CPS 310: Operating Systems (also ECE 353) Spring 2018
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Class Meetings
WF 3:05 - 4:20 in B101 LSRC [Panopto]
M 3:05 - 4:20 in B101 LSRC (recitation)
Jeff Chase (chase@cs.duke.edu)
Office hours: Tues 11:00 and Th 2:00 in D306 LSRC, or after class, or by appointment, or try a drop-in.
Teaching Assistant
Waqar Aqeel, OH TBD
8 great UTAs
U/TA Office hours [TBD]

Course announcements appear here: don't look for them on Sakai!

  • Memory and the heap [PPTX, PDF]
  • The heap manager lab (p0) is due on January 29. (See the calendar page/tab for dates.) See the registration/setup instructions on the work page/tab.
  • The heap manager lab is solo this semester. We will form groups in February for the threads lab (p1).
  • Intro slides [PPTX, PDF]
  • If you join the class after January 7, please send me an e-mail with the subject "new 310 student NetID": replace "NetID" with your actual filled-in NetID.
  • Know the course policies!
  • Syllabus [PDF] required by Duke policy, but all information is also on this website. Stale: once complete, Any changes to the information in the syllabus will be announced, and a dated revision of the syllabus provided.
  • Tentative due dates and exam dates are on the calendar.
  • As February rolls in you will ask lots of questions about the exams. Here are the answers.
  • Please use the Piazza Q&A forum for questions.

See links below to get started:

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This course gives an introduction to systems concepts and operating systems. Traditionally the course emphasizes classical operating systems topics: concurrency, facilities for storage, communication, and protection, kernel services and structure, architecture/OS interaction, distributed systems, and practical application of operating system concepts in real operating systems. We also explore the nature of "systems" as an evolving discipline encompassing all aspects of bridging the gap between applications and hardware.

More broadly, an operating system is software that controls some programmable platform for sharing resources and data. All operating systems must deal with core issues of protection, resource management, program environment and execution, coordination, and reliable state storage and recovery. Various programming systems ranging from cloud services to Web frameworks to programmable networks to browsers meet our definition of a "programmable platform". About half the course focuses on classical OS topics; the other half covers other principles and topics that are important for understanding modern networked software ecosystems.

The prerequisites for this course are introductory programming and basic computer architecture (e.g., CPS 250). The intended audience is computer science undergraduates and graduate students needing a background in systems. Welcome to the Machine [PDF] is a quick-and-dense overview of relevant computer architecture: if it mostly makes sense to you, then you'll be OK. You should take time to review any unfamiliar topics or terms discussed in that document.

There is no required textbook. Several texts are available and may be worth the investment: see the intro lecture notes. Operating Systems in Three Easy Pieces (OSTEP) is an excellent resource for at least the first half of the course. There is lots of useful material in the classic computer systems textbook Bryant/O'Hallaron CS:APP.

More course policies
Exam FAQ about exams in this class
Exam archive