The Design of the UNIX Operating System (Prentice-Hall by Maurice J. Bach

By Maurice J. Bach

Vintage description of the inner algorithms and the constructions that shape the root of the UNIX working method and their dating to programmer interface. The top promoting UNIX internals ebook out there.

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Processes go to sleep because they are awaiting the occurrence of some event, such as waiting for I/O completion from a peripheral device, waiting for a process to exit, waiting for system resources to become available, and so on. " Many processes can simultaneously sleep on an event; when an event occurs, all processes sleeping on the event wake up because the event condition is no longer true. When a process wakes up, it follows the state transition from the "sleep" state to the "ready-to-run" state, where it is eligible for later scheduling; it does not execute immediately.

The boot block occupies the beginning of a file system, typically the first sector, and may contain the bootstrap code that is read into the machine to boot, or initialize, the operating system. Although only one boot block is needed to boot the system, every file system has a (possibly empty) boot block. • The super block describes the state of a file system — how large it is, how many files it can store, where to find free space on the file system, and other information. • The mode list is a list of Modes that follows the super block in the file system.

The kernel returns a file descriptor for the open and creat system calls, which is an index into the user file descriptor table. When executing read and write system calls, the kernel uses the file descriptor to access the user file descriptor table, follows pointers to the file table and mode table entries, and, from the mode, finds the data in the file. Chapters 4 and 5 describe these data structures in great detail. For now, suffice it to say that use of three tables allows various degrees of sharing access to a file.

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