Embedded Xinu Evangelism

Dr. Paul Ruth, in conjunction with Dr. Dennis Brylow of Marquette University, presented a tutorial titled “Teaching With Embedded Xinu: An Inexpensive Hands-on Laboratory that Promotes Student Engagement with Operating Systems, Architecture, and Networking Curricula" at the ACM SouthEast 2010 conference in April (Oxford, Mississippi) and again at the CCSC MidWest conference in September (Franklin, Indiana). This tutorial describes their work on the Nexos project and seeks to attract others to their new approach to teaching operating systems and networking.

Embedded Xinu Lab

Dr. Ruth first implemented this Embedded Xinu approach in the CSci 423 Operating Systems course in Fall 2008. In this approach to the operating systems course, students develop operating systems projects using the Xinu instructional operating system running on embedded MIPS processors. To support this course, the Department installed a new student lab (Embedded Xinu Lab, pictured above) built around 12 Linksys WRT54G routers. Ruth has subsequently used this laboratory in some of his graduate courses.

In addition to this instructional project, Ruth leads the Distributed Virtual Systems Research Group, which conducts research on machine virtualization and virtual computation environments for distributed and high-performance applications. The group's current work focuses on enabling fault-tolerant virtual systems and green virtual systems that optimize power consumption of high-performance computing (HPC) centers.

For more information on the Embedded Xinu approach to instruction or the research on distributed virtual systems, contact Dr. Ruth.