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Virtual Memory Primitives for User Programs

Report ID:
June 1990
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Memory Management Units (MMUs) are traditionally used by operating systems
to implement disk-paged virtual memory. Some operating systems allow user
programs to specify the protection level (inaccessible, read-only,
read-write) of pages, and allow user programs to handle protection
violations, but these mechanisms are not always robust, efficient, or
well-matched to the needs of applications.
We survey several user-level algorithms that make use of page-protection
techniques, and analyze their common characteristics, in an attempt
to answer the question, "What virtual-memory primitives should the
operating system provide to user processes, and how do today's
operating systems provide them?".

This technical report has been published as
Virtual memory primitives for user programs. Andrew W. Appel
and Kai Li, Proc. Fourth Int'l Conference on Architectural Support
for Prog. Languages and Operating Systems, (ACM SIGPLAN Notices

25(4)) pp.96-107, April 1991.
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