An Annotated Bibliography

Operating Systems
Spring 2012

Book Selecting Tips

Here are some tips for winnowing the available books to a handful of candidates:

Once you have the candidate books, you can use your tastes and preferences to pick the final one or two books for the course.

Books with call numbers can be found in the library.


Modern Operating Systems by Andrew Tanenbaum from Prentice Hall, 2008. QA 76.76 O63 T359 2008

Operating Systems, 3rd edition, by Harvey and Paul Deitel and David Choffnes, Prentice Hall, 2004. QA76.76 O63 D46 2004

If Stallings is a machine, the Deitels are a factory.

Operating Systems: A Modern Perspective, 2nd edition, by Gary Nutt from Addison Wesley, 2002. QA76.76.O63 N89 2002

The first edition of this book was good; later editions get progressively less good.

Operating Systems and Middleware by Max Hailperin from Thompson, 2007.

About half the chapters are about processes and concurrency, but otherwise a good intermediate-level textbook. Both editions are available on-line.

Operating System Concepts, 8th edition, by Abraham Silberschatz, Greg Gagne, and Peter Galvin from Wiley, 2009. QA76.76.O63 S5583 2009

A good, detailed textbook with programming examples in Java.

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, 3rd edition, by Andrew Tanenbaum and Albert Woodhull from Prentice Hall, 2006. QA76.76.O63 T36 1997 (first edition)

This is the Minix book, famous for having inspired Linus Tovalds to develop the Linux operating system.

Operating Systems Fundamentals by D. Irtegov, Charles River Media, 2003.

A terrible book, incomplete and wrong, although it does have a good discussion of dynamic loading. Avoid.

Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, 6th edition, by William Stallings, Prentice Hall, 2009. QA76.76.O63 S733 2009

Stallings is a machine; he cranks out competent, if not necessarily inspiring, books.

An Operating Systems Vade Mecum, 2nd edition, by Raphael Finkel, Prentice-Hall, 1988.

Out of date in a lot of respects, but a good, basic introduction to operating systems. Once you make it through this book, you’ll be prepared to move on to more up-do-date, advanced books. Available on-line

Principles of Operating Systems by Brian Stuart, Thompson, 2009.

Keeps a close relation between theory and practice in real operating systems, and earns extra points for using the Inferno operating system.

Other Material

Computer Organization & Design, 2nd edition, by David Patterson and John Hennessy, Morgan Kaufmann, 1998. QA76.9.C643 P37 2009 (fourth edition)

This is way more book than is needed for a subsidiary, but important, topic in this class, but it’s a good reference to have on hand.

The Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD UNIX Operating System by Marshall McKusick, Keith Bostic, Michael Karels, and John Quarterman, Addison Wesley, 1996.

An excellent companion to a more general-purpose operating-systems textbook. A more recent version of this book covers FreeBSD, one of the follow-on systems to BSD UNIX.

Developing your own 32-bit operating system by Richard Burgess, SAMS Publishing, 1995.

What an operating-systems course should be: a multitasking, message-based, real-time operating system developed step-by-step in assembler.

Operating System Design by Douglas Comer, CRC Press, 2012.

Another book creating an operating system, this time it’s Xinu.

Systems Programming in Parallel Logic Languages by Ian Foster, Prentice Hall, 1990

Using functional programming to implement an operating system? Using Prolog?? That’s just crazy talk.

This page last modified on 2012 March 18.

    Commons License