OSDI '21 Call for Papers

Sponsored by USENIX in cooperation with ACM SIGOPS.

The 15th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '21) will take place as a virtual event on July 14–16, 2021.

Important Dates

  • Abstract registrations due: Thursday, December 3, 2020, 3:00 pm PST
  • Complete paper submissions due: Thursday, December 10, 2020, 3:00pm PST

Author Response Period

  • Reviews available: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
  • Author responses due: Friday, March 5, 2021
  • Notification to authors: Tuesday, March 16, 2021
  • Final paper files due: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Symposium Organizers

Program Co-Chairs

Angela Demke Brown, University of Toronto
Jay Lorch, Microsoft Research

Program Committee

Atul Adya, Google
Deniz Altinbüken, Google
Nadav Amit, VMware Research
Thomas Anderson, University of Washington
Sebastian Angel, University of Pennsylvania
Behnaz Arzani, Microsoft Research
Mahesh Balakrishnan, Facebook
Sujata Banerjee, VMware Research
Sorav Bansal, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Andrew Baumann, Microsoft Research
Adam Belay, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Theophilus A. Benson, Brown University
Pramod Bhatotia, Technische Universität Munich
James Bornholt, The University of Texas at Austin
Edouard Bugnion, EPFL
George Candea, EPFL
Kang Chen, Tsinghua University
Rong Chen, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Mosharaf Chowdhury, University of Michigan
Moshe Gabel, University of Toronto
Ada Gavrilovska, Georgia Institute of Technology
Manya Ghobadi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Garth A. Gibson, Vector Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Toronto
Ashvin Goel, University of Toronto
Joseph Gonzalez, University of California, Berkeley
Ronghui Gu, Columbia University
Haryadi Gunawi, University of Chicago
Chuanxiong Guo, ByteDance
Chris Hawblitzel, Microsoft Research
Jon Howell, VMware Research
Yu Hua, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Ryan Huang, Johns Hopkins University
Michael Isard, Google Research
Joe Izraelevitz, University of Colorado, Boulder
Manos Kapritsos, University of Michigan
Baris Kasikci, University of Michigan
Sam King, University of California, Davis
Orran Krieger, Boston University
Arvind Krishnamurthy, University of Washington
Amit Levy, Princeton University
Jialin Li, National University of Singapore
Wyatt Lloyd, Princeton University
Shan Lu, University of Chicago
Harsha V. Madhyastha, University of Michigan
Petros Maniatis, Google
Z. Morley Mao, University of Michigan
Changwoo Min, Virginia Tech
Radhika Mittal, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Dushyanth Narayanan, Microsoft Research
Ravi Netravali, University of California, Los Angeles
Kay Ousterhout, Lightstep
Aurojit Panda, New York University
Gennady Pekhimenko, University of Toronto and Vector Institute
Amar Phanishayee, Microsoft Research
Peter Pietzuch, Imperial College London
Don Porter, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Oriana Riva, Microsoft Research
Malte Schwarzkopf, Brown University
Vyas Sekar, Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Stumm, University of Toronto
Lalith Suresh, VMware Research
Doug Terry, Amazon
Alexey Tumanov, Georgia Institute of Technology
Amin Vahdat, Google
Shivaram Venkataraman, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Rashmi Vinayak, Carnegie Mellon University
Marko Vukolić, IBM Research—Zurich
Andrew Warfield, Amazon
Gala Yadgar, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology
Junfeng Yang, Columbia University
Ding Yuan, University of Toronto
Irene Zhang, Microsoft Research
Yiying Zhang, University of California, San Diego
Wenting Zheng, University of California, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University
Yuanyuan Zhou, University of California, San Diego

Preview Session Co-Chairs

Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, University of California, Irvine, and VMware Research
Deniz Altinbüken, Google
Dilma Da Silva, Texas A&M University
Aurojit Panda, New York University

Mentoring Co-Chairs

Baris Kasikci, University of Michigan
Amy Ousterhout, University of California, Berkeley
Malte Schwarzkopf, Brown University

