COSC479-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Special Topic

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


Special Topic

This course is offered as a one-off for 2024.


This course is a study of operating systems, primarily from a practical viewpoint. This follow-up OS course will build on the introductory OS courses via a semester-long implementation project: students, working in teams of two, will build a complete, though not overly sophisticated, operating system, using C, capable of running up to eight concurrently executing programs, each running in their own virtual address space. Additionally, this student OS will implement paging, support concurrency, and provide support for various devices (disks, SSDs, printers, terminals). A stretch goal is for the student created Operating Systems to include either network device support and/or a simple file system.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how at least one, very large, very complicated software artifact is engineered.
  • Demonstrate how operating systems both implement and support concurrency.
  • Compare and contrast the performance implications of various resource sharing algorithms: CPU scheduling, virtual memory/page replacement, disk scheduling, etc.
  • Implement all the key components of a simple, virtual memory capable operating system.
  • Describe what a file system is and how they are implemented.




Subject to approval by Head of Department.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 18:00 Jack Erskine 241
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Course Coordinator

Tim Bell

Lecturer: Mikey Goldweber


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Internal assessment 70% Phases of OS construction: Phase 1: 10% Phase 2: 20% Phase 3: 20% Phase 4: 10% Phase 5: 10%
Written Reflection/Report 10%
Final Exam 20% Final Exam

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,110.00

International fee $5,275.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering .

All COSC479 Occurrences

  • COSC479-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024