You are expected to understand this. CS 111 Operating Systems Principles, Fall 2005

WeensyOS Minilab 3

Due Monday, December 5 at 11:59pm

This minilab is a tiny operating system that will demonstrate the concepts behind virtual memory.

weensyos3.tar.gz     Source code for WeensyOS 3.0, the Memory OS

Handing in

You will electronically hand in code and a small writeup. The problem set code, weensyos3.tar.gz, unpacks into a directory called weensyos3. You'll modify the code in this directory, and add a text file with your answers to the numbered questions. When you're done, run the command gmake tarball. This should create a file named weensyos3-yourusername.tar.gz, which you will submit to CourseWeb.

Answers to the numbered questions should be in a file named answers.txt, answers.html, or answers.pdf. Text files are strongly preferred.

To review:

  1. Download and unpack weensyos3.tar.gz.
  2. Do your work in the weensyos3 directory.
  3. Put your answers to the numbered questions in a answers.txt file (or answers.html or answers.pdf) in that weensyos3 directory.
  4. When you're done, run gmake tarball from the weensyos3 directory. This will create a file named weensyos3-yourusername.tar.gz.
  5. Submit that weensyos3-yourusername.tar.gz file to CourseWeb.

About Minilabs

This course's minilabs are real, tiny operating systems designed to give you hands-on experience with operating system concepts. You could take the disk image file this minilab builds, write it to your Intel-compatible laptop's hard drive, and boot up your operating system directly if you wanted! However, it's much easier to work with a virtual machine or PC emulator.

An emulator mimics, or emulates, the behavior of a full hardware platform. A PC emulator acts like a Pentium-class PC: it emulates the execution of Intel x86 instructions, and the behavior of other PC hardware. For example, it can treat a normal file in your home directory as an emulated hard disk; when the program inside the emulator reads a sector from the disk, the emulator reads 512 bytes from the file. PC emulators are much slower than real hardware, since they do all of the regular CPU's job in software -- not to mention the disk controller's job, the console's job, and so forth. However, debugging with an emulator is a lot easier, and you can't screw up your machine!

We've used two PC emulators. The Bochs emulator has pretty nice debugging support. The QEMU package is fast and sleek, but it might be too fast for some of our purposes. If you work on your own machine, try QEMU. If you're interested in working from home, you can download the source for QEMU and/or Bochs and install your own copy using these instructions. Precompiled binaries for Windows and Mac OS X are available too.

You will also need a copy of GCC that compiles code for an x86 ELF target. ELF, or Executable and Linkable Format, is a particular format for storing machine language programs on disk. Recent Linux PCs have the right compiler already set up. However, if you want to work on other platforms, or on Windows, you'll need a cross-compiler: a version of GCC that runs on your machine, but generates binaries for WeensyOS.

We've set up all the required tools on the machines in the Linux lab, and the Solaris machines on SEASnet. In the Linux lab, no special setup is required. On SEASnet, you need to set your environment to use our tools.

Read the minilab tools page and set up your environment appropriately.

Physical Memory

Now that you've got all the software set up (or you've just decided to use the Linux lab), it's time to run MemOS.

Download and unpack the source for weensyos3, then boot your emulated computer running MemOS with the gmake run-memos command.

% gzcat weensyos3.tar.gz | tar xf -
% ls weensyos3
COPYRIGHT    elf.h      memos-3.c     memos-kern.h    memos.h       x86mem.h
GNUmakefile  lib.c      memos-4.c     memos-loader.c   x86struct.h
bootstart.S  lib.h      memos-app.h   memos-pages.c   mkbootdisk.c  x86sync.h
conf         memos-1.c  memos-boot.c  memos-trap.S    types.h
console.c    memos-2.c  memos-kern.c  memos-x86.c     x86.h
% gmake run-memos
+ hostcc mkbootdisk.c
+ as bootstart.S
+ cc memos-boot.c
+ mk memos.img
+ bochs memos.img
                       Bochs x86 Emulator 2.2.1
                Build from CVS snapshot on July 8, 2005
00000000000i[     ] reading configuration from .bochsrc
Next at t=0
(0) [0xfffffff0] f000:fff0 (unk. ctxt): jmp far f000:e05b         ; ea5be000f0

The Bochs emulator stops in case you want to enter a breakpoint. You shouldn't need any breakpoints for this lab, so at the <bochs:1> prompt, just enter c to continue. In your Bochs window, you should see something like this:

[MemOS 1]

(This image loops forever, but when you run MemOS, the bars will move to the right and stay there.)

If your bochs runs too slowly (the bars of 1-4's move slowly), edit the memos.h file and reduce the ALLOC_SPEED constant.

Here's what's going on.

The marching rows of 1's, 2's, 3's, and 4's show how fast the heap spaces for processes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are allocated. Here are two labeled memory diagrams, showing what the characters mean and how memory is arranged.

