Browse Prior Art Database

Mach Threads and the Unix Kernel: The Battle for Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000148163D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Aug-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-29

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Tevanian Jr., Avadis: AUTHOR [+7]

Abstract

Avadls Tevanian, Jr., Richard F. Rashld, David B. Golub, David L Black, Eric Cooper and Michael W. Young

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Mach Threads and the Unix Kernel: The Battle for Control

Avadls Tevanian, Jr., Richard F. Rashld, David B. Golub, David L Black, Eric Cooper and Michael W. Young

 August 1987 CMU-CS-87-149

ABSTRACT

This paper examines a kernel implementation lightweight process mechanism built for the Mach operating system. The pros and cons of such a mechanism are discussed along with the problems encountered during its implementation.

This research is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Defense, ARPA Order 3597, monitored by the Air Force Avionics Laboratory under contract F33615-81-K-1539.

The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or the U.S. Government.

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Mach Threads and the Unix Kernel: The Battle for Control

Avadis Tevanian, Jr., Richard F. laashid, David B. Golub,

David L. Black. Eric Cooper and Michael W. Young.

Depment of Computer Science Camegie-Mellon Univexsity

Pittsburgh, PA 1521 3

Abstract

This paper examines a kernel implemented lightweight process mechanism built for the LMach operating system. The p s
and cons of such a m e ~ s m
are discussed along with the problems

encountered during its implementation

1. Introduction

 
The early Unix notion of process was based on the himiware abstraction of iw day: a single CPU executing within a memory address space. Even today, although. multiprocessors are becoming increasingly common, neither Unix System V nor 4.3 BSD provide a way to manage more than one thread of coml within an address space.

 The addition of lightweight processes to Unix would provide many advantages. In fact, the lack of kernel support has caused Unix progmnmers to implement a variety of coroutine packages to support multi-stack applications. Lightweight wads of control can allow a programmer to encapsulate computations with their stack state and thus achieve greater modularity. Research systems, such as THOTH (21 and its successor, Stanford's V Kemei [3], have shown that multiple

threads of conml within a single process can be an especially important tool for writing server applications. A thread package could provide an attractive way to take advantage of the parallelism afforded by tightly-coupled shared memory multiprocessors.

This paper examines a kernel-implemented thread facility built for the Mach operating

. system [I]. The pros and cons of such a mechanism are discussed along with the problems encountered during its implementation ,

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