Operating Systems
CSCI-GA.2250-001, Summer 2017

Note: I will post important short-term notices here

The class has been moved to Rm 101 permanently

General Information

Mon 6:00P - 8:20P Weaver CIWW 101
Instructor: Hubertus Franke, frankeh@cs.nyu.edu
TAs/Graders: Salil Kapur, sk6829@nyu.edu
Office Hours:
TA Assignment

[0-9] Hubertus Franke: Mon 8:20 - 9:20 PM after class or if private (Room Weaver 320)
[A-Z] Salil Kapur: Thu 3:30 - 5:00 PM (13th floor lounge)

You can go to any office hour, but grading related stuff you need to talk to your assigned TA.
Prerequisites: Common CS knowledge and programming skills.
Four labs consisting of approximately 500-600 lines of code each (give and take). Expect at least 20hrs per lab, typically spread over 3 weeks. This class is designated as a class to emphasize programming in C/C++ and as most operating systems are written in C this is a perfect opportunity to pick this skill up. As a result all labs will have to be coded in C/C++. Learning how to become proficient in C/C++ is one side goal of this class. Expect to learn C/C++ through self study over the first 3 weeks. If necessary, an extra session will be provide to get you up to speed, which will take place after class ( > 8:20PM ).
Text book: Author: Andrew Tannenbaum
Title: Modern Operating Systems
Edition: 4th (you will also survive 3rd)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN-13: 978-0-12-3591720 or 978-0-13-6006663-2
ISBN-10: 0-13-359172X 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. You will initially not be required to have C or C++ knowledge, but after the first of four labs you will have to move over to C/C++. Each of the four labs is approximately 600 lines of code.

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 and I/O schedulers. It will allow you to get and experiment with the concept rather than spending endless hours debugging tedious operating system code.


Grades are based on the labs, the midterm and final exam, each being important. The weighting will be:
Lab Assignments60%
This is a graduate level class, so I am looking for lively interactions during the class and not just presence.
The final will be given on 8/7/2017.

Class Materials, Handouts, Lectures and Assignments (will be made avail before classes)

DateTopicHandouts ReadingsAssignments
Introduction: Computer System Architectures (what does the OS manage)
Chapter 1
Start Learning C/C++
Introduction: History and Basics and Processes
Processes and Threads
Chapter 2

Processes and Threads
Processes and Threads
Chapter 2.1/2.2
Chapter 2.4

Concurrency Concurrency
Chapter 2.3

Memory Management
Memory Management
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 5 Lab 4
File Systems

Chapter 4


No book chapters
(only networking in finals)

FINAL (6:00 - 8:10)

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++.

Labs (aka programming assignments)

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 the TA during office hours (see web page for their hours).
  2. Asking me during office hours or after class (see web page for my hours).
  3. Asking the forum or the NYU Classes forum (preferred).
  4. Asking another student, but ...
    Keep the discussion at the abstract level
    Your lab must be your own.
    That is, each student must submit a unique lab. Naturally, simply changing comments, variable names, restructuring, etc. does not produce a unique lab and code verification easily identifies these.

Publicly storing your code such as GITHUB

Developers increasingly are using github to support their devops. Please make you repositories private to avoid others copying your code and being dragged unwillingly into some issues.

See also

Graduate cs.nyu.edu courses: http://cs.nyu.edu/webapps/summer2017/courses
Graduate cs.nyu.edu schedule: http://cs.nyu.edu/webapps/summer2017/Graduate/courses
Academic integrity policy: http://cs.nyu.edu/web/Academic/Graduate/academic_integrity.html