Catches all interrupts and traps, does scheduling




Дата канвертавання22.04.2016
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Overview of Processes in MINIX:
MINIX is structured in four layers:

Interrupt handling is written in assembly language.

Written in C


  • The bottom layer catches all interrupts and traps, does scheduling, and provide higher layers with a model of independent sequential processes that communicate using messages. For the massage passing, this layer locates “send” and “receive” buffers in physical memory, and copies bytes from sender to receiver.

  • Layer 2 contains the I/O processes. It controls devices including disks, printers, terminals, network interfaces, and clocks. The name of “task” means device drivers. (See Chapter three for detail) The system task does copying between different memory regions. This layer has less privilege than the bottom layer.

  • The first and second layers are glued together and called "Directory Kernel" or "Tasks".

  • Layer 3 contains processes that provide useful services to the user processes. The memory manager (MM) carries out all the MINIX system calls that involve memory management, such as FORK, EXEC, and BRK. The file system (FS) carries out all the file system calls, such as READ, MOUNT, and CHDIR. The system call interpretation is in this layer.

  • The fourth layer has user processes. e.g. vi editor, Make program, Compiler... etc.

  • All the user processes in the whole system are part of a single tree with init at the root. The shells are the children of init, the user processes are the grandchildren of init, and the user processes in the system are part of a single tree.

  • Once the loading operation is complete the kernel starts running. Then, the memory manager, the file system, and other servers in layer 3 run and initialize themselves. After that, they will be blocked and wait for something to do. At this time, init starts running.

Interprocess Communication in MINIX:

send(dest, &message);

to send a message to process, dest.



receive(source, &message);

to receive a message from process source (or ANY)



send_rec(src_dst, &message);

to send a message and wait for a reply from the same process.

MINIX uses the rendezvous method: no receiver blocks “send”.

Each process or task can send and receive messages from processes and tasks in its own layer, and from those in the layer directly below it. User processes may not communicate directly with the I/O tasks


MINIX Scheduling:
Each time a process is interrupted from a I/O device or from the clock.
The priority: task --> server --> applications (user process)

Is any body in Tasks?

If yes, run it.

If no, check any body in Servers.

If yes, run server.

If no, run user process.



Within the task and sever levels processes run until they block, never preempted by the clock, but user processes are scheduled using round robin.






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