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Modern Operating Systems, 2nd Edition

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Modern Operating Systems, 2nd Edition

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  • NEW - New chapters—On computer security; multimedia operating systems; Windows 2000; and operating system design.
    • Brings students up to date with in-depth coverage of today's most important and timely topics. Ex.___

  • NEW - Now includes coverage—Fair share scheduling, graphical user interfaces, X Windows, new I/O devices (RAID, CD-R, DVD etc.), CD-ROM file systems, network terminals, power management, viruses and antivirus techniques, disk formatting, soft timers, trusted systems, and middleware.
  • NEW - Greatly expanded coverage—Process management, threads, and computer security.
  • NEW - Research sections—Includes numerous references to current literature about most chapter topics.
    • Introduces students to the latest research on processes, memory management, and other topics. Ex.___

  • NEW - Exclusive focus on traditional single-processor computer systems.
    • Allows instructors to focus their course on single-processor systems and teach distributed systems using Tanenbaum's forthcoming Distribued Systems: Principles and Paradigms in a follow-up course, reflecting the curricula at many schools.

  • “Big picture” concepts and many technical details presented in a clear and entertaining style as only Andy Tanenbaum can do.
    • Helps students easily learn the foundations of operating systems and how things really work. Ex.___

  • Website with simulators supporting a variety of hands-on student projects.
    • Students learn by doing. Ex.___

  • Many new problems and up-to-date references—Reflect real-world experience.
    • Provides students with practical, hands-on information in constructing and understanding modern operating systems. Ex.___


  • Copyright 2001
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-031358-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-031358-4

The widely anticipated revision of this worldwide best seller incorporates the latest developments in operating systems technologies. Hundreds of pages of new material on a wealth of subjects have been added. This authoritative, example-based reference offers practical, hands-on information in constructing and understanding modern operating systems. Continued in this second edition are the "big picture" concepts, presented in the clear and entertaining style that only Andrew S. Tanenbaum can provide. Tanenbaum's long experience as the designer or co-designer of three operating systems brings a knowledge of the subject and wealth of practical detail that few other books can match.



  • NEW—New chapters on computer security, multimedia operating systems, and multiple processor systems.
  • NEW—Extensive coverage of Linux, UNIX®, and Windows 2000™ as examples.
  • NEW—Now includes coverage of graphical user interfaces, multiprocessor operating systems, trusted systems, viruses, network terminals, CD-ROM file systems, power management on laptops, RAID, soft timers, stable storage, fair-share scheduling, three-level scheduling, and new paging algorithms.
  • NEW—Most chapters have a new section on current research on the chapter's topic.
  • NEW—Focus on single-processor computer systems; a new book for a follow-up course on distributed systems is also available from Prentice Hall.
  • NEW—Over 200 references to books and papers published since the first edition.
  • NEW—The Web site for this book contains PowerPoint slides, simulators, figures in various formats, and other teaching aids.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

A History of Operating Systems

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction.

 2. Processes and Threads.

 3. Deadlocks.

 4. Memory Management.

 5. Input/Output.

 6. File Systems.

 7. Multimedia Operating Systems.

 8. Multiple Processor Systems.

 9. Security.

10. Case Study 1: UNIX and Linux.

11. Case Study 2: Windows 2000.

12. Operating System Design.



The world has changed a great deal since the first edition of this book 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 book 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 book 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 book. This book is intended for a first course on operating systems, and as such focuses mostly on traditional single-processor systems.

I have coauthored two other books on operating systems. This leads to two possible course sequences.

Practically-oriented sequence:

  1. Operating Systems Design and Implementation by Tanenbaum and Woodhull
  2. Distributed Systems by Tanenbaum and Van Steen

Traditional sequence:

  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 book. 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 books.

In addition to the major change of switching the emphasis to single-processor operating systems in this book, 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 book or heavily revised. These topics include: graphical user interfaces, multiprocessor operating systems, power management for laptops, trusted systems, viruses, network terminals, CDROM 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 book 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 book up to date.

Despite the removal of more than 400 pages of old material, the book has increased in size due to the large amount of new material added. While the book 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 book 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 A1 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 Minder, Irwin Oppenheim, Stef Post, Umar Rehman, Daniel Rijkhof, Maarten Sander, Maurits van der Schee, Rik van der Stoel, Mark van Drill, 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


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