Student Extended Xinu

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Having students build their own Xinu is one of the potential tracks presented for a professor that is Teaching With 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 Outcomes

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.

Course Outline
Week Topics Assignments
01 C (basics) and OS Structures, Processes C Basics
02 C (functions, control flow) and Processes
03 C (pointers, arrays, structs) and Threads C Structs and Pointers
04 CPU Scheduling Synchronous Serial Driver
05 CPU Scheduling
06 Process Synchronization Context Switch and Non-Preemptive Scheduling
07 Deadlocks Priority Scheduling and Process Termination
08 Main Memory and Virtual Memory
09 File System Interface Preemption and Synchronization
10 File System Implementation
11 Mass-Storage Structure Delta Queues
12 I/O Systems Heap Memory
13 Protection, Security and Distributed System Structures Asynchronous Device Driver
14 Distributed System Structures
15 Distributed File Systems Ultra-Tiny File System

Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin, and Greg Gagne, Operating Systems Concepts, 7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN #0-471-69466-5.

Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Richie, The C Programming Language, Prentice-Hall, 1978.