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Operating System Concepts, Seventh Edition 7th Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471694663
ISBN-10: 0471694665
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Another defining moment in the evolution of operating systems

Small footprint operating systems, such as those driving the handheld devices that the baby dinosaurs are using on the cover, are just one of the cutting-edge applications you’ll find in Silberschatz, Galvin, and Gagne’s Operating System Concepts, Seventh Edition. 

By staying current, remaining relevant, and adapting to emerging course needs, this market-leading text has continued to define the operating systems course. This Seventh Edition not only presents the latest and most relevant systems, it also digs deeper to uncover those fundamental concepts that have remained constant throughout the evolution of today’s operation systems. With this strong conceptual foundation in place, students can more easily understand the details related to specific systems.

New Adaptations

  • Increased coverage of user perspective in Chapter 1.
  • Increased coverage of OS design throughout.
  • A new chapter on real-time and embedded systems (Chapter 19).
  • A new chapter on multimedia (Chapter 20).
  • Additional coverage of security and protection.
  • Additional coverage of distributed programming.
  • New exercises at the end of each chapter.
  • New programming exercises and projects at the end of each chapter.
  • New student-focused pedagogy and a new two-color design to enhance the learning process.

About the Author

Abraham Silberschatz is a Professor of Computer Science at Yale university. Prior to joining Yale, he was the Vice President of t5he Information Sciences Research Center at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey. Prior5 to that, he held a chaired professorship in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interest include operating systems, database systems, real-time systems storage systems, network management, and distributed systems.

In addition to his academic and industrial positions, Professor Silberschatz served as a member of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel on President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, as an advisor for the National Science Foundation, and as a consultant for several private industry companies.

Professor Silberschatz is an ACM Fellow and an IEEE Fellow. He received the 2002 IEEE Taylor L. Booth Education Award the 1998 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the 1997 ACM SIGMOD Contribution Award, and the IEEE Computer Society Outstanding Paper award for the article "Capability Manager", which appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. His writings have appeared in numerous ACM and IEEE publications and other professional conferences and journals. He is a coauthor of the textbook Database System Concepts.

Greg Gagne is chair of the Division of Computer Science and Mathematics at Westminster College in Salt Lake City where he has been teaching since 1990. In addition to teaching operating systems, he also teaches computer networks, distributed systems, object-oriented programming, and data structures. He also provides workshops to computer science educators and industry professionals. Professor Gagne's current research interests include next-generation operating systems and distributed computing.

Peter Baer Galvin is the chief technologist for Corporate Technologies (www.cptech.com). Before that, Peter was the systems manager for Brown University's Computer Science Department. He is also contributing editor for SysAdmin magazine. Mr. Galvin has written articles for Byte and other magazines, and previously wrote the security column and systems administration column for ITWORLD. As a consultant and trainer, Peter has given talks and taught tutorials on security and system administration worldwide.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 921 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 7th edition (December 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471694665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471694663
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Definetely targeted towards the sophomore/Junior level students. This book goes into generic concepts used by most operating systems - i.e., what happens when a program is loaded into memory? How do processes make system calls to the kernel, how is deadlock among several programs competing for the same resources resolved, what is the characteristics of real-time operating systems etc.

I have adopted this book for teaching the operating systems course. I find that students, in general, appreciate this book as it is very readable. I believe a good text book should have the following qualities: It should be light enough to read it in bed, the fonts should be large enough to not give a headache after an hour of reading, should be written in clear lucid style with plenty of figures and should have decent binding. I believe this book qualifies in all those aspects.

However, I do have one unpleasant comment. I hate it when authors keep coming out with new editions with just small delta changes - forcing students to buy high priced editions because some professors could care less about the cost of books to students (after all, we profs get them for free). The 7th edition is not a whole lot different than the 6th edition (about 2 or 3 new chapters included in the 7th edition). Considering that you can buy a used 6th edition for half the price of a new 7th edition, I recommended my students to go with the 6th edition instead and chose to just teach them some of the additional materials from the 7th edition.

