• Class Number 5638
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alwen Tiu
    • Dr Alwen Tiu
    • Shoaib Akram
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course takes a detailed look at the services provided by, and the internals of, an existing operating system to see how each part is constructed and integrated into the whole. The lectures will also address recent literature describing advances in operating systems. The following topics are addressed: system programming and its facilities (including I/O, signals, job control, interprocess communication, sockets, transport layers, remote operations), system calls and their relation to the system libraries, process management and coordination, implementation of message passing, memory management, interrupt handling, real-time clocks, device-independent input/output, serial-line drivers, network communication, disk drivers, deadlock avoidance, scheduling paradigms, file systems, security.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify and evaluate features of the system library of a particular operating system, and be able to apply this knowledge to program small applications
  2. describe and analyse the actual algorithms and data structures that are used in a particular operating system
  3. define and analyse the structure of operating systems in general, especially those that support communicating processes
  4. identify and describe the reasons for many architectural features of contemporary machines
  5. demonstrate experience in the design and implementation of a large software system

Research-Led Teaching

The lecture materials contain discussions on topics on current research in operating system. There will be one ore more planned guest lectures on the state-of-the-art advances in operating systems.

Examination Material or equipment

All printed/handwritten reference materials, including textbooks, articles and notes, are allowed.

Required Resources

  • Textbook:
  • Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau and Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau. Operating systems: three easy pieces. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018. The entire textbook is available online from the first author's website: https://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~remzi/OSTEP/
  • Other reference materials (online resources, research articles, lab guides, etc) will be provided in the relevant parts of the course.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction
2 Processes and process API
3 Scheduling Online quiz
4 I/O devices and storage
5 File system: files and directories, file system implementation
6 File system: locality, crash consistency, data integrity Assignment 1 due
7 Address space and memory API, guest lecture(s)
8 Memory Management: address translation, segmentation, free space management
9 Memory management: paging, virtual memory systems
10 Concurrency: threads, thread API, locks Assignment 2 due
11 Concurrency: concurrent data structures, semaphores
12 Guest lecture(s) and/or revision

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online quiz 5 % 18/08/2023 25/08/2023 1, 3, 4
Assignment 1 15 % 31/08/2023 25/09/2023 1, 2, 5
Assignment 2 30 % 11/10/2023 30/10/2023 1, 2, 5
Final Examination 50 % * * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 18/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 25/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Online quiz

This is an online quiz hosted on Wattle. It is meant as a quick test of the student's knowledge of basic concepts in operating systems and system programming. The quiz consists of a series of multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions, and can be taken anytime in Week 4.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 31/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 25/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Assignment 1

This is an individual assignment. The student will build a custom system utility to interface with the operating system. The objectives of this assignment are for the students to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the Linux programming environment.
  • To learn how processes are created, destroyed and managed.
  • To gain exposure to the necessary functionality required to build an interactive tool for managing processes.

Each student is required to submit an artefact, which consists of the working implementation of the custom utility, and a short written report (no more than 1500 words -- excluding code listing, figures, tables and bibliography) describing the design and the implementation of the utility.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 11/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Assignment 2

This is a group-based project. Students will work in groups to implement certain functionalities related to file systems. The objectives of this assignment are for the students to:

  • To learn how to implement critical components of a file system.
  • To gain exposure to the practical considerations in the implementation of file systems.

The assessment consists of three components: the artefact (i.e., the implementation of the relevant functionalities of the file system), a written report (no more than 2500 words -- excluding code listing, figures, tables and bibliography) describing the design and the implementation, and a group presentation of the project.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Examination

This is an in-person written final examination. All topics covered in the course are potentially examinable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Alwen Tiu

Research Interests

formal methods; cyber security; security protocol verification; software security; operating system security

Dr Alwen Tiu

By Appointment
Dr Alwen Tiu

Research Interests

formal methods; cyber security; security protocol verification; software security; operating system security

Dr Alwen Tiu

By Appointment
Shoaib Akram

Research Interests

formal methods; cyber security; security protocol verification; software security; operating system security

Shoaib Akram


Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions