Awk-Linux: A lightweight operating systems courseware

Yung Pin Cheng, Janet Mei Chuen Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Most well-known instructional operating systems are complex, particularly if their companion software is taken into account. It takes considerable time and effort to craft these systems, and their complexity may introduce maintenance and evolution problems. In this paper, a courseware called Awk-Linux is proposed. Awk-Linux can be crafted relatively more easily and it does not depend on any hardware simulator or platform. The basic hardware functions provided by Awk-Linux include timer interrupt and page-fault interrupt, which are simulated through program instrumentation over user programs. Course projects based on Awk-Linux provide source code extracted and simplified from a Linux kernel. Results of this study indicate that the projects helped students better to understand inner workings of operating systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Computer science education
  • Courseware
  • Operating system kernels
  • Operating systems


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