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CSC2404 Operating Systems

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Maths and Computing
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Leigh Brookshaw
Moderator: Richard Watson


Pre-requisite: CSC1401 or USQIT16 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GDTI or GCSC or GDGS or GCEN or GDET or METC or MCOT or MCTE or MCOP or MPIT or MSBN or MSMS

Other requisites

Recommended pre-requisites: CSC2402
Students who do not meet the pre-requisite requirements must obtain approval of the examiner and the program coordinator to be enrolled in this course.


An operating system is the most fundamental software in computer systems. It not only serves as a resource manager for various kinds of resources such as the central processing unit, memory and disks, but also extends the functionality of the bare computer hardware to support application softwares such as compilers, database systems, window systems and networking. This course covers the design and implementation of all the major components of operating systems. It bridges the knowledge gap between computer architecture and all other software systems and prepares students for further courses on computer systems such as computer networks and distributed systems.


This course covers the design and implementation of computer operating systems. The major components of operating systems: process management, memory management and file systems are covered in detail. This course uses the C programming language and the Linux Operating System to explore the major components of operating systems. Skills gained through this course will be readily transferable to other operating systems (including Windows and OSX) and programming languages.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of operating system components: process and thread, synchronization, file system, memory management and system call implementation;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the techniques of implementation of the operating system components described above;
  3. demonstrate a broad understanding of Posix-compatible systems and the ability to use major system calls.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction 5.00
2. Computer System Structures 5.00
3. Operating System Structures 5.00
4. Processes and Threads 15.00
5. Process Synchronization 15.00
6. Memory Management 10.00
7. Virtual Memory 15.00
8. File System Interface 15.00
9. File System Implementation 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Silberschatz, A, Galvin, P & Gagne, G 2013, Operating system concepts, 9th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
    (ISBN: 978-1-118-06333-0.)
  • All other course material, the Introductory Book, Study Book, Laboratory Book and course software are all available from the course website on the USQ Studydesk.
  • This course requires access to the GNU/Linux Operating System to run the course software. Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from the Department of Mathematics and Computing's GNU/Linux DVD. The DVD is available from the USQ Bookshop.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Stallings, W 2011, Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, 7th edn, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Tanenbaum, A S & Woodhall, A S 2006, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, 3rd edn, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 140.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 12 12 Aug 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 12 18 Sep 2013
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 12 16 Oct 2013
2 HR OPEN EXAMINATION 100 64 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  3. In accordance with University policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect and the Course home page for this course.

  2. Students will be granted a deferred examination only if they perform satisfactorily in all other assessment items.