Advanced Operating Systems (and System Security) (9 CFU)
Academic Year 2020-2021
Laurea Magistrale in Computer Engineering
University of Rome Tor Vergata

Lecturer: Francesco Quaglia


NEW

1/3/2021 - The results of the examination held on 22/2/2021 are available at this link

19/2/2021 - The schedule of the teleconferences for the examination to be held on 22/2/2021 is available at this link

29/1/2021 - The results of the examination held on 22/1/2021 are available at this link

20/1/2021 - The schedule of the teleconferences for the examination to be held on 22/1/2021 is available at this link

4/1/2021 - Videos of the lectures can be accessed by relying on the student-managed YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsJtkSnxGtPtyClfHlERKXHRgP0lxRv5J

21/12/2020 - The project specification for the academic year 2020/2021 has been posted at this link.

13/12/2020 - A suggested homework dealing with the implementation of a device file allowing to control processes in Linux has been posted at this link.

19/11/2020 - Winter examinations are scheduled at 22/1/2021 and 22/2/2021. Because of the COVID-19 emergency, these examinations will be held remotely through a teleconference connection, and through the usage of question/answer Web forms.

16/11/2020 - A suggested homework deadling with the run-time discovery of the positioning of kernel level data structures in Linux in a "harder scenario" (less initial knowledge) has been posted at this link.

27/10/2020 - The next two lectures of Advanced Operating Systems (and System Security) will not take place because of problems the instructor head today. The course should restart on 2/11/2020.

26/10/2019 - A homework suggestion deadling with the run-time discovery of the positioning of kernel level data structures in Linux has been posted at this link.

16/10/2020 - A homework suggestion deadling with an alternative TLS implementation has been posted at this link.

9/10/2020 - A homework suggestion deadling with the implementaiton of an RCU list has been posted at this link.

15/9/2020 - The Teams virtual room of the course has code kc1gfe5

15/9/2020 - This site has been made up and running.


Lecture schedule (starting on 21/9/2020)

Monday 9:30-11:15 Virtual Room via Teams
Wednesday 11:30-13:15 Virtual Room via Teams
Friday 11:30-13:15 Virtual Room via Teams

Course objectives and examination rules

The 'Advanced Operating Systems and System Security' course aims at presenting advanced design/implementation methods and techniques for modern operating systems. It will also provide insights on actual hardware operations in modern processors (including implicit and explicit parallelism) and how these impact software design approaches.

The topics dealt with by the course are bound to case studies oriented to Linux systems and x86 compliant processors. A strong focus on system-level security aspects will be made, which will include the analysis of the correlation between hardware and software as well as advanced methods and techniques for system security. The course requires basic knowledge on the structure and functionalities of operating systems, and knowledge on C/ASM programming.

NOTE: why Linux? - why x86?

The lecture flow will be based on presenting concepts in combination with software/running examples. Both the slides and the software examples will be made available while delivering the course, clearly in advance to discussing them at any lecture. The slides as well as the software examples can be accessed and downloaded from links posted in a bottom section of this Web page.

The examination consists of a written test (where a set of questions will be proposed) and additionally requires the development of software sub-systems (a project) to be embedded within the Linux kernel, whose specification for the academic year 2020/2021 will be posted during the course delivery. Projects are individual and each student is supposed to finalize both parts of the examination within the same accademic year. The delivery of the software project does not need to coincide with the scheduled examination dates. Rather, students can deliver their projects at any student reception (see this link).

As for the evaluation, the first part (questions and answers) accounts for 18 points, while the project accounts for 12 points. In any case both parts of the examination have thresholds for their acceptance. The thresholds are the following ones: 11 points for the first part and 7 for the project. In the event of an exceptionally well done project and/or exceptionally well replied questions, a student who cumulates 30 points can be awarded with 'laude'.


References

Useful links (permanently on going)

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Even though the above references and links are provided, I must alert students that no unique hand-book can fully cover the presented topics (and/or the way of presenting them). Hope this will be an added value to the course, rather than a limitation. Please come to any available student reception as soon as any doubt, or the need for whathever clarification, arises.


List of planned topics (2020-2021) - interleaved schedule will drive the presentation


Slides and software

Topic Slides Sofware Examples Last Update
Hardware insights download link download link 25/9/2020
Kernel programming basics download link download link 11/10/2020
Kernel level memory management download link download link 25/10/2020
Cross ring data move download link download link 10/11/2020
Linux modules download link download link 12/11/2020
Kernel level task management download link download link 19/11/2020
Trap/interrupt architecture download link download link 1/12/2020
Virtual file system download link download link 16/12/2020
Software security download link download link 17/12/2020

Examples of previous examinations