Chapter 3

Operating Systems

An understanding of the operating system and its kernel is essential for systems performance analysis. You will frequently need to develop and then test hypotheses about system behavior, such as how system calls are being performed, how the kernel schedules threads on CPUs, how limited memory could be affecting performance, or how a file system processes I/O. These activities will require you to apply your knowledge of the operating system and the kernel.

The learning objectives of this chapter are:

  • Learn kernel terminology: context switches, swapping, paging, preemption, etc.

  • Understand the role of the kernel and system calls.

  • Gain a working knowledge of kernel internals, including: interrupts, schedulers, virtual ...

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