Chapter 2 is concerned with the operating-system interfaces that users (or at least
programmers) actually see:system calls. The treatment is somewhat vague since more
detail requires picking a specific system to discuss.This chapter is best
supplemented with exactly this detail for the specific system the students have at
hand.Ideally they should study the system calls and write some programs making system
calls. This chapter also ties together several important concepts including layered
design, virtual machines, Java and the Java virtual machine, system design and
implementation, system generation, and the policy/mechanism difference.
第2章是关于用户(或者至少是程序员)实际看到的操作系统接口: 系统调用 需要选择一个确切
2.1 The services and functions provided by an operating system can be divided
into two main categories.Briefly describe the two categories, and discuss how
One class of services provided by an operating system is to enforce
protection between different processes running concurrently in the system. Processes
are allowed to access only those memory locations that are associated with their
address spaces. Also, processes are not allowed to corrupt files associated with other
users. A process is also not allowed to access devices directly without operating
system intervention. The second class of services provided by an operating system is
to provide new functionality that is not supported directly by the underlying hardware.
Virtual memory and file systems are two such examples of new service sprovided by an
2.2 Describe three general methods for passing parameters to the operating system.
a. Pass parameters in registers
b. Registers pass starting addresses of blocks of parameters
c. Parameters can be placed, or pushed, onto the stack by the program,
and popped off the stack by the operating system
2.3 Describe how you could obtain a statistical profile of the amount of time spent
by a program executing different sections of its code. Discuss the importance of
obtaining such a statistical profile.
One could issue periodic timer interrupts and monitor what instructions or
what sections of code are currently executing when the interrupts are delivered. A
statistical profile of which pieces of code were active should be consistent with
the time spent by the program in different sections of its code. Once such a
statistical profile has been obtained, the programmer could optimize those sections
of code that are consuming more of the CPU resources.
2.4 What are the five major activities of an operating system in regard to file
• The creation and deletion of files
• The creation and deletion of directories
• The support of primitives for manipulating files and directories
• The mapping of files onto secondary storage
• The backup of files on stable (nonvolatile) storage media
2.5 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the same system-call
interface for manipulating both files and devices?
Each device can be accessed as though it was a file in the file system. Since
most of the kernel deals with devices through this file interface, it is relatively
easy to add a new device driver by implementing the hardware-specific code to support
this abstract file interface. Therefore, this benefits the development of both user
program code, which can be written to access devices and files in the same manner,
and device driver code, which can be written to support a well-defined API. The
disadvantage with using the same interface is that it might be difficult to capture
the functionality of certain devices within the context of the file access API,
thereby resulting in either a loss of functionality or a loss of performance. Some
of this could be overcome by the use of the ioctl operation that provides a
general-purpose interface for processes to invoke operations on devices
2.6 Would it be possible for the user to develop a new command interpreter using
the system-call interface provided by the operating system?
An user should be able to develop a new command interpreter using the system-call
interface provided by the operating system. The command interpreter allows an user to
create and manage processes and also determine ways by which they communicate (such
as through pipes and files). As all of this functionality could be accessed by an
user-level program using the system calls, it should be possible for the user to
develop a new command-line interpreter
2.7 What are the two models of interprocess communication? What are the strengths
and weaknesses of the two approaches?
The two models of interprocess communication are message-passing model and the
shared-memory model. Message passing is useful for exchanging smaller amounts of
data, because no conflicts need be avoided. It is also easier to implement than
is shared memory for intercomputer communication. Shared memory allows maximum
speed and convenience of communication, since it can be done at memory transfer
speeds when it takes place within a computer. However, this method compromises on
protection and synchronization between the processes sharing memory
2.8 Why is the separation of mechanism and policy desirable?
Mechanism and policy must be separate to ensure that systems are easy to modify. No
two system installations are the same, so each installation may want to tune the
operating system to suit its needs. With mechanism and policy separate, the policy
may be changed at will while the mechanism stays unchanged. This arrangement provides
a more flexible system.
2.9 It is sometimes difficult to achieve a layered approach if two components of
the operating system are dependent on each other. Identify a scenario in which it is
unclear how to layer two system components that require tight coupling of their
The virtual memory subsystem and the storage subsystem are typically tightly
coupled and requires careful design in a layered system due to the following
interactions. Many systems allow files to be mapped into the virtual memory space of
an executing process. On the other hand, the virtual memory subsystem typically uses
the storage system to provide the backing store for pages that do not currently
reside in memory. Also, updates to the file system are sometimes buffered in physical
memory before it is flushed to disk, thereby requiring careful coordination of the
usage of memory between the virtual memory subsystem and the file system.
2.10 What is the main advantage of the microkernel approach to system design? How do
user programs and system services interact in a microkernel architecture? What are
the disadvantages of using the microkernel approach?
Benefits typically include the following:
(a) adding a new service does not require modifying the kernel,
(b) it is more secure as more operations are done in user mode than in kernel mode, and
(c) a simpler kernel design and functionality typically results in a more reliable
operating system. User programs and system services interact in a microkernel
architecture by using interprocess communication mechanisms such as messaging. These
messages are conveyed by the operating system. The primary disadvantages of the
microkernel architecture are the overheads associated with interprocess communication
and the frequent use of the operating system’s messaging functions in order to enable
the user process and the system service to interact with each other.
2.12 How are iOS and Android similar? How are they different?
• Both are based on existing kernels (Linux and Mac OS X).
• Both have architecture that uses software stacks.
• Both provide frameworks for developers.
两者都基于现有内核(Linux和Mac OS X)
• iOS is closed-source, and Android is open-source.
• iOS applications are developed in Objective-C, Android in Java.
• Android uses a virtual machine, and iOS executes code natively.
2.13 Explain why Java programs running on Android systems do not use the standard
Java API and virtual machine.
It is because the standard API and virtual machine are designed for desktop and
server systems, not mobile devices. Google developed a separate API and virtual
machine for mobile devices.
2.14 The experimental Synthesis operating system has an assembler incorporated in
the kernel. To optimize system-call performance, the kernel assembles routines within
kernel space to minimize the path that the system call must take through the kernel.
This approach is the antithesis of the layered approach, in which the path through the
kernel is extended to make building the operating system easier. Discuss the pros and
cons of the Synthesis approach to kernel design and optimization of system performance.
Synthesis is impressive due to the performance it achieves through on-the-fly
compilation. Unfortunately, it is difficult to debug problems within the kernel due
to the fluidity of the code. Also, such compilation is system specific, making
Synthesis difficult to port (a new compiler must be written for each architecture).