Search and Site Map
Annual Reports
SIGOPS Chapters
SIGOPS de France
SIGOPS Publications
Operating Systems Review
Monthly Announcements
Sponsored Conferences
Related Conferences
Past Conferences
Requesting Sponsorship
The Dennis M. Ritchie Award
The Mark Weiser Award
The PODC Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing
The Hall of Fame Award
The EuroSys Roger Needham PhD Award

The SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award was instituted in 2005 to recognize the most influential Operating Systems papers that were published at least ten years in the past. For an in-depth discussion of the SIGOPS policy for this award, please read Jeff Mogul's Policies for the SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award.

Note: SIGOPS is in the process of revising the Hall of Fame Award selection procedure. For more details, please see here.

SIGOPS members can send in their nominations by e-mail to HOFnominations (at) The Hall of Fame Award Committee will choose which nominated paper wins the award. The decision will be based on a discussion that considers the impact the paper (and more generally of the research described in the paper) has had on the field of operating systems research. The Award committee will prepare a short statement that describes why the paper was selected.

The award winners will be announced at the SOSP or OSDI conference by the current program chair. The program chair will read the statement prepared by the Award committee that describes why the paper was selected. The authors of the award winning paper will be given a plaque, naming the paper, the authors, the conference or journal the paper appeared in, and the conference in which the award was made. This certificate will be signed by the program chair and the current chair of SIGOPS. A list of the winners of the award will be maintained on the SIGOPS website.

The Hall of Fame Award Committee consists of past program chairs from SOSP, OSDI, EuroSys, past Weiser and Turing Award winners from the SIGOPS community, and representatives of each of the Hall of Fame Award papers. Five members from the committee, chosen to be without conflict of interest with the possible award winners, do the final selection.

2013 Awards

  • Daniel G. Bobrow, Jerry D. Burchfiel, Daniel L. Murphy and Raymond S. Tomlinson. Tenex, A Paged Time Sharing System for the PDP-10 Communications of the ACM 15(3), March 1972.

    The Tenex system pioneered many ideas that are prominent in modern operating systems. It included one of the first page based memory systems, copy on write sharing, mapping of files into virtual memory, and user/group/other file protection. It also had mnemonic commands with command-line completion and automatic file versioning. As one reviewer said, "Reading it now, I'm pleasantly surprised by how much is familiar --- thanks to its successors."

  • Joel Bartlett. A NonStop Kernel in Proceedings of the Eighth ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSPí81), Pacific Grove, California, December 1981.

    Tandem was the first commercial database to achieve fault tolerance. To accomplish this, the Tandem system had to bring together many techniques --- including message-passing, mirroring, fast failure detection, and failover --- into a practical design and implementation.

  • K. Mani Chandy and Leslie Lamport. Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 3(1), February 1985.

    This paper takes the idea of consistency for distributed predicate evaluation, formalizes it, distinguishes between stable and dynamic predicates, and shows precise conditions for correct detection of stable conditions. The fundamental techniques in the paper are the secret sauce in many distributed algorithms for deadlock detection, termination detection, consistent checkpointing for fault tolerance, global predicate detection for debugging and monitoring, and distributed simulation.

  • Kenneth P. Birman and Thomas A. Joseph. Exploiting Virtual Synchrony in Distributed Systems in Proceedings of the Eleventh ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSPí87), Austin, Texas, November 1987.

    This paper describes a methodology for building distributed applications comprised of multiple components, each realized by a group of replicated servers. It defines a number of group communication primitives and then ties fault notification into the fabric of group services by introducing the virtual synchrony principle, which orders communication and fault notifications consistently among group members and across multiple groups.

  • Eddie Kohler, Robert Morris, Benjie Chen, John Jannotti and Frans Kaashoek. The Click Modular Router ACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS), 18(3), August 2000.

    Click defines a simple, modular, and efficient framework for constructing network routers with different services and properties. Since this paper's publication, Click has been an essential tool for the networking and systems research communities with dozens and perhaps hundreds of systems and papers built on it, including several commercially successful systems.

2012 Awards

  • Brian M. Oki, Barbara H. Liskov. Viewstamped Replication: A New Primary Copy Method to Support Highly-Available Distributed Systems Proceedings of the Seventh Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC 1988), Toronto, ON, Canada, Aug 1988, pp 8--17.

    The paper introduces a replication protocol very similar to what is now known as Paxos. That protocol has become the standard for consistent, fault-tolerant state-machine replication, and is widely used in data centers to keep the state consistent despite failures and reconfiguration.

  • Leslie Lamport. The Part Time Parliament ACM TOCS 16(2), May 1998, 133--169.

    The work (originally published in 1989) was independent and roughly concurrent with the Viewstamped Replication work also recognized this year. It describes the protocol in a more general setting, adds a correctness argument, and forms the basis for modern Paxos implementations.

  • Kai Li, Paul Hudak. Memory Coherence in Shared Virtual Memory Systems ACM TOCS 7(4), Nov 1989, pp 321--359.

    The paper shows how to simulate coherent shared memory on a cluster, and also introduces directory-based distributed cache-coherence. It spawned a entire research area, and introduced cache coherence mechanisms that are widely used in industry.

