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Operating Systems Design and Implementation [Paperback]

Andrew S Tanenbaum , Albert S Woodhull
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 July 2008 0135053765 978-0135053768 3

Operating Systems Design and Implementation, 3e, is ideal for introductory courses on computer operating systems. Written by the creator of Minux, professional programmers will now have the most up-to-date tutorial and reference available today.


Revised to address the latest version of MINIX (MINIX 3), this streamlined, simplified new edition remains the only operating systems text to first explain relevant principles, then demonstrate their applications using a Unix-like operating system as a detailed example. It has been especially designed for high reliability, for use in embedded systems, and for ease of teaching.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 3 edition (11 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0135053765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0135053768
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

“The presentation is excellent. The book should be on the desk of any serious student of operating systems.”--Dr. Samuel Kohn, Thomas Edison StateCollege


“I would give the authors very high grades for their writing style. Topics are explained in a clear and understandable manner. Presentations are well organized and they flow in logical fashion. The book provides the right depth and breadth of explanations with the appropriate amount of rigor and abstraction.” --Gojko Babic, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University


The definitive, up-to-date introduction to operating systems:

Core principles plus hands-on examples with the new MINIX 3 operating system


The world’s best-selling introductory operating systems text has been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest advances in OS design and implementation. Offering an optimal balance of theory and practice, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, Third Edition remains the best resource for anyone seeking a deep understanding of how operating systems work.


This edition includes MINIX 3, more compact, more reliable, better suited for embedded applications – and, above all, even easier to teach and learn from. Using MINIX, the authors introduce virtually every core concept needed to construct a working OS: system calls, processes, IPC, scheduling, I/O, deadlocks, memory management, threads, file systems, security, and more. 




·   Newly-released, significantly-improved MINIX 3 operating system on CD-ROM: giving students  hands-on experience in  modifying and rebuilding a contemporary operating system

·   Expanded and reorganized coverage of processes and communication

·   Revised and enhanced coverage of CPU scheduling, deadlocks, file system reliability, and security

·   Includes more than 150 end of chapter problems




Andrew S. Tanenbaum has an S.B. degree from M.I.T. and a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is currently a Professor of Computer Science and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where, for more than 30 years, he has taught operating systems, computer organization, and networking to thousands of students. Professor Tanenbaum is the winner of the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award and the ACM/SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. 


Albert S. Woodhull is Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the School of Natural Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. He also served until recently as computer system administrator for the Department of Biology in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He holds an S.B. degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. the University of Washington. Supported by a Fulbright grant, he has taught at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua. 

About the Author

Andrew S. Tanenbaum has a B.S. Degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he heads the Computer Systems Group. He is also Dean of the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging, an interuniversity graduate school doing research on advanced parallel, distributed, and imaging systems. Nevertheless, he is trying very hard to avoid turning into a bureaucrat.

In the past, he has done research on compilers, operating systems, networking, and local-area distributed systems. His current research focuses primarily on the design of wide-area distributed systems that scale to a billion users. These research projects have led to five books and over 85 referred papers in journals and conference proceedings.

Prof. Tanenbaum has also produced a considerable volume of software. He was the principal architect of the Amsterdam Compiler Kit, a widely-used toolkit for writing portable compilers, as well as of MINIX, a small UNIX clone intended for use in student programming labs. Together with his Ph.D. students and programmers, he helped design the Amoeba distributed operating system, a high-performance microkernel-based distributed operating system. The MINIX and Amoeba systems are now available for free via the Internet..

Prof. Tanenbaum is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the 1994 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, and winner of the 1997 ACM/SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education. He is also listed in Who’s Who in the World.


Albert S. Woodhull was a faculty member in the School of Natural Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA for many years. He has taught at the University of Massachusetts and Smith College in the US, and he has been a visiting faculty member on multiple occasions at universities in Nicaragua, supported on two of these visits by Fulbright grants. He also served as a computer and network system administrator at the University of Massachusetts. He holds an B.S. degree from M.I.T. and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. His home page on the web is at


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 6 April 2009
Fast delivery, quality as described.
Book contests are really good, it has the advantage of having the full source code of a whole Operating System (MINIX) in it.
Although if I had to buy this book again, I'd buy the other version, the title is almost the same, same author, just dark blue cover. The difference is that the blue one has no source code in it, but it's more detailed at parts, for example paging, etc. So if you need it for Operating Systems I course, any of them will do, but if you'll also do Operating Systems II - where more detailed knowledge is required - then I'd go for the blue cover one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but... 22 Jun 2007
... a picture really is worth a 1000 words (or some 29,000 lines of source code in this case.) The author spends pages and pages explaining a topic - having you constantly jump from page to page in the source code in doing so - when a simple diagram would have sufficed time and time again.

