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Operating Systems

Course ID
3 ec

When and Where

  • Lectures: Tuesdays 8:30 - 10:15, HG00.304
  • Exercises classes: Thursday 15:30 - 17:15. During the first lecture we will give you all relevant information regarding the exercise classes.

All information from here is obsolete. Please go to the Brightspace page!

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 synchronisation primitives.
  • You are able to solve simple synchronisation problems and to establish the correctness of your solution.
  • You can explain the basic concepts and algorithms for memory management and virtual memory.
  • You can explain and apply basic algorithms for solving scheduling problems.
  • You can explain the mechanisms used to communicate with the kernel, with hardware and perform I/O.


Silberschatz, Galvin, Gagne. Operating System Concepts, Ninth Edition, International Student Edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc ISBN : 9781118093757


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,
  • communications between processes, kernel and hardware,
  • I/O systems.

Time investment

  • 16 hours lecture
  • 30 hours laboratory course
  • 20 hours problem session
  • 18 hours individual study period

Teaching methods

Teaching methods are lectures, problems sessions, lab, homework assignments. We expect students to read the indicated chapters of the book before the lecture. During lectures, we will ask students to contribute and explain the topic at hand to each other.

Extra information

Examination is an integrated part of the course with an obligatory practicum and a final exam. In determining the final grade, the practicum and the exam weight equally heavy. There is a resit for the exam, but not for the practicum. In addition, a bonus on the exam grade may be earned by weekly homework assignments.

The assignments will be graded as follows:

  • Non-satisfactory grades: these grades do not qualify for getting the bonus point.
    • NSI: 'Niet serieus ingeleverd' ('No serious attempt'). 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) (Insufficient): 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) (Poor): 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) (Sufficient): 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 Sunday (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 grades for the large assignments. 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 Silberschatz. In order to prepare for the exam, you may study some exams of previous years: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.