Here are a set of experiments that you should complete during the course. They will help you to understand the concepts that we discuss during the lectures. You do not need to hand in a report but you're encouraged to write a small four page summary of your findings. The exam will have questions related to these assignments; questions that will be quite easy to understand if you have done the experiments but rather hard to solve if you have not done them.
All experiments are done programming in C, using gcc, on a 64 bit Linux system. You can more or less easily adapt them to OSX, Windows or some other operating system or compiler but it is encouraged to instead install a virtual machine and boot it up with a Linux system. You should after the course be able to use a regular shell and some of the most basic operations. The best way to learn this is to actually use them so open up a shell and start practicing.
Experiment related to processes, what they look like and how they are created. These are best done in conjunction with lectures 3 and 4. The assignments, or tutorials, will give you a much better understanding of the process and how it is related to the kernel.
- The structure of a process: A heap, a stack, a bottle and a rack
- How to create a process: Hello Dolly
- How signals can be trapped: Don't do this at home
- How to write a kernel module in 20 min: Want to play a game?
Memory visualization is covered in lectures 5 through 8. These experiments with the algorithms used for memory management and see how important it is with some hardware support.
- User space memory management: My malloc: mylloc and mhysa
- Using mmap() instead of sbrk(): My malloc using mmap()
- The importance of the TLB: How large is the TLB?
- The kernels page management: Page frame reclaiming algorithms
Concurrency is covered in lecture 9 and 10.
- Why and how to implement locking: Take me for a spin
- Process communication: Ping-pong and Echoes
Files systems and persistent storage is covered in lectures 11 through 13. You will here explore both the performance of secondary storage and how the file system is constructed.