Operating Systems
CSCI-GA.2250-001, Fall 2014

Note: I will post important short-term notices here

General Information

Mon 7:10P- 9:00P Weaver CIWW 1302
Instructor: Hubertus Franke, frankeh@cs.nyu.edu
TAs/Graders: Ajay Khanna, ak4533@nyu.edu
Office Hours:
Franke: Mon 6:15 - 7:00 CIWW Rm 328 or 320 (look in both) and after class as needed
Khanna: Thu 2:00 - 3:00 CIWW 13th Floor
Prerequisites: Common CS knowledge and some programming skills.
Text book: Author: Andrew Tannenbaum
Title: Modern Operating Systems
Edition: 4th (you will also survive 3rd)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN-13: 978-0-12-3591620 or 978-0-13-6006663-2
ISBN-10: 0-13-359162X or 0-13-600663-9

Course Description

This course is an introductory course in operating systems (OS), focusing on the core concepts of operating systems. The emphasis will be on understanding general concepts that are applicable to a wide range of operating systems, rather than a discussion of the features of any one specific system. Topics that will be covered include:

Examples will be from Unix/Linux. Programming assignments will be based on C or C++ as Operatings Systems are implemented that way.

This course does not assume that you have taken an Operating Systems course as an undergraduate, or that you have had extensive experience working with one. In fact, if you have taken such a course or have a fair amount of practical experience with OS internals, this course is probably too elementary for you. Please take a look at the course schedule to get a sense of the topics that will be covered: if you can explain most of the terms contained there, you are likely looking for a more advanced course. We will NOT be "hacking" on an operating system but will have lab assignments that deal with the fundamental elements such as different process schedulers and memory management algorithms.


Grades are based on the labs, the midterm and final exam, each being important. The weighting will be:
Lab Assignments55%
This is a graduate level class, so I am looking for lively interactions during the class and not just presence.
The midterm will be given on TBD.
The final will be given on TDB.

Class Materials, Handouts, Lectures and Assignments

LecturesDateTopicHandouts ReadingsAssignments
Introduction: Computer System Architectures (what does the OS manage)
Lecture-1 Chapter 1
lab1 (Due 9/22)
Intro + Processes and Threads
Lecture-2 Chapter 2

Processes and Threads
Lecture-3 Chapter 2



Memory Management 1


Memory Management 2


Memory Management 3


File Systems


File Systems






TBD / Review

Computer Accounts and Mailman Mailing List

Several labs (programming assignments) across the semester will provide practical implementations of operating system concepts such as processor scheduling and memory management. These assignments are accepted in C or C++.

homeworks and Labs

I make a distinction between homeworks and labs. Both are required and form part of your grade.

Labs (aka programming assignments) are

Homeworks are optional, they are there to help get through the material

Doing Labs on non-NYU Systems

You may solve lab assignments on any system you wish, but ...

Obtaining Help with the Labs

Good methods for obtaining help include

  1. Asking me during office hours (see web page for my hours).
  2. Asking the mailing list.
  3. Asking another student, but ...
    Your lab must be your own.
    That is, each student must submit a unique lab. Naturally, simply changing comments, variable names, etc. does not produce a unique lab.

See also

Graduate cs.nyu.edu courses: http://cs.nyu.edu/webapps/summer2014/courses
Graduate cs.nyu.edu schedule: http://cs.nyu.edu/webapps/summer2014/Graduate/courses
Academic integrity policy: http://cs.nyu.edu/web/Academic/Graduate/academic_integrity.html