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Students begin with the construction of a very basic operating system and then discuss the limitations of that system in order to introduce remedies. Each subsequent learning unit introduces a way to modify and improve the system. In addition, concepts are explained from the perspectives of users, application and system programmers, and operation system designers, which allows students to learn to develop operating systems that serve many different users of computer systems.
While students using the text must have knowledge of basic data structures and computer science, no prior knowledge of system-level programming or computer organization is required, making Operating Systems suitable for second-year or higher computer science classes.