6.824 2005 Final Project Information

Due date for team list: Feb 15
Due date for project proposal: Mar 1
First project conferences: Mar 8
Due date for first draft report: Mar 31
Second project conferences: Apr 5
Due date for second draft report: Apr 14
Project demonstration day: May 5
Due date for completed project and report: May 12 at 23:59


For the final project in 6.824 you'll form groups of three or four students, pick a system you want to build, design it, implement it, and write a report about it. The project has six deadlines:

The project is to be executed in teams of 3 or 4 students. We will not make exceptions: we will not allow smaller or larger teams. Find team-mates and send their names by e-mail to the TA. The email is due soon (see the list of deadlines at the top of this page).


Your project grade will be based on the quality of your report, on the usefulness of the system you've built, on the extent to which your design is a good fit for the problem you're solving, and on how useful your new ideas and techniques might be to other people building distributed systems.

When evaluating your report, we will look at both content and writing.

We expect your report to answer the following questions:

A good report will also be well written:

Suggestions for projects

You should feel free to propose any project you like, as long as it is related to operating systems or distributed systems and has a substantial system-building and evaluation component.

Doing a good project is a daunting task. The most successful projects tend to be very well defined and modest in scope. We (the 6.824 staff) are very happy to be involved in all stages of your project. Please, come talk to us about your project ideas, how you should execute the project, what you should write about in your final report, etc.

Feel free to base your implementation on the code that we supply you for the labs, or on your lab solutions.

You could look for inspiration about hot topics in the on-line proceedings of recent SOSP, OSDI, Usenix, and NSDI conferences. You might also want to look at 6.824 projects from previous years: 2001, 2002, and 2004.

If you're having trouble thinking of a project idea, some of the topics below might help get you started.

What to Hand In

Check the top of this page for due dates.

Team list: e-mail your team list (three or four members) to 6.824-staff@pdos.lcs.mit.edu.

Proposal: e-mail your proposal to 6.824-staff@pdos.lcs.mit.edu. The proposal should be no more than two pages. It should be ordinary ASCII text, not an attachment or word processor file.

Draft reports: E-mail your drafts, in PDF format, to 6.824-staff@pdos.lcs.mit.edu.

Final report: E-mail your final report, in PDF format, to 6.824-staff@pdos.lcs.mit.edu. Put a tar file containing your project source code in ~/handin/final/source.tar.

Your report must not exceed ten single-spaced pages in length. This is a limit on the total length, including references and appendices. Please use 11-point fonts and 1-inch margins.

Make sure you save enough time to write a good report, since that's what will determine most of your project grade.