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Part I – Questions – This part must be done on your own. Each question is worth 20 points.


  1. There are two ways to communicate with device registers. One for the hardware to associate device registers with memory locations and to use the typical load and store instructions to access them. This method of communicating with device registers is referred to as memory-mapped input/output (I/O). The second method is to provide a separate device address space called port-space I/O. In this case, separate instructions (IN/OUT in Intel architectures) that function like load and store except that they read/write numbered device registers are used.


Thinking about concepts that we have covered in this unit, explain how hardware could prevent user programs from accessing the device registers for


  1. address-mapped device registers
  2. port-space I/O.
  3. Suppose two central processing unit (CPU) cores have separate caches. If cache write through is not enabled, will we see cache inconsistency or cache incoherency? Briefly justify your answer.
  4. A web commerce application PA launches 3 processes:
  • PD inventory database
  • PW web server
  • PB business to business inventory manager

The web server (PW) launches the following processes:

  • PC credit card authorization service
  • PU user credential authentication service

Draw a process tree for PA. What will the operating system do to each of these processes if PW were to unexpectedly terminate (e.g. reference to invalid memory).

  1. Describe what happens when a virtual machine executes a privileged instruction. How should this behavior differ when the virtual machine is executing user mode vs. privileged mode instruction? How does the virtual machine know the difference?

Part II – Get your feet wet with UNIX/C/C++ (60 points) – This part can be done with pair programming; you may form a group of 2 to work on this programming assignment.

This is a small programming assignment designed to give you experience in making system calls, reading manual pages, and writing makefiles which are a way to manage compilation. This program must execute correctly on systems implementing the POSIX standard (e.g. edoras which runs CentOS, or any modern linux distribution).

Directories are actually special files that contain information about other files. In this programming assignment, you will get your feet wet with system calls and manual pages. In this assignment, you will write your own version of the “ls” command which lists files in a directory. Your version of ls, myls will be significantly simpler than the standard ls.

Basic functionality when user executes myls:

  1. If no command line arguments are given, the current directory is listed with a newline after each file including the last one. By default, any file starting whose first character is “.” will not be listed unless the hidden flag is set (see below).
  2. An optional flag, -h (for hidden), may be specified which will list all files or directories including those that start with a “.”.
  3. One or more command line arguments may be given. Each argument is a directory to list, i.e. “myls a02 a03” should list the files in directories a02 and a03. If any of the specified directory files cannot be accessed, the error “Cannot access a02” should be printed.
  4. You must create a makefile (see course FAQ) such that when someone types “make” in your working directory it will compile the program with an output of myls, meaning your executable MUST have a name of myls.
  5. When you submit, be sure to disable any debugging code that you might have included, we will be comparing your output against expected output.

What to turn in:

  1. For Part I, each student would need to turn in an answer sheet in ONE PDF (or WORD) document. Your answer sheet file should include the follows:
  • On the first page, put a “Single Examinee Affidavit” which states “I, the undersigned, promise that the attached assignment submission is my own work. I recognize that should this not be the case; I will be subject to plagiarism penalties as outlined in the course syllabus.” Then PRINT your name, your RED ID, and the DATE as the electronic signature to the affidavit.
  • Starting from the second page, write your answers in the order of the questions listed in part I.
  • If you would like to write your answers in handwriting, you still need to type the first page as instructed above, then insert the pictures taken from your handwritten answers.
  1. For Part II, each pair programming group would submit the program artifacts as a group submission through the Gradescope:
  • Make sure that all files mentioned below (Source code files, Makefile, Affidavit) contains each team member’s name and RedID!
  • Program Artifacts:
  1. Source code files (.h, .hpp, .cpp, .C, or .cc files, etc.), Makefile.
  • Academic Honesty Affidavit (no digital signature is required, type all student names and their REDIDs as signature):
  1. Pair programming Equitable Participation #038; Honesty Affidavit with all members’ names listed on it. Use the pair-programmer affidavit template.
  2. If you worked alone on the assignment, use the single-programmer affidavit template.

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