Operating System Design: The Xinu Approach, Linksys Version

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September 13, 2011 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
Textbook - 629 Pages - 66 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439881095 - CAT# K13816

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  • Covers topics in the order a designer follows when building a system
  • Presents the implementation details of each primitive, choosing a popular set
  • Includes many exercises as well as code that illustrates the functions provided by each level of the hierarchy
  • Integrates embedded processing into operating systems courses
  • Uses a widely available and inexpensive embedded platform
  • Emphasizes engineering principles
  • Use a real-world operating system, Xinu, to teach general operating systems concepts

Provides software and instructions for building a laboratory on the author’s website - www.xinu.cs.purdue.edu


Operating System Design: The Xinu Approach, Linksys Version provides a comprehensive introduction to Operating System Design, using Xinu, a small, elegant operating system that serves as an example and a pattern for system design. The book focuses the discussion of operating systems on the microkernel operating system facilities used in embedded systems. Rather than introduce a new course to teach the important topics of embedded systems programming, this textbook takes the approach of integrating more embedded processing into existing operating systems courses. Designed for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses, the book prepares students for the increased demand for operating system expertise in industry.


  • Explains how each operating system abstraction can be built and shows how the abstractions can be organized into an elegant, efficient design
  • Considers each level of the system individually, beginning with the raw hardware and ending with a working operating system
  • Covers every part of the system, so a reader will see how an entire system fits together, not merely how one or two parts interact
  • Provides source code for all pieces described in the text, leaving no mystery about any part of the implementation — a reader can obtain a copy of the system to examine, modify, instrument, measure, extend, or transport to another architecture
  • Demonstrates how each piece of an operating system fits into the design, in order to prepare the reader to understand alternative design choices

Beginning with the underlying machine and proceeding step by step through the design and implementation of an actual system, Operating System Design: The Xinu Approach, Linksys Version guides readers through the construction of a traditional process-based operating system using practical, straightforward primitives. It reviews the major system components and imposes a hierarchical design paradigm that organizes the components in an orderly and understandable manner.

All of the code in the book is designed to run on the Linksys router, because it is small, inexpensive, and easily accessible to students. Software and instructions for building a lab that allows students to experiment are available on the author’s website: www.xinu.cs.purdue.edu