Mark Claypool, David Finkel, and Craig Wills
Typical undergraduate operating systems projects use services provided by an operating system via system calls or develop code in a simulated operating system. With the increasing popularity of operating systems with open source code such as Linux, there are untapped possibilities for operating systems projects to modify real operating system code. We present the hardware and software configuration of an open source laboratory that promises to provide students that use it with a better understanding of operating system internals than is typically gained in a traditional operating systems course. Our preliminary projects and evaluation suggest that thus far the lab has achieved its primary goal in that students that used the lab feel more knowledgeable in operating systems and more confident in their ability to write and modify operating system code.