Networking Session Co-Chairs

Reto Achermann, University of British Columbia
Zsolt István, IT University of Copenhagen
Adriana Szekeres, VMware Research
Vasily Tarasov, IBM Research - Almaden

Steering Committee

Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Jason Flinn, Facebook
Casey Henderson, USENIX Association
Jon Howell, VMware Research
Kimberly Keeton
Hank Levy, University of Washington
Shan Lu, University of Chicago
James Mickens, Harvard University
Brian Noble, University of Michigan
Timothy Roscoe, ETH Zurich
Margo Seltzer, University of British Columbia
Geoff Voelker, University of California, San Diego


The 15th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation seeks to present innovative, exciting research in computer systems. OSDI brings together professionals from academic and industrial backgrounds in a premier forum for discussing the design, implementation, and implications of systems software. The OSDI Symposium emphasizes innovative research as well as quantified or insightful experiences in systems design and implementation.

OSDI takes a broad view of the systems area and solicits contributions from many fields of systems practice, including, but not limited to, operating systems, file and storage systems, distributed systems, cloud computing, mobile systems, secure and reliable systems, systems aspects of big data, embedded systems, virtualization, networking as it relates to operating systems, and management and troubleshooting of complex systems. We also welcome work that explores the interface to related areas such as computer architecture, networking, programming languages, analytics, and databases. We particularly encourage contributions containing highly original ideas, new approaches, and/or groundbreaking results.

Submitting a Paper

Submissions will be judged on novelty, significance, interest, clarity, relevance, and correctness. All accepted papers will be shepherded through an editorial review process by a member of the program committee.

A good paper will:

  • Motivate a significant problem
  • Propose an interesting, compelling solution
  • Demonstrate the practicality and benefits of the solution
  • Draw appropriate conclusions
  • Clearly describe the paper's contributions
  • Clearly articulate the advances beyond previous work

All papers will be available online to registered attendees before the conference. If your accepted paper should not be published prior to the event, please notify production@usenix.org. The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on the first day of the conference, July 14, 2021.

Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered. All submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication on the USENIX OSDI ’21 website; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.

Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud. USENIX, like other scientific and technical conferences and journals, prohibits these practices and may, on the recommendation of a program chair, take action against authors who have committed them. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details.

For instance, FAST ’21 and NSDI ’21 have author-notification dates after the OSDI ’21 abstract-registration deadline. If you submit a paper to either of those venues, you may not also submit it to OSDI ’21.

Prior or concurrent workshop publication does not preclude publishing a related paper in OSDI. Authors should email the program co-chairs, osdi21chairs@usenix.org, a copy of the related workshop paper and a short explanation of the new material in the conference paper beyond that published in the workshop version. The co-chairs may then share that paper with the workshop’s organizers and discuss it with them.

Prior or concurrent publication in non-peer-reviewed contexts, like arXiv.org, technical reports, talks, and social media posts, is permitted. However, your OSDI submission must use an anonymized name for your project or system that differs from any used in such contexts.

USENIX discourages program co-chairs from submitting papers to the conferences they organize, although they are allowed to do so. The OSDI '21 program co-chairs have agreed not to submit their work to OSDI '21.

Questions? Contact your program co-chairs, osdi21chairs@usenix.org, or the USENIX office, submissionspolicy@usenix.org.

By submitting a paper, you agree that at least one of the authors will attend the conference to present it. If the conference registration fee will pose a hardship for the presenter of the accepted paper, please contact conference@usenix.org.

If your paper is accepted and you need an invitation letter to apply for a visa to attend the conference, please contact conference@usenix.org as soon as possible. (Visa applications can take at least 30 working days to process.) Please identify yourself as a presenter and include your mailing address in your email.