The content of the book is good with few mistakes and typos. However, some 400 pages of the book are taken up with the source code listing which is also available online and on the accompanying CD-ROM. It would have been better to have left out the source from the book and saved those 400 pages.

My final gripe with this book is that it ONLY provides implementation details for the way Minix 3 works. The title of the book should be "Operating Systems The Design & Implementation of Minix 3" really. The author hints at alternative ways of doing things but only ever describes the Minix implementation, often with no explanation of the rationale behind choosing to do things this way. These hints, however, are usually enough to Google on and find the information you need.

All in all, its an adequate book (hence 3 stars) if you want to learn how Unix type operating systems are written, but could be a lot better and a lot more concise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Operating system basics - covers it all 11 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Purchased for use in an Operating Systems uni module. Was perfect for the course content and has alot more.
If studying Operating systems then your course is probably already based on this book, if not it is based on Minix. The OS that the creator of Linux studied on during his Uni days.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 25 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great quality , fast delivery
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
52 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to operating systems 30 Mar 2006
By W. Faught - Published on
This book is written by Tanenbaum, the main guy behind Minix, which is what Linux was based on. It provides good overviews for basic OS concepts like memory management, file systems, processes, etc. The concepts in this book book are intimately tied to examples of the Minix OS, which is a good thing.

To those who would rather see examples from Linux: Minix is a compact and modular OS, which is why it's a good choice for examples. The book contains the entire source code at the back for easy reference. Yes, the OS is that small. That's a good thing when you're trying to figure out how virtual memory works or what have you. You'd be lost trying to learn this stuff from Linux. Above everything else, the code is ***well-commented*** compared to Linux, a major plus. You won't find any "/* major hack */" comments, either. ;) Minix leaves out all the crap that Microsoft and Linux throw into the kernel that make it unstable in the first place. Learn about the bells and whistles later when you can do the basics.

I encountered two instances where the book wasn't updated to reflect changes in the OS, which were annoying to deal with. Also, I found a spelling or punctuation error about every ten pages, which was annoying for such a pricey book. Overall, however, the book is extremely usable and understandable. It's easy to pick up concepts from this text.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly brilliant work of a Master piece 6 Dec 2009
By Saurav Bhasin - Published on
Many people who are commenting on the book by Tanenbaum are people who are writing after the year 2000. Operating system developed has had a long history since 1970 when Unix was developed.

After that there was no significant movement on the Unix like systems (of course Microsoft and Apple were working) on their own OS but there were not Unix like.

Tanenbaum wrote a Unix like System in 1987 which shares the File management, Process Management, Device Management and Memory management with Unix. He called it as MINIX OS.

After that rest is History, Linus Torvalds wrote the Linux kernel. Even though Linux today has advanced a lot due to the Networking code, ACPI, SMB, Device drivers, please should examine Linux 0.01 written first by Linus.

That code also consisted of only 20,000 lines and was very similar to MINIX(Not in design but in Code size).

So do not blame the Author if he is not writing an advanced OS for you to study. Those have millions of lines of code.

What MINIX shows us is a reliable and stable OS that is good study material for better OS's.

If you want to understand nuts and bolts of OS study this book and write the code. You will be a master of Operating system.

Atleast it is not those books who dig into a LOT OF THEORY like Different types of OS and explaining the theoritical aspects but do nothing of implementation.

This book does the implementation. ***** Stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Descriptive of MINIX structure 5 Jan 2013
By Chapters - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book does a very good job at walking the reader through the various functions of MINIX, but it does not go into the specifics very well. In short, it is a good technical book, but it is not one I recommend for an introduction to Operating Systems, since it glazes over many things. So while I had a good grasp of how MINIX operates, I had little knowledge on how to add more to the OS, or how to write my own OS.

While MINIX was a good choice for the text, as MINIX is an operating system written to be understood, I just think the authors could gone much more in detail. A strong grasp of C is also required, so make sure you know your stuff before reading this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book 14 Dec 2012
By pk - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book with fantastic theory and code which shows practice. One of the really rare books where both go hand in hand. Even if you are never going to implement an OS, this is a must buy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A description of MINIX 28 Feb 2012
By Lucas - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a description of MINIX, this book is nothing but good. As an operating systems introductions, one can find it a lot tiresome and confusing. Don't recommend buying it, specially as an introductory book.
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