  • Mendel Rosenblum, John K. Ousterhout. The Design and Implementation of a Log-Structured File System ACM TOCS 10(1), Feb 1992, pp 26--52.

    The paper introduces log-structured file storage, where data is written sequentially to a log and continuously de-fragmented. The underlying ideas have influenced many modern file and storage systems like NetApp's WAFL file systems, Facebook's picture store, aspects of Google's BigTable, and the Flash translation layers found in SSDs.

2011 Awards

  • Jim Gray. Why Do Computers Stop And What Can Be Done About It? HP Labs Technical Report TR-85.7.

    The paper presents the first large scale quantitative study of computer failures in practice, of a system built using best practices at the time to achieve fault-tolerance.

  • Ken Thompson. Reflections on Trusting Trust. Communications of the ACM, Volume 27 Issue 8, Aug 1984.

    The paper demonstrated that to have trust in a program, one cannot just rely on trust in the person who wrote it, or even on verifying the source code. One must also ensure that the entire tool chain used to produce and execute binaries is trustworthy.

  • Jack B. Dennis, Earl C. Van Horn. Programming Semantics for Multiprogrammed Computations. Communications of the ACM, Volume 9 Issue 3, March 1966.

    The paper lays out the conceptual foundations for multiprogramming and protection in computer systems.

  • David A. Patterson, Garth Gibson, Randy H. Katz. A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). Proceedings of the 1988 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data.

    The paper shows how to achieve efficient, fault tolerant and highly available storage using cheap, unreliable components.

2010 Awards

2009 Awards

  • Cary G. Gray and David R. Cheriton, Leases: An Efficient Fault-Tolerant Mechanism for Distributed File Cache Consistency, Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Priciples (SOSP), December 1989, Litchfield Park, AZ, USA.

    The Gray and Cheriton paper pioneered through its analysis of the Leases mechanism, which has become one of the most widely-used mechanisms for managing distributed caches. The paper is particularly striking for its careful analysis of the semantics of leases, its detailed experiments, and its thoughtful discussion of fault-tolerance issues.

  • Butler W. Lampson and David D. Redell, Experience with processes and monitors in Mesa, Proceedings of the Seventh ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Priciples (SOSP), December 1979, Pacific Grove, CA, USA.

    When this paper was written, monitors had emerged as the synchronization method of choice. in programming languages conferences and operating systems textbooks. This paper was the first to look closely at the practical issues that monitors pose when used in a large production system. These issues remain contemporary, and indeed researchers working on transactional memory mechanisms would do well to reread this wonderful paper.

  • Nancy P. Kronenberg, Henry M. Levy, and William D. Strecker, VAXclusters: A Closely-Coupled Distributed System, Proceedings of the Tenth AMC Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP), December 1985, Orcas Island, USA, USA.

    The VAX Clusters system was the first modern clustered system supporting such basic features as a distributed file system and a distributed locking service. The SOSP paper on VAX Clusters remains a classic today. VAXclusters was a huge commercial success, and set the stage for today.s massive data centers.

2008 Awards

2007 Awards

  • Leslie Lamport, Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System, Communications of the ACM 21(7):558-565, July 1978.

    Perhaps the first true "distributed systems" paper, it introduced the concept of "causal ordering", which turned out to be useful in many settings. The paper proposed the mechanism it called "logical clocks", but everyone now calls these "Lamport clocks."

  • Andrew D. Birrell and Bruce Jay Nelson, Implementing Remote Procedure Calls, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 2(1):39-59, February 1984.

    This is the paper on RPC, which has become the standard for remote communication in distributed systems and the Internet. The paper does an excellent job laying out the basic model for RPC and the implementation options.

  • J. H. Saltzer, D. P. Reed, and D. D. Clark, End-To-End Arguments in System Design, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 2(4):277-288, November 1984.

    This paper gave system designers, and especially Internet designers, an elegant framework for making sound decisions. A paper that launched a revolution and, ultimately, a religion.

  • Michael Burrows, Martin Abadi, and Roger Needham, A Logic of Authentication, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 8(1):18-36, February 1990.

    This paper introduced to the systems community a logic-based notation for authentication protocols to precisely describe certificates, delegations, etc. With this precise description a designer can easily reason whether a protocol is correct or not, and avoid the security flaws that have plagued protocols. "Speaks-for" and "says" are now standard tools for system designers.

  • Fred B. Schneider, Implementing Fault-Tolerant Services Using the State Machine Approach: a tutorial, ACM Computing Surveys 22(4):299-319, December 1990.

    The paper that explained how we should think about replication ... a model that turns out to underlie Paxos, Virtual Synchrony, Byzantine replication, and even Transactional 1-Copy Serializability.

2006 Awards

  • George C. Necula and Peter Lee, Safe Kernel Extensions Without Run-Time Checking, Proceedings of the Second USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, October 1996, Seattle, WA.

    This paper introduced the notion of proof carrying code (PCC) and showed how it could be used for ensuring safe execution by kernel extensions without incurring run-time overhead. PCC turns out to be a general approach for relocating trust in a system; trust is gained in a component by trusting a proof checker (and using it to check a proof the component behaves as expected) rather than trusting the component per se. PCC has become one of the cornerstones of language-based security.

2005 Awards

The ACM Special Interest Group on Mobility of Systems, Users, Data, and Computing
Mobile Computing & Computing Review