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Xv6 LS Command Output.png
xv6 startup, and using the "ls" command
Written inC and x86 assembly language
OS familyUnix-like
Source modelOpen source
Latest releaserev11 / September 2, 2018; 9 months ago (2018-09-02)
Available inEnglish
Platformsmultiprocessor Intel x86
Kernel typeMonolithic
Default user interfaceCommand-line interface
LicenseMIT license
Official websitepdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/xv6

xv6 is a modern reimplementation of Sixth Edition Unix in ANSI C for multiprocessor x86 systems. It is used for pedagogical purposes in MIT's Operating Systems Engineering (6.828) course.


Unlike Linux or BSD, xv6 is simple enough to cover in a semester, yet still contains the important concepts and organization of Unix.[1] Rather than study the original V6 code, the course uses xv6 since PDP-11 machines are not widely available and the original operating system was written in archaic pre-ANSI C.[1]


One feature of the Makefile for xv6 is the option to produce a PDF of the entire source code listing in a readable format. The entire printout is only 99 pages, including cross references.[2] This is reminiscent of the original V6 source code, which was published in a similar form in Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Code.

Educational use[edit]

xv6 has been used in operating systems courses at many prestigious universities including Northwestern University,[3] The George Washington University,[4] Northeastern University,[5] Yale University,[6] Columbia University,[7] Ben-Gurion University,[8] Johns Hopkins University,[9] Portland State University,[10] Tsinghua University,[11] Southern Adventist University,[12] the University of Wisconsin–Madison,[13] Binghamton University, the University of Utah,[14] [15] University of California, Irvine, University of California, Riverside,[16] IIIT Bangalore, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Bhubaneswar and PEC Chandigarh in India, the Linnaeus University[17] in Sweden, the University of Otago[18] in New Zealand, the National University of Córdoba,[19] the National University of Río Cuarto,[20] in Argentina, the Federico Santa María Technical University in Chile, the Università degli Studi di Palermo[21] University of Illinois at Chicago,[22] Rutgers University,[23] the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia[24] in Italy, the University of Tehran[25] in Iran, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais[26] in Brazil.

Production use[edit]

  • TrustKernel's T6[27] secure kernel is an Xv6 ARM ported OS and has been deployed into many secure phones in China.


  1. ^ a b "Xv6, a simple Unix-like teaching operating system". Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  2. ^ "xv6 source listing" (pdf). Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  3. ^ "EECS 343: Operating System, Fall 2016–17". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  4. ^ "CSCI 3411 – Operating Systems, Fall 2018". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  5. ^ "CS 3650: Computer Systems, Fall 2014". Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  6. ^ "CS422/522: Operating Systems, Spring 2010 — Overview". Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  7. ^ "COMS W4118: Operating Systems I, Fall 2013". Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  8. ^ "Operating Systems – 2012/Spring – Main". Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  9. ^ "600.318/418: Operating Systems". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  10. ^ "CS 333 Introduction to Operating Systems". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  11. ^ "FrontPage – OS Teaching Wiki". Retrieved 2010-03-18.
  12. ^ "School of Computing at Southern Adventist University". Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  13. ^ "CS-537: Introduction to Operating Systems". Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  14. ^ "CS 6460: Operating Systems". Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  15. ^ "Embedded in Academia : Xv6". Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  16. ^ "CS 202: Advanced Operating System". Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  17. ^ "1DV201: Operating system". Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  18. ^ "COSC440: Advanced Operating system". Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  19. ^ "SistOp14: Operating Systems". Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  20. ^ "Operating Systems". Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  21. ^ "Sistemi Operativi". Retrieved 2015-10-18.
  22. ^ "CS385 – Operating Systems Concepts and Design". Retrieved 2015-03-18.
  23. ^ "01:198:416: Operating Systems Design". Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  24. ^ "Progettazione di Sistemi Operativi". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  25. ^ "Operating Systems instructed by Dr. Mehdi Kargahi".
  26. ^ "DCC605: Sistemas Operacionais". Retrieved 2015-11-16.
  27. ^ "T6: TrustZone Based Trusted Kernel". Retrieved 2015-01-12.

External links[edit]