What I would have liked to see in this book - greater detail (perhaps with some psuedocode) on the workings of the kernel and how programs can take advantage of it (I guess I am thinking along the lines of Steven's UNIX programming book).
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Format: Hardcover
From the 2nd paragraph of the preface, the authors:

"...wrote this book as a text for an introductory course in operating systems at the junior or senior undergraduate level or at the first-year graduate level.... It provides a clear description of the concepts that underlie operating systems. As prerequisites, we assume that the reader is familiar with basic data structures, computer organization, and a high-level language, such as C."

I'd say that's an excellent synopsis of this book. It's not a book on how to use or how to program operating systems. It's a book on the CONCEPTS underlying them. It's not as difficult to get through, but it's somewhat like Patterson's & Hennessy's "Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface" <ASIN:1558606041>. Where that book looks at how computers work from the point of view of electrons whizzing by on the silicon, this book looks at how they work from the point of view of the operating system. Personally, I'd put the target educational level at no lower than the senior undergraduate level just because it'd probably be very difficult for a junior to have the necessary prerequisites. But, regardless, it's a well-written book that covers the topic decently. I rate it at 4 stars out of 5.

As an aside, Florida State University (FSU) uses this book in their COP 4610 course: "Operating Systems & Concurrent Programming."
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Format: Hardcover
All students of computer science need a fairly clear idea about what operating systems are and what should be expected from them. As a computer scientist you cannot just sneer at Microsoft Windows and say that it is not a well-designed OS without knowing what actually DOES constitute a well-designed OS. That is what this book is about- What constitutes a well-designed and complete operating system and all of the choices and design decisions that must be made along the way. Because this book is about operating system design concepts, you will find some pseudocode but not source code. If you want source code, the authors have an alternative edition, "Operating Systems Concepts with Java", published in 2003, where they offer actual design examples in the Java programming language. Although this is one of the best books published on operating system design, the high level of the discussion may cause the computer science student to find himself/herself asking exactly what is it to design an operating system? Thus a good companion to this book is an older text entitled "Design of the UNIX Operating System" by Bach. That book shows the implementation of the concepts of this book in the design of the UNIX operating system and also offers actual code. The two texts are best read together.
The first part of this book, the overview, may be especially confusing to a novice to the subject. The clarity of the book greatly improves in part two, process management. There all aspects of process management including threads, deadlock avoidance, and synchronization are described as well as how to accomplish them. This section of the book, as well as sections three and four on memory and storage management, are where "Design of the UNIX Operating System" will be most helpful in illustrating concepts.
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Format: Hardcover
While "Operating Systems" is not exactly the sexiest subject in Computer Science, it ought to be possible to make it interesting, for example by taking a historical or problem solving approach.

Sadly, Silverschatz does none of this; in fact, often his book reads more like a tome on tax-law. Take this sentence, for example:

"If no process is executing in its critical section and some processes wish to enter their critical sections, then only those processes that are not executing in their remainder sections can participate in the decision on which will enter its critical section next, and this selection cannot be postponed indefinitely." (p.194, 7th ed.)

Silberschatz also has a tendency to make sweeping statements without giving examples, like what I am doing here. Admittedly, online chapters for different operating systems are available, but I think more examples within the main text itself would have helped to explain the concepts better.

The book also contains errors. For example it says that, "For instance, suppose that the queue usually has just one outstanding request. Then, all scheduling algorithms behave the same, because they have only one choice for where to move the disk head: They all behave like FCFS scheduling." (p.461, 7th ed.) While this is true for shortest-seek-time-first, LOOK and C-LOOK algorithms, it is wrong for SCAN and C-SCAN. They would continue moving the HD head from cylinder 0 to cylinder max, with worse performance than SSTF.

Since I do not have wide experience with other O/S books, I will not give a categorically "don't buy it!" recommendation. After all, Silberschatz is quite comprehensive and could be okay as a reference book. However, if you require a book to teach you O/S concepts, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere. Perhaps try a book by Tanenbaum? His prose is more readable.
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