Operating Systems Concepts (2020)

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The intent of this Operating Systems Concepts Knowledge Unit is to provide students with an understanding of the roles of an operating system, its basic functions, and the services provided by the operating system.


To complete this KU, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the role and basic functions of an operating system, and how operating systems interact with hardware and software applications.
  2. Identify and describe basic security issues of operating systems.


To complete this KU, all topics and sub-topics must be completed

  1. Processes and threads
    • Privileged and non-privileged states
    • Process/Thread Context
    • Process/Thread Management and scheduling
  2. Memory
    • Process Memory Model
    • Physical Memory Model
    • Virtual Memory
    • Caches
    • Memory Management
  3. I/O management
  4. Files systems
  5. Virtualization / hypervisors
    • Installation/setup and operation of virtualization technology
  6. Fundamental security design principles as applied to an OS
    • Access controls (models and mechanisms)
    • Domain separation, process isolation, resource encapsulation, least privilege


  1. List and identify running threads and processes and their resources on a computer.
  2. List and identify physical and virtual memory allocated to processes.
  3. Install, mount, and manage a file system on a computer.
  4. Implement and use a Virtual Machine (VM).
  • Analytical
  • BIOS
  • Create and manage datafile
  • Debugging
  • Interrupt handling
  • Knowledge of operating systems
  • Manage kernel-space
  • Manage source code
  • Organization
  • Process scheduling
  • Processor sets
  • Resource allocation
  • Troubleshooting
  • UEFI

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Further reading[edit]

Suggested textbooks[edit]

  • Silberschatz, A., Galvin, P. and Gagne, G., “Operating System Concepts Essentials”, Wiley, 2010.

Suggested academic readings[edit]

Sample knowledge test[edit]

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