Questions and answers taken from real job interviews.
Find interview questions and answers on this website:
Seek time is the time required to move the disk arm to the required track. Rotational delay or latency is the time it takes for the beginning of the required sector to reach the head. Sum of seek time (if any) and latency is the access time. Time taken to actually transfer a span of data is transfer time.
Free memory is maintained in linked lists, each of equal sized blocks. Any such block is of size 2^k. When some memory is required by a process, the block size of next higher order is chosen, and broken into two. Note that the two such pieces differ in address only in their kth bit. Such pieces are called buddies. When any used block is freed, the OS checks to see if its buddy is also free. If so, it is rejoined, and put into the original free-block linked-list.
Also called FIFO anomaly. Usually, on increasing the number of frames allocated to a process virtual memory, the process execution is faster, because fewer page faults occur. Sometimes, the reverse happens, i.e., the execution time increases even when more frames are allocated to the process. This is Belady's Anomaly. This is true for certain page reference patterns.
It is a useful, memory-saving technique for multiprogrammed timesharing systems. A Reentrant Procedure is one in which multiple users can share a single copy of a program during the same period. Reentrancy has 2 key aspects: The program code cannot modify itself, and the local data for each user process must be stored separately. Thus, the permanent part is the code, and the temporary part is the pointer back to the calling program and local variables used by that program. Each execution instance is called activation. It executes the code in the permanent part, but has its own copy of local variables/parameters. The temporary part associated with each activation is the activation record. Generally, the activation record is kept on the stack. Note: A reentrant procedure can be interrupted and called by an interrupting program, and still execute correctly on returning to the procedure.
• Load Sharing: Processes are not assigned to a particular processor. A global queue of threads is maintained. Each processor, when idle, selects a thread from this queue. Note that load balancing refers to a scheme where work is allocated to processors on a more permanent basis. • Gang Scheduling: A set of related threads is scheduled to run on a set of processors at the same time, on a 1-to-1 basis. Closely related threads / processes may be scheduled this way to reduce synchronization blocking, and minimize process switching. Group scheduling predated this strategy. • Dedicated processor assignment: Provides implicit scheduling defined by assignment of threads to processors. For the duration of program execution, each program is allocated a set of processors equal in number to the number of threads in the program. Processors are chosen from the available pool. • Dynamic scheduling: The number of thread in a program can be altered during the course of execution.
If a process in a monitor signal and no task is waiting on the condition variable, the signal is lost. So this allows easier program design. Whereas in semaphores, every operation affects the value of the semaphore, so the wait and signal operations should be perfectly balanced in the program.
For load-time dynamic linking: Load module to be loaded is read into memory. Any reference to a target external module causes that module to be loaded and the references are updated to a relative address from the start base address of the application module. With run-time dynamic loading: Some of the linking is postponed until actual reference during execution. Then the correct module is loaded and linked.
Placement algorithms determine where in available real-memory to load a program. Common methods are first-fit, next-fit, best-fit. Replacement algorithms are used when memory is full, and one process (or part of a process) needs to be swapped out to accommodate a new program. The replacement algorithm determines which are the partitions to be swapped out.
No Windows NT is not so, because its not implemented in object oriented language and the data structures reside within one executive component and are not represented as objects and it does not support object oriented capabilities.
• Normal completion • Time limit exceeded • Memory unavailable • Bounds violation • Protection error • Arithmetic error • Time overrun • I/O failure • Invalid instruction • Privileged instruction • Data misuse • Operator or OS intervention • Parent termination.
• Mutual Exclusion: Only one process may use a critical resource at a time. • Hold & Wait: A process may be allocated some resources while waiting for others. • No Pre-emption: No resource can be forcible removed from a process holding it. • Circular Wait: A closed chain of processes exist such that each process holds at least one resource needed by another process in the chain.
DDks are device driver kits, which are equivalent to SDKs for writing device drivers. Windows NT includes DDks.
With demand paging, a page is brought into memory only when a location on that page is actually referenced during execution. With pre-paging, pages other than the one demanded by a page fault are brought in. The selection of such pages is done based on common access patterns, especially for secondary memory devices.
Local replacement means that an incoming page is brought in only to the relevant process address space. Global replacement policy allows any page frame from any process to be replaced. The latter is applicable to variable partitions model only.
Windows NT uses protection mechanism called rings provides by the process to implement separation between the user mode and kernel mode.
