The world has changed a great deal since the first edition of this site appeared in 1992. Computer networks and distributed systems of all kinds have become very common. Small children now roam the Internet, where previously only computer professionals went. As a consequence, this site has changed a great deal, too.
The most obvious change is that the first edition was about half on single-processor operating systems and half on distributed systems. I chose that format in 1991 because few universities then had courses on distributed systems and whatever students learned about distributed systems had to be put into the operating systems course, for which this site was intended. Now most universities have a separate course on distributed systems, so it is not necessary to try to combine the two subjects into one course and one site. This site is intended for a first course on operating systems, and as such focuses mostly on traditional single-processor systems.
I have coauthored two other sites on operating systems. This leads to two possible course sequences.
1. Operating Systems Design and Implementation by Tanenbaum and Woodhull
2. Distributed Systems by Tanenbaum and Van Steen
1. Modern Operating Systems by Tanenbaum
2. Distributed Systems by Tanenbaum and Van Steen
The former sequence uses MINIX and the students are expected to experiment with MINIX in an accompanying laboratory supplementing the first course. The latter sequence does not use MINIX. Instead, some small simulators are available that can be used for student exercises during a first course using this site. These simulators can be found starting on the author's Web page: www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/ by clicking on Software and supplementary material for my sites.
In addition to the major change of switching the emphasis to single-processor operating systems in this site, other major changes include the addition of entire chapters on computer security, multimedia operating systems, and Windows 2000, all important and timely topics. In addition, a new and unique chapter on operating system design has been added.
Another new feature is that many chapters now have a section on research about the topic of the chapter. This is intended to introduce the reader to modern work in processes, memory management, and so on. These sections have numerous references to the current research literature for the interested reader. In addition, Chapter 13 has many introductory and tutorial references.
Finally, numerous topics have been added to this site or heavily revised. These topics include: graphical user interfaces, multiprocessor operating systems, power management for laptops, trusted systems, viruses, network terminals, CD-ROM file systems, mutexes, RAID, soft timers, stable storage, fair-share scheduling, and new paging algorithms. Many new problems have been added and old ones updated. The total number of problems now exceeds 450. A solutions manual is available to professors using this site in a course. They can obtain a copy from their local Prentice Hall representative. In addition, over 250 new references to the current literature have been added to bring the site up to date.
Despite the removal of more than 400 pages of old material, the site has increased in size due to the large amount of new material added. While the site is still suitable for a one-semester or two-quarter course, it is probably too long for a one-quarter or one-trimester course at most universities. For this reason, the site has been designed in a modular way. Any course on operating systems should cover chapters 1 through 6. This is basic material that every student show know.
If additional time is available, additional chapters can be covered. Each of them assumes the reader has finished chapters 1 through 6, but Chaps. 7 through 12 are each self contained, so any desired subset can be used and in any order, depending on the interests of the instructor. In the author's opinion, Chaps. 7 through 12 are much more interesting than the earlier ones. Instructors should tell their students that they have to eat their broccoli before they can have the double chocolate fudge cake dessert.
I would like to thank the following people for their help in reviewing parts of the manuscript: Rida Bazzi, Riccardo Bettati, Felipe Cabrera, Richard Chapman, John Connely, John Dickinson, John Elliott, Deborah Frincke, Chandana Gamage, Robbert Geist, David Golds, Jim Griffioen, Gary Harkin, Frans Kaashoek, Mukkai Krishnamoorthy, Monica Lam, Jussi Leiwo, Herb Mayer, Kirk McKusick, Evi Nemeth, Bill Potvin, Prasant Shenoy, Thomas Skinner, Xian-He Sun, William Terry, Robbert Van Renesse, and Maarten van Steen. Jamie Hanrahan, Mark Russinovich, and Dave Solomon were enormously knowledgeable about Windows 2000 and very helpful. Special thanks go to Al Woodhull for valuable reviews and thinking of many new end-of-chapter problems.
My students were also helpful with comments and feedback, especially Staas de Jong, Jan de Vos, Niels Drost, David Fokkema, Auke Folkerts, Peter Groenewegen, Wilco Ibes, Stefan Jansen, Jeroen Ketema, Joeri Mulder, Irwin Oppenheim, Stef Post, Umar Rehman, Daniel Rijkhof, Maarten Sander, Maurits van der Schee, Rik van der Stoel, Mark van Driel, Dennis van Veen, and Thomas Zeeman.
Barbara and Marvin are still wonderful, as usual, each in a unique way. Finally, last but not least, I would like to thank Suzanne for her love and patience, not to mention all the druiven and kersen, which have replaced the sinasappelsap in recent times.
Andrew S. Tanenbaum