Operating systems concepts. alternate ed. (English) Zbl 0758.68023

Addison-Wesley Series in Computer Science. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. XIII, 573 p. (1988).
The authors have written a textbook for an introductory course on operating systems in two versions. One is titled ’Operating system concepts’, and the other - ’Operating System Concepts, Alternate Edition’. Both versions concentrate on concepts that underlie operating systems. They cover all major aspects of the field, i.e. what operating systems are needed for, how they have been developed, what they are, what they do, and how they achieve their goals. The contents of both is almost identical. The main difference lies in the sequence in which various topics of operating systems are presented and discussed.
In the original edition, the presentation starts from what operating systems are, their common features, their role for the user, and for the computer system operator. Then, it explains algorithms and structures of operating systems: cpu scheduling, memory management, and device management. Next, it introduces the concept of cooperating sequential processes, facilitating a unified view of a computer system as a collection of such processes. That leads to high-level languages for writing concurrent programs, including operating systems. The last three topics are: protection systems, design principles, and distributed systems.
The sequence of the original edition facilitates a systematic presentation of operating system principles, where the topics and issues discussed so far form a basis for the next one. Such an arrangement of the book material may serve well a student who can read the book first, and then, do practical exercises, assignments and projects in design, modifications, tuning, etc., of various operating system components. This is seldom the way operating system courses are organized at universities. Usually, students are given practical tasks to do shortly after the course starts, long before its theoretical part finishes. To facilitate practical work as early in the course as possible, the authors have rearranged the material, and brought the chapters on concurrent processes and parallel programming language constructs to the beginning of the book. Its rearranged version is titled ’Operating System Concepts, Alternate Edition’.
The book, similarly to its original version, discusses operating system concepts without focusing on any particular operating system. Only the last two chapters are devoted to existing systems. Chapter 14 presents Unix, and chapter 15 reviews several operating systems that are milestones in the history of the field: Atlas, THE, RC4000, Multics, OS/360, and others.


68N25 Theory of operating systems
68M20 Performance evaluation, queueing, and scheduling in the context of computer systems
68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science