3387 - Systems Software and Distributed Systems (SSDS)

Reader: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller
Assistants: Bruno Rodrigues, Sina Rafati
ECTS Points: 6
Lectures : Tuesdays, 8:15 - 9:45
Exercises: Thursdays, 8:30 - 9:45

BIN-2.A.01 (Seminarraum)


June 09, 2020, 8-10 hours.

Remote Class


Remote Exercises

25.03 - 7.04.2020


23.04 - 28.05.2020



The meetings are password protected. See email for the password or contact the assistants

Lectures start: 18.02.2020
Lectures end: 28.05.2020
Exam: 09.06.2020 (check the update below)


Information: The exam view is possible on July 16, 2019 at 9:00 in Room 2.E.06. Please send an email to the assistants to schedule an appointment on that date.

As a rule to check the exam, you will have 20 mins to review the exam not being allowed to take notes or pictures during this time.


Information Update

The University and we as lecturers will do everything possible to ensure that you can acquire all your planned credits this semester. All examinations (assessments) will take place at the times determined in the VVZ; you will be informed in good time about the type and procedure. So please plan to be available at the appropriate times (online or onsite, depending on the legal situation). If you belong to a specified risk group, then special rules apply and you can contact the Dean's Office in this case.

Since UZH has asked all lectures at this very moment to select the most appropriate and suitable online teaching tool, the first week, may be the second week from March 16, 2020 onward may see starting problems or technical deficits. These happen due to the unexpected and non-tested use of tools for many attendees, which are now run and applied basically for very many classes at the same time. Based on the expertise of the CSG team, we do try to minimize those problems as soon as possible. Please follow your e-mail addresses you did use for registering with this class to receive up-to-date and most recent information, whenever this may become accessible.


This discipline will introduce the core concepts of operating systems and distributed systems, providing an introduction and operational systems structures, inter-processes communication, processes and threads, scheduling and deadlocks, memory management, input and output device management. Also, this course covers the foundation for the design of distributed systems, remove invocation and distributed objects, naming and distributed file systems, and processes synchronization and coordination.

The course will consist of assigned reading, weekly lectures, a final exam, and a sequence of programming assignments. The goal of the readings and lectures is to introduce the core concepts. The goal of the programming assignments is to give students some exposure to operating system code. Students are expected to read the assigned materials prior to each class, and to participate in in-class discussions.


Students will receive a deep insight into the structure and management of processes and threads and the synchronization of distributed systems. More specifically, the lecture will teach up-to-date knowledge in operating systems and distributed systems covering available technology and research. The following topics are studied in detail: interrupts, inter-process communication, coordination of concurrent activities, and the interface between software and hardware. Also, this course explores the issues to address in designing and implementing distributed systems with a particular emphasis on how to deal with the shared state between separate processes within such a system. Most importantly, the interactions between these concepts are examined. This will enable students to develop on their own at a later stage efficient, performing, and globally applicable understanding on underlying aspects of operating systems and distributed systems.


Knowledge of basic programming methodology and (preferred) C/Java programming languages.

Course Material

Literature will be announced in the lecture. Lecture slides and additional material can be found here. Details on the exercises can be found here.


The information contained on this page complements the official page at the Vorlesungsverzeichnis (VVZ). In case of doubt, the official information from the VVZ is always considered valid.