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Operating Systems (2016)

Course ID
3 ec

Next time (starting in September 2017) we will use a new book

The new book will be Operating System Concepts from Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne. Ninth Edition.

When and Where

  • Lectures: Tuesday 13.45-15.30, HG00.304
  • Practicals (werkcollege): Friday 8.45-10.30 and 13.45-15.30, during the first lecture you can sign up for one of the time slots.

Course Objectives

After completing the course:

  • You can explain the concepts of processes & threads as used in modern operating systems.
  • You can explain the basic principles of concurrency, and describe commonly used synchronization primitives.
  • You are able to solve simple synchronization problems and to establish correctness of your solution.
  • You can explain the basic concepts and algorithms for memory management and virtual memory.
  • You can explain basic algorithms for solving uniprocessor, multiprocessor and real-time scheduling problems.
  • You can apply these algorithms to solve simple scheduling problems.


William Stallings. Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, Global 8th edition. Pearson Education, Ltd., 2014. ISBN-13: 9781292061351

(Older editions are acceptable too; the faculty library has several copies of this edition, so you may consult them for free. However, please be aware that numbering of problems changes over the various editions. It is your responsibility to hand in the right homework assignments!)


The following topics will be discussed during the course:

  • processes and threads,
  • concurrency, for example: mutual exclusion, semaphores, monitors, message passing, deadlock, starvation,
  • memory management, virtual memory,
  • resource allocation and scheduling: uniprocessor scheduling, multiprocessor and real-time scheduling.

Time investment

Participants are expected to invest 84h (=3ec) in this course.

Altogether there will be 8 lectures. You will need 2 hours to attend a lecture, an additional 2 hours to read the textbook. In addition there will be 8 problem sessions. You will need approximately 2.5 hours to make the weekly assignments and attend a problem sessions. For the large assignment you will need approximately 30 hours. This leaves you with 2 hours to make the exam.

Weekly assignments

For this course, you may earn one bonus point for the exam if you have submitted satisfactory solutions for 6 out of the 8 weekly assignments. These assignments will be graded and you will be provided with feedback.

The assignments will be graded as follows:

  • Non-satisfactory grades: these grades do not qualify for getting the bonus point.
    • NSI: 'Niet serieus ingeleverd'. You did not hand in anything or something that only shows the most limited amount of attention. These will not be further provided with feedback.
    • O(nvoldoende): The result is of such a poor quality that it would result in very few points on the exam.
  • Satisfactory grades: these grades do count for the bonus point qualification.
    • M(atig): The result would get you some points on the exam, but you would need to invest additional time to get a passing grade.
    • V(oldoende): This result means your work is of sufficient quality for the exam.

Please hand in your assignments via Blackboard as PDF or plain text if possible. Scans of diagrams should preferably be provided as JPEG or PNG and should of course be legible. Please do come to the practicals to ask any questions. During these classes we will also explain the exercises of the previous week. The deadline for the weekly assignments is Tuesday (at 23:59). This leaves the student-assistants time to check the assignments before the next practical.


Your final grade will be the average of the grade for the exam and the grade for the Uppaal assignment. However, the grade for the exam must be at least 5: if the grade for the exam (excluding bonus) is below 5 then the final grade of the course equals the grade for the exam. During the exam you may bring a (paper) copy of the textbook of Stallings. In order to prepare for the exam, you may study some exams of previous years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.

You may earn one bonus point for the exam if you have submitted satisfactory solutions for 6 out of the 8 weekly assignments. For the exam there will be a resit but there will not be a second chance for the Uppaal assignment.