Course Description

Berkeley's CS 194: What is an Operating System? is an introductory course that aims to explore the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie modern operating systems. In this course, students will dive deep into the inner workings of operating systems, learning about the components that make up an operating system and the functions they serve. Operating systems are the software that runs on computer hardware and manages all the resources of a computer system. They provide an interface for users to interact with the computer and execute their applications. Operating systems also manage the various components of a computer system, including memory, storage, input/output devices, and processors. The course is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of an operating system. The first part of the course introduces the history and evolution of operating systems, from the early days of mainframe computers to the modern era of mobile devices and cloud computing. Students will learn about the different types of operating systems, their architectures, and their characteristics. The course then moves on to cover the core components of an operating system, including process management, memory management, file systems, and device drivers. Students will learn about the functions of each of these components and how they work together to provide the essential services of an operating system. The course will also cover the various algorithms and data structures used by operating systems to manage resources efficiently. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to the underlying concepts and principles of operating systems, such as concurrency, synchronization, and virtualization. Students will also learn about the security issues that operating systems face and the measures taken to protect against them. The course will include both theoretical and practical components. Students will be required to complete assignments and projects that involve designing, implementing, and testing simple operating systems. They will also have the opportunity to work with real-world operating systems and analyze their behavior. Overall, Berkeley's CS 194: What is an Operating System? is an essential course for anyone interested in computer systems and software development. By the end of the course, students will have a deep understanding of how operating systems work and the critical role they play in modern computing.