The Hitchhiker's Guide to Operating Systems


Yanyan Jiang, Nanjing University


This paper presents a principled approach to operating system teaching that complements the existing practices. Our methodology takes state transition systems as first-class citizens in operating systems teaching and demonstrates how to effectively convey non-trivial research systems to junior OS learners within this framework. This paper also presents the design and implementation of a minimal operating system model with nine system calls covering process-based isolation, thread-based concurrency, and crash consistency, with a model checker and interactive state space explorer for exhaustively examining all possible system behaviors.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

This content is available to:

@inproceedings {288725,
author = {Yanyan Jiang},
title = {The Hitchhiker{\textquoteright}s Guide to Operating Systems},
booktitle = {2023 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-35-9},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {929--943},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul