Operating Systems Should Provide Transactions

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Operating Systems Should Provide Transactions
Operating systems can efficiently provide system transactions to user applications, in which user-level processes can execute a series of system calls atomically and in isolation from other processes on the system. The effects of system calls performed during a system transaction are not visible to the rest of the system (other threads or hardware devices) until the transaction commits. This paper describes TxOS, a variant of Linux 2.6.22, which is the first operating system to implement system transactions on commodity hardware with recent techniques from the transactional memory literature. The paper demonstrates that system transactions can solve problems in a wide range of domains, including security, isolating extensions, and user-level transactional memory. We also show that combining semantically lightweight system calls to perform heavyweight operations can yield better performance scalability: for example, enclosing link and unlink within a system transaction outperforms rena...
Donald E. Porter, Emmett Witchel
Added 16 Aug 2010
Updated 16 Aug 2010
Type Conference
Year 2009
Authors Donald E. Porter, Emmett Witchel
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