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Minix Overview & System Call Implementation
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  1. Minix Overview & System Call Implementation Sankara Narayanan. CSE 785 Computer Security, Syracuse University, NY Spring 2003 – 2004

  2. What will be Covered!!!! • Overview of the Minix Operating System • The Architecture of Minix • Implementation of System Calls – How it works • Conclusion

  3. Introduction – About Minix • Minix – Mini Unix (Minix) basically, a UNIX -compatible operating system. • Minix is small in size, with microkernel-based design. • Minix has been kept (relatively) small and simple. • Minix is small, it is nevertheless a preemptive, multitasking operating system.

  4. Continued • Modularity in Minix • Multiprogramming (Multiple programs can be run at once) • Source Code – C language • Networking support – TCP/IP protocol

  5. Architecture – Which You must be familiar.. • The figure represents the internal architecture of Minix. Different Layers User Processes init, login, passwd, sh, ls, cp, cc,……….. Server Processes File System (FS), Memory Manager (MM) Kernel I/O Tasks Floppy, tty, clock, system, ………… Kernel Process Management Interrupt handlers 4 3 2 1

  6. Source Code/ Directory Structure • commands • fs – file system • kernel – kernel codes • Solaris • tools • mm – memory manager All these folders you find under your /src folder

  7. System Calls – Flow of Control • The flow of control in minix from the user level the kernel level is handled by system calls. • Minix has a set of system calls which are located in the table.c file. • The file system (fs) has its own table and so the memory(mm), but the number of system calls is fixed.

  8. Continued…System Calls… • System call in minix is similar to a system, call in any system. • A user-level process cannot directly access a disk. Instead it asks the kernel to obtain data from a file for it (the read system call). • A user-level process cannot create another process. Instead, it asks the kernel to create one for it. • User Program ==> Library ----> Kernel ==> MM/FS

  9. Continued…System calls… • System calls are typically made via library routines. Library routines are normal procedure calls. They perform the setup for the system call. • In minix the system call functions in a similar fashion. • The prototype of the libraries are defined in /usr/include/unistd.h or other header files according to the system call

  10. Continued….System Call…. • To implement a system call in minix one needs to do the following steps. • Look for a free slot in the table.c file • Follow the standard convention no_sys, /* 0 = unused */ do_exit, /* 1 = exit */ do_fork, /* 2 = fork */ do_acl /* 77 = acl */  your system call entry

  11. Continued ….. System Call… • The system call would be named in the following manner do_acl or do_encrypt • Once the system call method has been written its declaration should be mentioned in the function declaration header file in the file system it is “proto.h” • _PROTOTYPE ( return type do_XXXX, (arguments if any) );

  12. Continued….System Call… • The library should also be informed about the system call that would be called by the user. • The library file for the system call is written in the lib/posix directory. The file naming convention is followed here it starts with an underscore Eg: - _fork.c (this code is defined in /lib/posix) #include <lib.h> #define fork _fork #include <unistd.h> PUBLIC pid_t fork() { message m; return(_syscall(MM, FORK, &m)); } When you add a new system call, you need to add code as above.

  13. Continued….System Call… • It calls _syscall (MM, FORK, &m);. The first parameter is the destination. This is always MM/FS. When kernel receives a system call request, what the kernel do is to send message to MM/FS. Actual work is done by MM/FS. The second parameter specifies the type of service. The ID is defined in /usr/include/minix/callnr.h . User program cannot call _syscall() or directly. The structure of message is defined in /usr/include/minix/type.h.

  14. Continued….System Call… • Once the code for the system call is written in the "lib/other" directory a system file needs to be created. The system file is present in the "lib/sunsyscall" directory. • A standard naming convention is followed here to. The filename extension is ".s". .global systemcallname systemcallname: ba _systemcallname nop

  15. Continued…System Call… • A system call will contain a user created command file which when compiled creates a binary executable command. the command is created in the “commands/simple”directory”. The file once compiled creates an executable binary in the “commands/simple/bin”directory. • You will need to do a sunread to get the bin from the solaris system to the minix system

  16. Continued…System Call… • All the headers used in the system calls are kept in the "include" directory. The "type.h " header file is a very important and most useful header file. • To pass a message a variable of a specific data type is defined, and the variable is added to the message structure as I had shown in the example below. • The message structure defined is as follows:

  17. Continued…System Call… • Typedef struct { datatype mnYY; } mess_n; n => message number of the message YY => variable name • The size of the structure defined in the message is also an important factor as if the size of the message is increased then the system crashes. • Typedef struct { char *m1sb; } mess_1; #define m1_sb m_u.m_m1.m1sb; • To add data in the message variable the following need to be done Message m; m.m1_sb = data

  18. Conclusion The End Thank You 