Adopting and Commenting the Old Kernel Source Code for Education

Dissecting older kernels including their problems can be educational and an entertaining review of where we have been. In this session, we examine the older Linux kernel version 0.11 and discuss some of our findings. The primary reason for selecting this historical kernel is that we have found that the current kernel's vast quantity of source code is far too complex for hands-on learning purposes. Since the 0.11 kernel has only 14,000 lines of code, we can easily describe it in detail and perform some meaningful experiments with a runnable system effienctly. We then examine several aspects of the kernel including the memory management, stack usage and other aspects of the Linux kernel. Next we explain several aspects of using Bochs emulator to perform experiments with the Linux 0.11 kernel. Finally, we present and describe the structure of the Linux kernel source including the lib/ directory.

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