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System Internals of Windows; OS X; Linux; ARM

Table of Contents

To Do:
  • Stuff
  • clear backlog
  • add missing things

General OS Agnostic Internals

Linux Internals

OS X Internals

  • Kernel Extensions(KEXTs)
  • Tools
    • Instruments - OS X system analysis
      • Instruments is a performance-analysis and testing tool for dynamically tracing and profiling OS X and iOS code. It is a flexible and powerful tool that lets you track a process, collect data, and examine the collected data. In this way, Instruments helps you understand the behavior of both user apps and the operating system.

Windows Internals


ARM References

  • A Detailed Analysis of Contemporary ARM and x86 Architectures
    • RISC vs. CISC wars raged in the 1980s when chip area andprocessor design complexity were the primary constraints anddesktops and servers exclusively dominated the computing land-scape. Today, energy and power are the primary design con-straints and the computing landscape is significantly different:growth in tablets and smartphones running ARM (a RISC ISA)is surpassing that of desktops and laptops running x86 (a CISCISA). Further, the traditionally low-power ARM ISA is enter-ing the high-performance server market, while the traditionallyhigh-performance x86 ISA is entering the mobile low-power de-vice market. Thus, the question of whether ISA plays an intrinsicrole in performance or energy efficiency is becoming important,and we seek to answer this question through a detailed mea-surement based study on real hardware running real applica-tions. We analyze measurements on the ARM Cortex-A8 andCortex-A9 and Intel Atom and Sandybridge i7 microprocessorsover workloads spanning mobile, desktop, and server comput-ing. Our methodical investigation demonstrates the role of ISAin modern microprocessors’ performance and energy efficiency.We find that ARM and x86 processors are simply engineeringdesign points optimized for different levels of performance, andthere is nothing fundamentally more energy efficient in one ISAclass or the other. The ISA being RISC or CISC seems irrelevant.
  • ARM Documentation
  • Windows 8 Security and ARM


  • Intel SGX Explained
    • This paper analyzes Intel SGX, based on the 3 papers that introduced it, on the Intel Software Developer’s Manual(which supersedes the SGX manuals), on an ISCA 2015 tutorial, and on two patents. We use the papers, reference manuals, and tutorial as primary data sources, and only draw on the patents to fill in missing information. This paper’s contributions are a summary of the Intel-specific architectural and micro-architectural details needed to understand SGX, a detailed and structured presentation of the publicly available information on SGX, a series of intelligent guesses about some important but undocumented aspects of SGX, and an analysis of SGX’s security properties.