Chapter 5. CPU Scheduling

CPU scheduling is the basis of multiprogrammed operating systems. By switching the CPU among processes, the operating system can make the computer more productive. In this chapter, we introduce basic CPU-scheduling concepts and present several CPU-scheduling algorithms. We also consider the problem of selecting an algorithm for a particular system.

In Chapter 4, we introduced threads to the process model. On operating systems that support them, it is kernel-level threads—not processes—that are in fact being scheduled by the operating system. However, the terms process scheduling and thread scheduling are often used interchangeably. In this chapter, we use process scheduling when discussing general scheduling concepts and thread scheduling to refer to thread-specific ideas.

Basic Concepts

In a single-processor system, only one process can run at a time; any others must wait until the CPU is free and can be rescheduled. The objective of multiprogramming is to have some process running at all times, in order to maximize CPU utilization. The idea is relatively simple. A process is executed until it must wait, typically for the completion of some I/O request. In a simple computer system, the CPU then just sits idle. All ...

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