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Technical Report

Publication Date



Operating systems -- Customization, Adaptive computing systems


A customizable operating system is one that can adapt to improve its functionality or performance. The need for customizable and application-specific operating systems has been recognized for many years, but they have yet to appear in the commercial market. This paper explores the notion of operating system customizability and examines the limits of existing approaches. The paper begins by surveying system structuring approaches for the safe and efficient execution of customizable operating systems. Then it discusses the burden that existing approaches impose on application software, and explores techniques for reducing this burden. Finally, support for customizability in the Synthetix project is described and illustrated through two examples: a dynamically specialized file system read call, and an adaptive Internet-based MPEG video player.


Published as Report CSE-95-023, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Oregon Graduate Institute, Portland, OR.

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