UNIX Interview Questions - Part 6

What is Ďthe principle of localityí ?

Itís the nature of the processes that they refer only to the small subset of the total data space of the process. i.e. the process frequently calls the same subroutines or executes the loop instructions.

What is the working set of a process ?

The set of pages that are referred by the process in the last Ďní, references, where Ďní is called the window of the working set of the process.

What is the window of the working set of a process ?

The window of the working set of a process is the total number in which the process had referred the set of pages in the working set of the process.

What is called a page fault ?

Page fault is referred to the situation when the process addresses a page in the working set of the process but the process fails to locate the page in the working set. And on a page fault the kernel updates the working set by reading the page from the secondary device.

What are data structures that are used for Demand Paging ?

Kernel contains 4 data structures for Demand paging. They are,
  • Page table entries,
  • Disk block descriptors,
  • Page frame data table (pfdata),
  • Swap-use table.

    How the Kernel handles the fork() system call in traditional Unix and in the System V Unix, while swapping ?

    Kernel in traditional Unix, makes the duplicate copy of the parentís address space and attaches it to the childís process, while swapping. Kernel in System V Unix, manipulates the region tables, page table, and pfdata table entries, by incrementing the reference count of the region table of shared regions.

    Difference between the fork() and vfork() system call ?

    During the fork() system call the Kernel makes a copy of the parent processís address space and attaches it to the child process. But the vfork() system call do not makes any copy of the parentís address space, so it is faster than the fork() system call. The child process as a result of the vfork() system call executes exec() system call. The child process from vfork() system call executes in the parentís address space (this can overwrite the parentís data and stack ) which suspends the parent process until the child process exits.

    What is BSS(Block Started by Symbol) ?

    A data representation at the machine level, that has initial values when a program starts and tells about how much space the kernel allocates for the un-initialized data. Kernel initializes it to zero at run-time.

    What is Page-Stealer process ?

    This is the Kernel process that makes rooms for the incoming pages, by swapping the memory pages that are not the part of the working set of a process. Page-Stealer is created by the Kernel at the system initialization and invokes it throughout the lifetime of the system. Kernel locks a region when a process faults on a page in the region, so that page stealer cannot steal the page, which is being faulted in.

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