Long term scheduler determines which programs are admitted to the system for processing. It controls the degree of multiprogramming. Once admitted, a job becomes a process. Medium term scheduling is part of the swapping function. This relates to processes that are in a blocked or suspended state. They are swapped out of real-memory until they are ready to execute. The swapping-in decision is based on memory-management criteria. Short term scheduler, also know as a dispatcher executes most frequently, and makes the finest-grained decision of which process should execute next. This scheduler is invoked whenever an event occurs. It may lead to interruption of one process by preemption.
• Hardware abstraction layer • Kernel • Subsystems • System Services.
Encapsulation, Object class and instance.
• Ready • Standby • Running • Waiting • Transition • Terminated
• swapping • interactive user request • timing • parent process request
C2 level security provides for: • Discretionary Access Control • Identification and Authentication • Auditing • Resource reuse
• Network redirector/ Server • Cache manager. • File systems • Network driver • Device driver
User data: Modifiable part of user space. May include program data, user stack area, and programs that may be modified. User program: The instructions to be executed. System Stack: Each process has one or more LIFO stacks associated with it. Used to store parameters and calling addresses for procedure and system calls. Process control Block (PCB): Info needed by the OS to control processes.
Turnaround time is the interval between the submission of a job and its completion. Response time is the interval between submission of a request, and the first response to that request.
• Increased speed and memory capacity of microprocessors together with the support fir virtual memory and • Growth of client server computing
A binary semaphore is one, which takes only 0 and 1 as values. They are used to implement mutual exclusion and synchronize concurrent processes.
It does not have the features like • ability to support multiple processors • virtual storage • source level debugging
Trapdoor is a secret undocumented entry point into a program used to grant access without normal methods of access authentication. A trap is a software interrupt, usually the result of an error condition.
The special thread a dispatcher will execute when no ready thread is found.
The repeated execution of a loop of code while waiting for an event to occur is called busy-waiting. The CPU is not engaged in any real productive activity during this period, and the process does not progress toward completion.
We encounter cycle stealing in the context of Direct Memory Access (DMA). Either the DMA controller can use the data bus when the CPU does not need it, or it may force the CPU to temporarily suspend operation. The latter technique is called cycle stealing. Note that cycle stealing can be done only at specific break points in an instruction cycle.
In Windows NT, executive refers to the operating system code that runs in kernel mode.
It is a fault tolerance disk driver for Windows NT.
If one or a few processes have a high access rate to data on one track of a storage disk, then they may monopolize the device by repeated requests to that track. This generally happens with most common device scheduling algorithms (LIFO, SSTF, C-SCAN, etc). High-density multisurface disks are more likely to be affected by this than low density ones.
In Windows NT a mutant provides kernel mode or user mode mutual exclusion with the notion of ownership.
Page swapping or page replacements are called page cannibalizing.
It is the transfer of sufficient amount of the state of process from one machine to the target machine.
When the OS at the explicit request of another process creates a process, this action is called process spawning.
To achieve maximum efficiency and reliability a mode of operation known as symmetric multiprocessing is used. In essence, with SMP any process or threads can be assigned to any processor.
Resident set is that portion of the process image that is actually in real-memory at a particular instant. Working set is that subset of resident set that is actually needed for execution. (Relate this to the variable-window size method for swapping techniques.)
In a cached system, the base addresses of the last few referenced pages is maintained in registers called the TLB that aids in faster lookup. TLB contains those page-table entries that have been most recently used. Normally, each virtual memory reference causes 2 physical memory accesses- one to fetch appropriate page-table entry, and one to fetch the desired data. Using TLB in-between, this is reduced to just one physical memory access in cases of TLB-hit.
It is a phenomenon in virtual memory schemes when the processor spends most of its time swapping pages, rather than executing instructions. This is due to an inordinate number of page faults.
It is a technique proposed by Lamport, used to order events in a distributed system without the use of clocks. This scheme is intended to order events consisting of the transmission of messages. Each system 'i' in the network maintains a counter Ci. Every time a system transmits a message, it increments its counter by 1 and attaches the time-stamp Ti to the message. When a message is received, the receiving system 'j' sets its counter Cj to 1 more than the maximum of its current value and the incoming time-stamp Ti. At each site, the ordering of messages is determined by the following rules: For messages x from site i and y from site j, x precedes y if one of the following conditions holds....(a) if Ti<Tj or (b) if Ti=Tj and i<j.
C2 level security.
In message passing, it is the condition in which, both, the sender and receiver are blocked until the message is delivered.
The set of dispatchable processes is in a safe state if there exists at least one temporal order in which all processes can be run to completion without resulting in a deadlock.