Best Books for Operating Systems [2022]

Operating Systems are vital part of our everyday lives, whether it be related to the phones we carry in our pockets, the PC’s we use at work, or even a Website that we are browsing on. Operating system are the driving force that manage, and allow us to interact with the hardware. In this article, we have compiled some of the Best Books on Operating Systems, in an effort to understand them better and how they work.

The 10 Books that we have shortlisted:

  1. Operating System Concepts
  2. Guide to Operating Systems
  3. Modern Operating Systems
  4. Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles
  5. Design of the UNIX Operating Systems
  6. UNIX – The Complete Reference
  7. Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces
  8. Windows Internals
  9. Linux Kernel Development

Operating System Concepts

Best Books for Operating Systems

Author: Abraham Silberschatz, Peter B. Galvin and, Greg Gagne
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Pages: 1040

Operating Systems Concepts, now on it’s 10th edition, is a great textbook that explains all the Operating Systems Fundamentals from start to finish. Threading Scheduling, Multi-processing, Process Management, Memory Management are some of the many key concepts covered in this book, each with it’s own dedicated chapter.

The Book is very up-to-date, with the latest edition including Operating Systems like Arduino, and mobile Operating like Android.

The book also includes end-of-chapter problems, exercises, review questions, and programming exercises that helps students reinforce and supplement their learning. I highly recommend to this book to people looking to start learning about operating systems, especially to those in the undergraduate level.

When it comes to ranking the Best Books on Operating Systems, this book is surely one of the top contenders.


Guide to Operating Systems

Author: Greg Tomsho 
Publication Date: June 18, 2020
Pages: 608

A Guide to Operating Systems is an excellent resource for those looking to work with several Operating Systems. The book will give you the key theory and technical information that you will need to work with the modern Operating Systems of today, such as Windows, Linux and MacOS.

This book will teach its readers how general operating systems are organized and function as well as give them hands-on experience with OS installation, upgrading and configuration for various OS’s.

The details of various Fundamental Operating System concepts like Processors, file systems, networking, Virtualization, Security, Device management, Storage, OS maintenance and troubleshooting are also given alot of emphasis, and conveyed in great detail.


Modern Operating Systems

Author: Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Publication Date: March 25, 2016
Pages: 1136

As we can expect, based on the size of this book, Modern Operating Systems is a comprehensive guide to Operating Systems, primarily intended for those studying Computer Science and related fields on an Undergraduate level. It also contains advanced material, which allows it to be used as a Reference Book by OS Professionals.

The Book is highly well received, and even the recipient of an award based on how well it has aged with time, with up-to-date and relevant information. It is of significance to note, that the majority of people have praised the ability of the Book to explain a complex topic like Operating Systems in an easy and engaging manner.


Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles

Author: Dr. William Stallings
Publication Date: March 13, 2017
Pages: 800

Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles is a book that aims to help its readers develop a solid understanding of the key structures and mechanisms of operating systems. Its main target audience is intended for those studying Computer Science and related fields on an Undergraduate level.

Special emphasis is placed on the coverage of the latest trends and developments in operating systems, including cloud computing and the Internet of Things. This allows the readers to stay updated with the latest trends and changes effecting the world of Operating Systems.

The Book makes use of Case Studies and various projects scattered throughout the book to help the reader reinforce and supplement their knowledge with real-life situations.

A cheaper version of this book exists, under a different Publisher. (The contents are the same)


Design of the UNIX Operating Systems

Author: Maurice Bach
Publication Date: May 27, 1986
Pages: 471

Don’t let it’s old publication date fool you. This Book is just as relevant today, as it was back then. Many of the Operating System of today are either based off UNIX, or borrow from it in some sense (such as Linux and BSD).

If you wish to understand Modern Operating Systems from the root level, then this book is the right one for you. Here you will understand the very root of an Operating System, its roles, its inner workings and how it all come into being.

For those looking to maybe write their own version of UNIX, this Book provides a roadmap which guides you through the process, while ensuring you don’t end up violating any patents.


UNIX – The Complete Reference

Author:  Kenneth Rosen, Douglas Host, Rachel Klee, Richard Rosinski 
Publication Date: January 9, 2007
Pages: 912

For those looking for a Modern Book on the UNIX Operating System, this book is the one for you. As the title implies, this is a complete guide to understanding the UNIX operating system, written by UNIX experts.

This book will teach you how to use UNIX and take advantage of its powerful tools and utilities. Not only that, but it will also introduce you to the newest releases of UNIX, including Solaris 10, all Linux distributions, HP-UX, AIX, and FreeBSD.


Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces

Author:  Remzi H Arpaci-Dusseau, Andrea C Arpaci-Dusseau
Publication Date: September 1, 2018
Pages: 714

The book, Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces serves as an Introduction to Operating Systems.

The book makes use of various explanations and analogies in order to get the concept across successfully while also keeping you engaged and interested, as noted by many readers of this book. Readers often cite this book as easier to digest and follow, in comparison to some of the other popular books on Operating Systems. Undoubtedly, reading preferences also play a role here.

A little prior knowledge of the Linux Operating System and Bash will help, but are not required to read this book.


Windows Internals

Author: Mark Russinovich and David Solomon
Publication Date: May 5, 2017
Pages: 800

The Book is a rather unique entry, as they are very few Books that can be found on the Internals of the Windows Operating System. This Book, Windows Internals, will take you deep inside the Windows architecture and internals, and show you how the core components work behind the scenes.

This Book is fully up-to date with the latest Windows version, (Windows 10) and will guide throughout the whole process of understanding the Operating System is built.

Note: There is a part 2 to this book, which covers some topics that were not included in part 1.


Linux Kernel Development

Linux Book on Operating Systems

Author: Robert Love
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Pages: 480

The Book Linux Kernel Development talks about the design and implementation of the Linux kernel, with two goals in mind. The first goal is to guide those writing and developing kernel code. The second is to assist programmers who are seeking to better understand the operating system and become more efficient and productive in their coding.

Some of the topics it covers are, the scheduler, process management, memory management, devices, system calls, and kernel data structures.

In short, this book teaches you everything you need to know, regardless of whether you want to be a Linux developer, or to simply develop applications on Linux.


This marks the end of the Best Books for Operating Systems article. Any suggestions or contributions for CodersLegacy are more than welcome. Questions regarding the article content can be asked in the comments section below.

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