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Operating system concepts. 4th ed. (English) Zbl 0803.68019
Bonn: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. xvi, 780 p. US$ 38.95 /hc (1994).
Courses about operating systems has changed in the last ten years. As a teacher in this area I remember my lessons given in 1984. In that time my concern about operating systems was more theoretical and more general than it is today. I discussed very profound and very mighty algorithms, but there was no operating system but some experimental versions with implementations of that algorithms. Today I concentrate much more on concepts of existing operating systems and try to show how they do work in the real world and how they are used.
The four editions of the book “Operating System Concepts” in some kind are a mirror of my development in teaching such concepts. The first edition appeared in 1983 (Addison-Wesley). Authors were the first author and J. Peterson [for a review of the alternate edition (1988; Zbl 0758.68023)]. Because of its very clear and very profound description of operating system concepts the book got famous among teachers and students. I think that the so-called “Peterson/Silberschatz” has become the basis of a lot of operating system courses.
With this fourth edition one of the authors changed. Together with the first author, who is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin and a specialist in concurrent programming, coauthor now is P. Galvin from the Department of Computer Science at Brown University. He is a professional with practical experience in operating system development.
Much more than the first edition does, the book discusses concepts of real (and modern) operating systems like MS-DOS, Windows, Windows-NT, UNIX and Mach. There are for example descriptions of the thread concept based on the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems (an UNIX derivate) as well as discussions of Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) and of the Network File System (NFS) based on the ISO/OSI reference model.
The book has 780 pages and is divided in six parts with 21 chapters all together. The six parts are entitled Overview, Process Management, Storage Management, Protection and Security, Distributed Systems and Case Studies. The book is well edited and has a fine layout. I could not detect any misprints or errors. Surely, this book will continue the way the first three editions has gone and be a Standard in describing operating system concepts.
Reviewer: W.Brecht (Berlin)

68N25 Theory of operating systems
68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science
68M20 Performance evaluation, queueing, and scheduling in the context of computer systems