Student Built Xinu
A student built operating system puts the student in the trenches of operating system development. The student will become intimately involved with the inner workings of an operating system. This will give the student a better understanding of the various systems that work together behind the scenes while an operating system is running. Operating systems topics that can be incorporated in a student built Xinu course include: memory management, scheduling, concurrent processing, device management, file systems and others.
Course development can parallel learning objectives and topics associated with many Operating Systems courses. 
- Overview of operating systems
- Operating system principles
- Scheduling and dispatch
- Memory management
- Device management
- Security and protection
- File systems
- Evaluating system performance
- Discuss the history of operating systems.
- Overview of the general and specific purpose of an operating system.
- Understanding concurrency and state flow diagrams.
- Understanding deadlock and starvation.
- Ability to decipher between scheduling algorithms.
- Understanding the use of memory and virtual memory.
- Characteristics of serial and parallel devices.
- Deciphering the concepts behind various file systems
- Understanding the necessity of security and locating potential system security holes
Potential Course Structure
An Operating Systems course using the below course outline or something similar will introduce students to some fundamental concepts of operating systems combined with the basics of networking and communications. Topics include: memory management, scheduling, concurrent processing, device management, file systems, networking, security, and system performance. A similar course structure is followed by Dr. Dennis Brylow at Marquette University in his sophomore level Operating Systems course. Most of the assignments where students are building Embedded Xinu are done in teams of two.
|Week||Topics||Assignments Track One||Assignments Track Two|
|01||C (basics) and OS Structures, Processes||C Basics||C Basics|
|02||C (functions, control flow) and Processes|
|03||C (pointers, arrays, structs) and Threads||C Structs and Pointers||C Structs and Pointers|
|04||CPU Scheduling||Synchronous Serial Driver||Synchronous Serial Driver|
|06||Process Synchronization||Context Switch and Non-Preemptive Scheduling||Context Switch and Non-Preemptive Scheduling|
|07||Deadlocks||Priority Scheduling and Process Termination||Priority Scheduling & Preemption|
|08||Main Memory and Virtual Memory|
|09||File System Interface||Preemption & Synchronization||Interprocess Communication or LL/SC|
|10||File System Implementation|
|11||Mass-Storage Structure||Delta Queues||Delta Queues|
|12||I/O Systems||Heap Memory||Heap Memory|
|13||Protection, Security and Distributed System Structures||Asynchronous Device Driver||Ultra-Tiny File System|
|14||Distributed System Structures|
|15||Distributed File Systems||Ultra-Tiny File System||Basic Networking - Ping|
- Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin, and Greg Gagne, Operating Systems Concepts, 7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN #0-471-69466-5.
 Course topics and learning objectives have been adapted from the ACM's Computing Curricula 2001 Computer Science.
This work funded in part by NSF grant DUE-CCLI-0737476.