[MemOS Physical Memory Captioned]
[MemOS Physical Memory Captioned]

Read and understand the process code in memos-1.c. This code is used for all 4 processes.

Virtual Memory: One Address Space

In the rest of this lab, you will gradually switch the MemOS to use virtual memory! This requires that we set up different address spaces, one for each process, and change the page allocation function, page_alloc, to allocate a physical page and map it at the required address, rather than simply allocating the physical page with the right address. First, we'll simply set up a single virtual address space that matches physical memory.

Exercise: Edit the start function in memos-kern.c to initialize virtual memory. After the call to memory_labels_init(), add the following two lines:
        initial_pgdir = pgdir_new();
The pgdir_new() function creates and returns an initial address space (page directory) with mappings for all of physical memory. The paged_virtual_memory_init function turns on paged virtual memory. Its argument is installed as the initial page directory.

Read and understand the page_alloc function in memos-pages.c.

Exercise: Edit the page_alloc function to add a user-accessible page mapping for the physical page it allocates. You'll need to call the page_map_user function.

If you run gmake run-memos at this point, it should work, and produce similar output as it did before. But let's take a look at each process's virtual address space as well.

Exercise: In the trap function in memos-kern.c, after the call to show_physical_memory(), add the following line:

When you run gmake run-memos now (and enter c at the <bochs:1> prompt), you should see something like this.

[MemOS One Virtual Address Space]

There are several changes from the initial display.

Virtual Memory: Isolated Address Spaces

MemOS is now using virtual memory, but we're getting no benefit from it! Next, we'll update the kernel code to grant each process its own address space. This will isolate the processes from one another; no process will be able to alter another process's memory or data.

There are three changes required.

Switching to an address space uses the lcr3() function, a simple wrapper for the lcr3 instruction. The 386+'s cr3 register holds the physical address of the active page directory; kernel code may change the value of this register, and thus switch to a new address space, by calling lcr3() with the relevant page directory address.

Exercise: Change the process initialization code in start() to give each process its own independent address space. Use the lcr3() function to switch to each process's address space before calling process_load(). Note that the pgdir_new() function creates a new, independent address space and returns the physical address of a page directory.

Exercise: Change the run() function in memos-kern.c to load the process's address space before running that process.

Now when you run gmake run-memos, you should see something like this. (Note the greater number of "P" pages.)

[MemOS Isolated Virtual Address Spaces]

Now each process's address space only contains that process's pages. Furthermore, since processes run in user mode (at protection level 3), the processor will not allow them to execute the lcr3 and lcr0 instructions that would install a new address space or turn off virtual memory. This means the processes are memory isolated: no process can affect another process's code or data.

Question 1: Memory isolation also depends on properties of the processes' page tables. Which types of page must be marked as inaccessible or kernel-only to guarantee memory isolation?

Virtual Memory: Address Mapping

MemOS now maintains an isolated address space for each process. However, it still allocates memory based on physical address. Given virtual memory, we can allocate memory far more flexibly. In this section, you will change MemOS to allocate memory independently of physical address, and to give each process a much larger heap space, allowing any process to potentially allocate most available physical memory.

Exercise: Edit the page_alloc function so that it can use any free page, rather than just the physical page with the given address. If no free page is available, page_alloc should return -1.

Exercise: Initialize each process's stack to start at virtual address 0x300000, the top of MemOS's virtual address space.

Now when you run gmake run-memos, you should see something like this.

[MemOS Virtual Address Spaces with Address Mapping]

You have now built a virtual memory system that, in its essentials, is a lot like the virtual memory system in any modern operating system.

Notice that once physical memory is exhausted, Process 4 has used roughly four times as much memory as Process 1. This is because each process's address space is big enough to fit any available physical memory, so physical memory runs out before any process's address space does. Now that we have eliminated the requirement that processes fit in contiguous regions of physical memory, each process can allocate more memory than before!

Question 2: Process 1's code and global data used to be allocated in physical page numbers 0x100 and 0x101 (physical addresses 0x100000 and 0x101000). Which physical page numbers are now used for Process 1's code and global data (i.e., not including its heap or stack)?

Question 3: Why haven't the physical page numbers allocated for kernel code and data changed? Refer to the state of the machine at boot time (while the boot loader, which loads the kernel from disk, is running).

Extra Credit Exercise: It's not necessarily fair that Process 4 gets to use four times as much memory as Process 1 -- especially since Process 1 can get less memory than in the original physically-allocated design. Implement a quota system so that each process is guaranteed that it will be able to allocate at least 1/4 MB (64 pages) of heap space. Any space beyond that 1/4 MB should be allocated first-come, first-served. You will need to keep track of how much physical memory remains available, and how much physical memory each process has allocated.

This completes the minilab. Make sure you have answered all three numbered questions in your answers.txt file.