6.824: Distributed Systems

Spring 2012
Tues/Thurs, 1-2:30, 32-144

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Jan 2013: The labs in 2013 will not be the same as the labs in 2012.

May 25: The solution to Quiz II is here.

May 15: Thursday from 12:05 to 2:25 we will have project presentations. You can find the demo schedule here. Please email TA ASAP if you need to adjust your demo schedule.

You'll have 5 minutes to present. Please practice to make sure you fit in the time limit. We will cut you off after 5 minutes, since we must finish on time.

You should spend at least a minute explaining what you did for your project. The whole class is up to speed on YFS and etc, so in many cases you won't have to give much background. It's probably best not to use PowerPoint except if you need to present graphics. It's great if you can show a demo of your system in action, but not required. Be prepared for the possibility that your demo might not work, or might be slow. It's best if the person operating the demo does not talk; have one person at the computer, and another speaking.

We'll have two projectors/screens set up, and groups will alternate, to give each group time to set up. If you plan to use a projector, please make sure in advance that you know how to get your laptop to talk to a projector. And please make sure your laptop is running all the right software and etc before it's your turn to present.

Please be in 32-144 and ready to start promptly at 12:05pm.

May 8: Please complete the Course Evaluation by Monday, May 21st at 9am. Thank you.

Mar 23: We have extended the deadline of lab 5 to 5pm, Mar 30th.

Mar 22: You can pick your quiz up before/after today's lecture. The solution to and grade histogram of Quiz 1 is here.

Mar 13: There will be a quiz on Tuesday March 20. It will be in class and will last 80 minutes. The quiz will cover lectures, papers, and the labs, up to and including Lecture 11 and Lab 4. We have posted past quizzes to help you prepare for the quiz. Please bring copies of the papers. You may bring any printed material you like, including your notes. Please do not use a computer/smartphone/tablet/&c during the exam.

Feb 24: The 6.824 final exam will be on Thursday, May 24 from 9:00 to 11:00 Noon in the Ice Rink.

Feb 20: The paper for Feb 23 is now Piccolo rather than DryadLINQ.

Feb 14: The paper for Feb 16 is now Plan 9 rather than Amoeba. Apologies if you have already read Amoeba.

Feb 6: Please use Piazza to discuss labs, lectures and papers. We will look at Piazza regularly and answer questions (unless one of you answers first); the entire class can see and benefit from these exchanges. Separately, we also ask that you submit your answer to each paper's question via Piazza. Please send your name and email address, with a subject of [6.824], to ydmao@mit.edu so we can invite you to join the 6.824 Piazza.

Jan 30: See you on Tuesday Feb 7!

What is 6.824 about?

6.824 is a core 12-unit graduate subject with lectures, programming labs, quizzes, and a small project extending the labs. It will present abstractions and implementation techniques for engineering distributed systems. Topics include multithreading, remote procedure call, client/server designs, peer-to-peer designs, consistency, fault tolerance, and security, as well as several case studies of distributed systems.

Prerequisites: 6.004 and one of 6.033 or 6.828, or equivalent. Substantial programming experience with C/C++ will be helpful for the lab assignments and final project.

If you feel you know enough about systems engineering, an alternative subject to 6.824 is 6.829. 6.829 focuses on the engineering of networks. If you are a graduate student in systems or networking, we recommend you take both classes during your graduate career. 6.829 is offered in the spring.

If you want to learn more about operating systems in particular, you should consider 6.828.

Questions or comments regarding 6.824? Send e-mail to the TA at 6.824-staff@pdos.csail.mit.edu