ 8.6-8.8): Nov 6
    5. segmentation faults & buffer overflows (§§ 8.6-8.8): Nov 6

  7. Virtual Memory ([OSCJ8] Ch 9)
    1. demand paging (§§ 9.1-9.3): self-study
    2. page replacement algorithms (FIFO, optimal, LRU; § 9.4): self-study
    3. allocation (§ 9.5) & thrashing (§ 9.6): self-study
    4. course reflection (terms): Nov 26

  8. Final Exam (comprehensive, closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: M Dec 1, 2:30pm-4:20pm, MH 205.



  1. Exam I (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Sep 31

  2. Exam II (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Nov 2

  3. Exam III (closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: Dec 4

  4. Final Exam (comprehensive, closed book, closed notes) [practice problems]: TBA




Homework Assigned Due Total points
Homework #1 Aug 24 Aug 31 40


Homework #1

Assigned: August 24
Due: August 31, 5:05pm

Total points: 20 points

Isidore | Style guide | Academic Integrity | Evaluation Criteria

(20 points) Write a C (not C++) program /home/<logname>/homeworks/hw1/countsubsstdin.c to solve [LP] Programming Exercise 4.31.31.


Midterm Project

Coming soon...


Evaluation Criteria

(point values below are approximate)
Component Quantity Points per Total points
Homeworks and pop quizzes ~10 varies (33 EC) 245
Midterm Project 1 80 80
Exams 3 125 375
Final exam (comprehensive) 1 300 300

Homeworks involves analytical, theoretical, and programming exercises. The programming requires a fair amount of critical thought and design, and approximately 500-1000 lines of code. To prepare students for the realities of computer science problems in industry and graduate school (and beyond) this course encourages (and rewards) self-reliance and independent, self-directed work. Handwritten assignments are not accepted. Assignments are due at 5:05pm in class. Late assignments are not accepted. No exceptions. All exams are in-class, closed-book, and closed-notes. Attendance is mandatory at all examinations; make-ups are not given. Any missed examination will result in a zero. Make no assumptions about anything; always consult the instructor first. Final letter grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and D start approximately at 93, 90, 87, 83, 80, 77, 73, 70, and 60 percent, respectively.



CPS 356 is a challenging course and moves at a very fast pace. Spending a minimum of 9 hours outside of class each week reading, studying, and programming is required. I advise you to see me to discuss any problems you may have before you are evaluated. Having said this, CPS 356 is exciting, fun, and essential. The advent of multi-core processors on the desktop makes mastery of core operating system concepts and concurrent programming more necessary than ever for the modern computer scientist.


Classroom & Course Policies

Students are expected to conduct themselves with respect, integrity, and virtue. Keep phones and similar devices in a silent mode and put away during class (i.e., out of sight). The use of laptop computers and similar devices is not permitted in class. Audio or video recording of any kind in class is strictly prohibited.


Academic Integrity

To achieve the course objectives, homework assignments must be a sole result of your work, not be shared with other students, and prepared in accordance with the University Honor Pledge (see below). Moreover, you may not plagiarize code from any, cited or uncited, textbooks, online resources, or other authors. There is no team, group-work assignments in this class. Discussions among classmates must never include pending assignments. No exemptions. All questions and comments about a pending assignment must only be directed to the instructor and teaching assistants. Evidence indicating a violation of this policy will be handled according to the University Academic Honor Code and result in a doubly-weighted zero which will not be dropped (e.g., if the assignment is worth 100 points, you receive a 0/200) or a zero on the next exam. Make no assumptions about this policy; always consult the instructor first. No student should ever feel that they must resort to academic dishonesty. You are encouraged to consult the instructor if you are struggling with the course or an assignment. No grade is worth your integrity. Honesty in your academic work will develop into professional integrity. The faculty and students of the University of Dayton will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty.

The Honor Pledge as listed in the Academic Honor Code section of the Undergraduate Catalog applies in full to this course.

Honor code FAQ


Other Helpful ...

Programming style guide

Practice problems:
see conceptual and programming exercises in [LP] and [PLCI] (Chapter 14); (outdated, but still relevant) practice problems.

available in Isidore

Computer accounts:
Linux account access | UDit | A beginner's guide to effective e-mail

Helpful links:
academic calendar (PDF) | student handbook (PDF) | UDit FERPA policies

Dr. Perugini welcomes any feedback you may have on the course motif and approach, style of the lectures, the concepts presented in class, the course webpage, homeworks, projects, deadlines, exams, course and grading policies, or your general experience in the course.


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