I've to get FE exam to get licensed as an engineer in Nepal. I want to learn everything properly because I feel I didn't learn to the extent that I could in college. My first hitlist is operating system and Database Management System as these two are also little bit used in my job(Linuxadmin job that requires some bit of sql)

What's the best book about operating system? In college I read tanenbaum and hated every pages of it because it didn't go to much handholding that I wanted. I am weird because I want handholding in book that assumes I've no preriquisites while teaching. I don't need to make an operating system. Just clear my fundamentals and become an operating system knowledgeable person. Likewise I read computer networks by stallings and I was quite meh about it. The book was good in pieces and definitely better writing than tanenbaum but I'm not exactly impressed.

I've tried the book "Linux with Operating system concepts" and didn't find it good. I'm a hands on person nowadays so would love a book that has good exercises. When I say hands on, I don't want books that teach Linux. I already know Linux commands. I explicitly want to study the operating system fundamentals like process synchronization, memory management, secondary storage working etc.

The other book is by Galvin. But silber something also wrote this and I didn't like his DBMS book.

​There was 1 good book when I was in college I don't remember. If it was 3 easy pieces or something. It had dinosaurs in it. Probably galvin book.

Anyway, recommend me? I will also purchase a competitive exam practice questions book for GATE which is the toughest exam for engineering computer science.

About courses, I found NPTEL courses from top IITs too tough to understand. Are there any new online courses in the market at the moment. I studied operating system in college in around 2020.

Please recommend and help me in my journey. I also have purchased a course from Prateek jain academy which is well over 50+ hrs but I am failing to see any value in it.


These are the concepts that I want to study.

Although I'm studying for competitive exams, I explictly want to improve my knowlege in operating systems. Because I've found concepts of subjects like operating systems, computer networks, database management systems, distributed systems etc are very important in software and IT industry. Having basics of those strong is important. That's why I am studying all of operating systems(more than required in competitive exam)

PS I've already started learning about Operating Systems from an online course that I said I bought. I am starting from synchronization and I'd be honest, it's tricky. Are there any tips to learn this tricky concepts like this? I have had a hard time learning about tricky concepts like serializability in database as well. Any guidance will be extremely valuable.

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    $\begingroup$ I salute your drive to learn all these hard things! OS design is what I was most interested in up through college, but I didn't get a job doing that kind of work. Still, I did create some complex and low level system things in my humble programming job. I remember creating a counting semaphore from mutex and condition variable over 20 years ago. The cond.var seemed to defy any reasoning... opaque object. "Oh, the places you'll go!" $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Jul 30, 2023 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


The "dinosaur book" is Operating System Concepts by Abraham Silberschatz. It is good and has a recent edition, but it isn't cheap. Another classic book is Modern Operating Systems by Andrew Tanenbaum and Herbert Bos. It is also good, but not so recent.

A book about Linux is a bit narrow as not all operating systems are derived from Unix. And not all Unix derived systems are like Linux.

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    $\begingroup$ Books are cheap in Nepal(not cheap compared to nepal standard but cheap compared to international standard) as they're international edition only made for south asia. They're cheap because paper quality is cheaper. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2023 at 10:01
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    $\begingroup$ I think this may be the Three Easy Pieces book to which you were referring. How Linux Works may be another good option. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Jul 22, 2023 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ OSTEP by Remzi et. al is needed a good option. Also one can follow the lecture series youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTtjs-HViBW6525-_a8QL3meFIlP31gGE $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2023 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ "Oh Tanenbaum, oh, Tanenbaum, how lovely are thy branches." It's an old sentiment. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Jul 30, 2023 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ I too hate tanenbaum, any other recommendations @Buffy $\endgroup$
    – achhainsan
    Sep 16, 2023 at 13:30

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