The goal of this homework is to get your hands dirty with more C programming
but more importantly, to help you to familiarize yourself with such concepts as
creating new processes using fork(), using signals and how to block them, and
how to run programs using execve(). This homework consists of three parts.
In the third part, you need to implement a relatively small program that
will combine various concepts that you have seen in the applications from the
second part of this homework.
2 Programming Assignment
In this part of the homework, you need to implement an application called
artist manager. This application imitates hiring/firing artists and tracking
which of them are busy doing work or available for work. You will need to
implement this application using the concepts we have gone through in the
recent lectures and that you were using in the previous part of this homework.
Your program should start with the shell and please put a shell prompt to
make it more visible, e.g. “> ” or “shell> ”will do just fine. Your program
should support the following list of commands:
• hire N
• fire X
• assign X
• withdraw X
Let’s now discuss what each command should do.
help. This command should print some reasonable help message describing
available commands. You don’t have to produce a huge print out as something
concise will be enough. You can also check the examples of help messages of
the Linux tools to get an idea of how such a message may look like.
date. This command should print the current date by executing “date”
application, which absolute path is usually “/bin/date”. After executing it,
your program should return back to the shell prompt.
hire N. This command imitates hiring N artists that may be assigned to
some jobs later. Code-wise, you need to spawn N child processes that will keep
running and do nothing (think of infinite loop inside of their code) unless some
specific events described later will happen. Please note that this command can
be called multiple times.
fire X. This command imitates firing a given artist X. By X we will
understand PID of one of the child processes. Please note that this command
can be called multiple times.
fireall. This command imitates firing all currently hired artists.
assign X. This command imitates assigning a given artist X to a job
whereby X we will understand PID of one of the child processes. When this
happens, the child process with PID equals to X should print “ARTIST X IS
ASSIGNED TO A JOB” where you need to substitute X with the PID of that
withdraw X. This command imitates withdrawing a given artist X from
job whereby X we will understand PID of one of the child processes. When this
happens, the child process with PID equals to X should print “ARTIST X IS
WITHDRAWN FROM A JOB” where you need to substitute X with the PID
of that child process.
list. This command should list all the current artists’ PIDs and statuses in
the following form:
where the PID is a PID of a child process and status may be either “ASSIGNED” or “WAITING”. What data structure to use to track that information
is up to you.
exit. This command exits the shell and your program. Don’t forget to free
memory/data structures, close files, etc.
For most of the commands, after each command, your program should return
back to the shell prompt. Let’s go now through the internals of some commands.
Firing an artist means that you need to gracefully terminate respective child and
clean up associated data structures. Please note that all code for manipulating
data structures to track artists and their statuses should be located in the
artist ds.c file. If you are about to fire an artist who is assigned a job then
you need to withdraw the artist from the job first and then fire. If for some
reason child process died by itself (simulating an artist that decided to leave
your company) then you need to possibly withdraw that artist from a job and
then clean respective data structures.
For communicating with children processes you need to use signals. To assign
a job to an artist you need to send SIGUSR1 signal and to withdraw from a job
you need to send a SIGUSR2 signal to a particular child process.
3 Printing Output
To make the grading process faster and easier we introduce a REQUIREMENT how you should produce output in your program for anything except
your shell prompt. Please also don’t print anything in your final version of submission, which was not specifically asked as it may severely affect your grade.
We provide you with a function cse320 print(char *message), which will
print given message to the stdout. During the grading, we will modify this
function to test your results by performing the exact string comparison. It also
means that it is important to develop your code inside the VM to avoid possible differences between newline characters between different operating systems.
Basically, that function just prints a given text.
Please note, that printf() is a formatted print function. Thus, if you need
to print formatted string then you may need first to construct it and then pass
the resultant string to provided cse320 print(char *message) function.
So far we only saw functions that have a strict number of parameters. In
programming languages such as C++ and Java you have an option of having
functions with the same name but the different number of parameters. This
technique is called function/method overloading but it is not supported in C.
But in the case of printf() function, the number of parameters is not just
unknown but also may vary drastically. Thus, you may become curious how
does functions like printf() and scanf() work. In short, there is a special
class of functions called variadic functions that accepts a variable number of
arguments. Please refer to the readings at the end of the document to find more
information about these functions.
4 Implementing/Testing Your Program
When you write your code try to split it into some logical blocks/steps. So
every time such piece of code is complete you can test it and once testing is
done, push it to the GitHub. Trying to complete the whole program all at once
and debug only after will require much more efforts and will negatively affect
the amount of time being spent on this homework.
It is also a good idea to write documentation for your program and put the
important decisions about your design into the README file.
You need to follow the naming conventions and the asked way to implement
these exercises. If you are asked for some output then you need to print only
what was asked and nothing else. Otherwise, your grade may be severely affected. Please find the list of the requirements for this part of the homework
• You need to use cse320 print(char *message) for any output except
• You should print only what was asked and nothing else.
• The Makefile should be located in the root directory of your repository.
• The executable should be called artist manager.
• We should be able to compile your program by typing “make” in the root
directory of your repository.
• All source code files should be in the “src” folder.
• All header files should be in the “inc” folder.
• You should not include “*.c” files into other “*.c” files.
• All code for manipulating data structures to track artists should be located
in the artist ds.c file.
And, similar to the previous assignments, no zombies, no memory leaks/errors, no crashes.
Please click on the link below that will set up a repository for you for this
homework. In case, it will take more than a few minutes please contact me so
I can set up the repository for you manually.
For the second part please create a folder “part 2” and put all files related
to the Part II into that folder.
As before, we grade the latest submission.
7 Interesting Readings
Links below are not necessary to complete this homework but you may find
C functions with variable number of arguments
printf() and scanf() examples
8 Extra Credit I
In our homework when we need to fire an artist who is currently assigned to a
job we will withdraw the artist first. Let’s modify this behavior now. Instead of
firing right away you need to introduce a timer that will check every 5 seconds
if that artist was withdrawn from a job and fire the artist only then. You may
find SIGARLM useful for this extra credit.
9 Extra Credit II
You can see that every time we assign a job we assign it to a particular artist.
However, we lack the functionality of just assigning the job and system being
able to assign it to the first available artist. Let’s fix it by creating a new
command “assignjob”. This command should pick the first available artist
and assign a job to that artist. If all of the artists are assigned jobs then
“assignjob” command should hire one to do this job.