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Comp.os.research: Frequently answered questions [1/3: l/m 13 Aug 1996]
Section - [5.2] Graduate-level texts

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From: Operating systems teaching

This section is still under construction.

- `Distributed Systems', second edition, by Sape Mullender,
  Addison-Wesley, 1994, ISBN 0-201-62427-3.  A review is forthcoming.

- `Distributed Operating Systems -- the Logical Design', Andrzej
  Goscinski, Addison-Wesley, 1991, ISBN 0-201-41704-9.  A thorough
  desk reference, but reads a little too much like an encyclopedia for
  use as a textbook.

- `Modern Operating Systems,' Andrew Tanenbaum <ast@cs.vu.nl>,
  1992, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-588187-0.  The section of this book
  which covers distributed systems is suitable for use at introductory
  graduate level.  See above for further details.

- `Concurrent Systems', Jean Bacon, 1992, Addison-Wesley, ISBN
  0-201-41677-8.  This covers much the same material as `Modern
  Operating Systems', but goes into rather more detail on databases
  and languages.  The book is divided into four parts, and comes with
  a separate instructor's manual (ISBN 0-201-62406-0).  The first
  covers basic material, such as OS functions, and system and language
  support for concurrent processes.  Part 2 deals with simple
  concurrent actions, covering topics such as shared-memory IPC,
  message passing, persistent data, crashes, and distributed data.
  The third part of the book covers transactions, concurrency control,
  and failure recovery.  The final section presents a set of case
  studies, with Unix, Mach and Chorus being covered, along with some
  of the work done at Cambridge over the past decade.  An interesting
  emphasis is placed on language-level support for concurrency
  throughout the book, and the focus on database issues is also a good
  thing.

  I haven't read the book in as much detail as I would like, but it
  seems to be well put together.  The cramming of so many topics under
  one cover means that there is probably too much material for a
  single undergraduate course, and the book perforce does not go into
  as much detail as I would like on some topics (a problem I also find
  with Tanenbaum's book).  Well worth a look, however.

- `Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design', second edition, George
  Coulouris <George.Coulouris@dcs.qmw.ac.uk>, Jean Dollimore, and
  Tim Kindberg, Addison-Wesley 1994, ISBN 0-201-62433-8.  This text
  treats a wide variety of issues at a level suitable for advanced
  undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.  Basic topics covered
  include IPC, networking and RPC, upon which notions of distributed
  operation and provision of services are built.  Coverage of
  distributed synchronisation leads on to a treatment of replication,
  simple transactions and concurrency control.  The final chapters
  include material on distributed transactions, fault tolerance,
  security, and distributed shared memory.

  Illustrative examples taken from modern `real world' systems such as
  Sun RPC, the Andrew File System, and PGP are provided throughout the
  book, and case studies of the Amoeba, Mach, Chorus, and Clouds
  systems appear towards the end.  Exercises are presented at the end
  of each chapter.  The prose is clear, and the layout pleasant.  This
  is, by a narrow margin, the best distributed systems textbook I have
  come across.

- `Advanced Concepts in Operating Systems -- Distributed,
  Multiprocessor, and Database Operating Systems', Mukesh Singhal,
  Niranjan G. Shivaratri, McGraw-Hill, 1994, ISBN 0-07-057572-X.  A
  solid work on advanced operating systems, with some emphasis on
  theoretical aspects.  Well over 2/3 of the book focuses on
  distributed operating systems.  It does a good job of covering all
  the bases, but at times omits vital information or obfuscates what
  should be simple issues.

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