Deadline and Submission Instructions

Authors are required to register abstracts by 3:00 p.m. PST on December 3, 2020, and to submit full papers by 3:00 p.m. PST on December 10, 2020. These are hard deadlines, and no extensions will be given. Submitted papers must be no longer than 12 single-spaced 8.5” x 11” pages, including figures and tables, plus as many pages as needed for references, using 10-point type on 12-point (single-spaced) leading, two-column format, Times Roman or a similar font, within a text block 7” wide x 9” deep. Submissions may include as many additional pages as needed for references but not for appendices. Accepted papers will be allowed 14 pages in the proceedings, plus references. Papers not meeting these criteria will be rejected without review, and no deadline extensions will be granted for reformatting. Pages should be numbered, and figures and tables should be legible in black and white, without requiring magnification. Papers so short as to be considered “extended abstracts” will not receive full consideration.

Supplementary Material

Authors may upload supplementary material in files separate from their submissions. PC members are not required to read supplementary material when reviewing the paper, so each paper should stand alone without it. Authors may use this for content that may be of interest to some readers but is peripheral to the main technical contributions of the paper. Only two types of supplementary material are permitted: source code described in the paper and formal proofs sketched in the paper. Attaching supplementary material is optional; if your paper says that you have source code or formal proofs, you need not attach them to convince the PC of their existence.

Identity Blinding

The paper review process is double-blind. Authors must make a good faith effort to anonymize their submissions, and they should not identify themselves or their institutions either explicitly or by implication (e.g., through the references or acknowledgments). Submissions violating the detailed formatting and anonymization rules will not be considered for review. If you are uncertain about how to anonymize your submission, please contact the program co-chairs, osdi21chairs@usenix.org, well in advance of the submission deadline.

Abstract Registration

Registering abstracts a week before paper submission is an essential part of the paper-reviewing process, as PC members use this time to identify which papers they are qualified to review. Abstract registrations that do not provide sufficient information to understand the topic and contribution (e.g., empty abstracts, placeholder abstracts, or trivial abstracts) will be rejected, thereby precluding paper submission.


When registering your abstract, you must provide information about conflicts with PC members. A PC member is a conflict if any of the following three circumstances applies:

Institution: You are currently employed at the same institution, have been previously employed at the same institution within the past two years (not counting concluded internships), or are going to begin employment at the same institution during the review period.

Advisor: You have a past or present association as thesis advisor or advisee.

Collaboration: You have a collaboration on a project, publication, grant proposal, program co-chairship, or editorship within the past two years (December 2018 through March 2021).

You must not improperly identify a PC member as a conflict if none of these three circumstances applies, even if for some other reason you want to avoid them reviewing your paper. For instance, the following are not sufficient grounds to specify a conflict with a PC member: they have reviewed the work before, they are employed by your competitor, they are your personal friend, they were your post-doc advisor or advisee, or they had the same advisor as you.

The chairs will review paper conflicts to ensure the integrity of the reviewing process, adding or removing conflicts if necessary. The chairs may reject abstracts or papers on the basis of egregious missing or extraneous conflicts. If you have any questions about conflicts, please contact the program co-chairs.

Authors are also encouraged to contact the program co-chairs, osdi21chairs@usenix.org, if needed to relate their OSDI submissions to relevant submissions of their own that are simultaneously under review or awaiting publication at other venues. The program co-chairs will use this information at their discretion to preserve the anonymity of the review process without jeopardizing the outcome of the current OSDI submission.

Papers must be in PDF format and must be submitted via the submission form. For more details on the submission process, and for templates to use with LaTeX, Word, etc., authors should consult the detailed submission requirements.

Author Response Period

OSDI will provide an opportunity for authors to respond to reviews prior to final consideration of the papers at the program committee meeting. Authors must limit their responses to (a) correcting factual errors in the reviews or (b) directly addressing questions posed by reviewers. Responses should be limited to clarifying the submitted work. In particular, responses must not include new experiments or data, describe additional work completed since submission, or promise additional work to follow.

Submission of a response is optional. There is no explicit limit to the response, but authors are strongly encouraged to keep it under 500 words; reviewers are neither required nor expected to read excessively long responses. Reviews will be available for response on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Authors may submit a response to those reviews until Friday, March 5, 2021.