Higher Education

Understanding Operating Systems, 7th Edition

  • Ann McHoes Duquesne University
  • Ida M. Flynn University of Pittsburgh
  • ISBN-10: 128509655X  |  ISBN-13: 9781285096551
  • 608 Pages
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $208.00
  • Newer Edition Available
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Now in its Seventh Edition, UNDERSTANDING OPERATING SYSTEMS continues to provide a clear and straightforward explanation of operating system theory and practice. As in previous editions, the book's highly regarded structure begins with a discussion of fundamentals before moving on to specific operating systems. Fully updated, this new edition includes expanded analysis of the impact on operating systems of such innovations as multi-core processing and wireless technologies . Revised Research Topics in the exercise section encourage independent student research. The final four chapters have been updated to include information on current versions of UNIX (including the latest Macintosh OS), Linux, and Windows, and a new chapter on Android has been added.

Features and Benefits

  • A classic Computer Science textbook that is fully up to date with current technology and contemporary operating system theory.
  • Covers the fundamentals of operating systems: what they are, what they do, how they function, how they can be evaluated, and how they compare with one another.
  • Technical topics are discussed in everyday language, allowing students to grasp such complexities as standalone vs. networked computing systems.
  • A discussion of specific operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and UNIX as well as Android and iOS, illustrates for students how operating system theory is put into practice.
  • Thorough revisions in every chapter cover the latest technologies.

Table of Contents

Introductory Chapter.
1. Introducing Operating Systems.
2. Memory Management: Simple Systems.
3. Memory Management: Virtual Memory Systems.
4. Processor Management.
5. Process Management.
6. Concurrent Processes.
7. Device Management.
8. File Management.
9. Network Organization Concepts.
10. Management of Network Functions.
11. Security and Ethics.
12. System Management.
13. UNIX Operating Systems.
14. Windows Operating Systems.
15. Linux Operating Systems.
16. Android Operating System.
Appendix A: Algorithms.
Appendix B: ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

What's New

  • A brand-new chapter on Android operating systems discusses the unique challenges posed when running mobile devices.
  • Spotlight on 16 industry innovators (one per chapter) and how their accomplishments have furthered the field of computer science add a human perspective to the technical content.
  • Exercises throughout the text have been expanded and updated, and now focus more on relating the content to the student's real-world experience.
  • Additional coverage of graphic passwords appears in Part I and is discussed in more detail in the Windows and Android chapters in Part 2; both of these operating systems have made this feature readily accessible to everyone.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor Resources  (ISBN-10: 1285096568 | ISBN-13: 9781285096568)

All instructor materials are available for instructor download at sso.cengage.com. Designed to help facilitate classroom instruction, the instructor resources are unique to the textbook. Items such as an Instructor's Manual, PowerPoint slides, ExamView test bank, Syllabi, and Solution Files are offered. Contact your sales rep for more information.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Ann McHoes

Ann McIver McHoes has been writing about computers for 25 years. She co-authored, with the late Ida M. Flynn, the first four editions of Understanding Operating Systems and is now sole author of this classic textbook, which has received awards for excellence from the Text and Academic Authors Association. She teaches at Duquesne University and has also taught business and computer science classes at Chatham University and Carlow University.