Book Review: Operating System Concepts

Operating System Concepts, 10th Edition, written by Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin and Greg Gagne, is an academic textbook covering the role and mechanisms of computer operating systems. Its intended audience is undergraduate university students studying computer science or related majors. At almost 900 pages, it isn’t an easy read. Having read it in great detail over a month, I do feel my general knowledge of OSs has been elevated substantially.

About 10 years ago I took an OS course at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I chose to read this text to update and enhance my general OS knowledge. I definitely appreciate the knowledge contained in OSC and I did my best to internalize it as well as possible. I can’t say reading this was exciting. It’s more of an exercise in “eating your vegetables” or building foundational knowledge that can be built upon later to do more interesting things. I think that’s primarily because it’s about operating systems in general instead of focused on a particular OS.

The information is in depth. There’s numerous study outlines and practice quizzes online that can be used in conjunction to aid learning. I particularly enjoyed the final two chapters, which are focused on the Linux and Windows operating systems specifically.

I’m planning on reading further books that focus specifically on the GNU/Linux (kernel) OS as this is the OS that I find most interesting and therefore want to explore more deeply.

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