COMP 790: Labs


Is any kind of collaboration permitted on the labs?

You may work alone or in groups of up to three. You may not change teammates after the first lab without explicit permission of the instructor. Do not discuss code with anyone other than your partner and the course staff. The collaboration policy elaborates.


A crucial component of the course is the labs. You will implement (the interesting pieces of) a real operating system that will boot on a PC. The operating system is called JOS. (JOS was developed at MIT and has been used in courses at several other schools.)

JOS is simpler than Linux and Windows, but it includes most key operating systems abstractions, including a bootloader, memory protection, memory relocation, multiprogramming, a rudimentary file system, and a command shell.

JOS can be thought of as an exokernel, where the kernel implements a minimal set of core functionality that safely exports hardware resources to applications. These low-level kernel interfaces may be inconvenient for user processes to use directly, so user processes will make use of a "library operating system" (libos) to abstract these low-level exported resources into more convenient programming abstractions.

Each lab in the series enhances the functionality of your operating system. Each lab builds on the previous one, so it is important that you design, build, and test carefully at each step. Carelessness in early labs will be costly down the road. There are not a lot of lines of code to write on this project; take the time to understand each phase before moving to the next one.

Last updated: 2019-11-21 13:23:40 -0500 [validate xhtml]