Introduction to Operating Systems Processes | Online | Alison

Introduction to Operating Systems Processes - Revised

Learn more about how processes work in computer operating systems, with this free computer OS course.

Operating Systems
Free Course
This free online operating systems course will teach you how processes work in a computer operating system. When you write a computer program in a text file and then execute it, it becomes a process which performs all the tasks mentioned. You will learn how to create a process, store it in RAM, and exit or terminate it. You will also study the ELF executable file and the parent-child relationship between cloned processes.
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • Responsive

  • Publisher






View course modules


A process is a program that is under execution. This course will begin by showing you how a process is stored in memory. You will learn how a kernel keeps some metadata corresponding to each process in the RAM. You will also study how to convert from a kernel virtual address to a kernel physical address in RAM by subtracting MAX_SIZE or by adding MAX_SIZE. The course will also discuss the User stack and the Kernel space stack.

Next, you will look into the Process Control Block(PCB). In order to create a process, operating systems use a technique called cloning, which in turn uses a system call Fork. You will learn how a fork creates a copy of the kernel metadata, Process Control Block, and page table kernel stack. The course will then discuss Zombies, xv6 systems, and allocproc. Finally, you will study EMBRYO, the copyuvm, and the six things that happen in xv6 when the system call exit gets executed.

This online course is part of a series of courses on computer operating systems, and you will need to have taken the 'Introduction to Operating Systems' and 'Introduction to Memory Management' courses prior to this one. Computer operating systems are a complex but exciting subject to study, and once you have gained some vital knowledge in this area your résumé will become a lot more impressive to potential employers. So why wait? Keep up your learning journey, today.

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Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain how a process is stored in memory.
  • Describe how to create execute and exit from processes.
  • Describe how a xv6 system executes and new processes.


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