By : Manglika Tripathi

Updated : Feb 25, 2021, 4:20

Deadlock is a situation when a set of processes in the operating system cannot allocate resources among themselves, thus, communicating and competing for the allocation of resources. Deadlock is an essential topic in many engineering competitive examinations like GATE CS, JEE, etc.

In layman's terms, when two or more processes in the operating system start conflicting allocation of resources, it is called deadlock situations. Generally, many theoretical questions are asked from the sub-topics and strategies related to deadlock. This article will tell you where to go for deadlock study material for GATE CS, deadlock GATE questions and answers pdf, deadlock online quizzes, deadlock topics for GATE CS, deadlock notes for GATE pdf and deadlock online tests. It will provide a comprehensive overview of the topic to prepare for the GATE CS.

Important Deadlock Topics for GATE CS



Conditions for deadlock situations

Deadlock situations occur only when the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • Resources to the processes must be allocated exclusively and not on sharing basis.
  • Processes should be able to request more resources even if they already possess certain resources.
  • Resources are liberated by processes only after the completion of their work.
  • Waiting for resources by the processes must be in a circular way such that process 1 is waiting for resources currently in use by process 2 while process 2 is waiting for resources from process 3 and so on.

Deadlock handling strategies

Deadlock situations can be handled by using any of the following strategies:

  • Ostrich strategy
  • Deadlock detection and recovery strategy
  • Avoidance strategy
  • Prevention strategy

Ostrich strategy

In ostrich deadlock handling strategy, you are expected to ignore the deadlock situation altogether.

Deadlock detection and recovery

In this way of handling deadlock problems, you are expected to detect the deadlock problem and then recover it using the necessary steps.

Deadlock avoidance strategy

This method involves avoiding deadlock situations by properly allocating resources at the beginning such that deadlock situations do not occur.

Deadlock prevention

Deadlock prevention involves making sure that at least any one of the following conditions holds true:

  • Eliminating holding and waiting condition
  • Eliminating mutually exclusive condition
  • Eliminating no-preemption condition
  • Eliminating circular waiting condition

Tips to Solve Deadlock Questions for GATE CS

Following are some tips to keep in mind while preparing for questions on deadlock:

  • There are many formulae, conditions, and strategies involved in deadlock topics, so practice as much as possible to solve questions faster in the examination.
  • Deadlock is a topic for which reference books are critical as they are updated with new material that is usually tested in examinations. So, choose deadlock books very wisely.
  • The weightage of deadlock topics is high in the GATE CS examination, so do not leave out any subtopic or portion from this topic especially.
  • Practice with diagrams, especially in circular processes problems as it will help you understand problems easily and score well.

Importance of Deadlock in the GATE Exam

Here’s why deadlock forms an essential part of GATE:

  • Deadlock is one of the most important components of engineering examinations, as every year, these examinations include a lot of questions on deadlock.
  • The weightage of deadlock in the GATE CS examination is one of the highest every year, so practising it will help you score well.
  • Around 10 questions are asked every year on Deadlock topic in the GATE CS.
  • In last year's GATE CS examination, deadlock and related sub-topics were tested for around 10 marks.

Most Recommended Books for Deadlock for GATE

There are many books to prepare for deadlock and related sub-topics for the GATE CS examinations, so you have to choose wisely. The following list of deadlock books will help you get a thorough understanding of the possible deadlock GATE questions:



Operating System

Rohit Khurana

Operating Systems

Avi Silberschatz, Greg Gagne, and Peter Baer Galvin

Modern Operating Systems

Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Why prepare Deadlock from BYJU'S Exam Prep?

Gradeup provides a benevolent environment for students to communicate and address queries. It also provides students with an environment to prepare using high-quality, verified examination material and practice previous years’ examination papers. BYJU'S Exam Prep gives students access to verified study preparation material, which boosts aspirants’ confidence. It conducts special mock tests series for students and also conducts live sessions to clarify doubts. You can also find deadlock quizzes, deadlock GATE notes, and deadlock GATE syllabus to prepare for examinations on BYJU'S Exam Prep.


Q. What is the weightage of Deadlock questions in competitive examinations?

On average, around 10 questions are asked on deadlock and related topics in competitive examinations.

Q. What is the updated deadlock syllabus for GATE CS?

You can find the updated deadlock syllabus for GATE and deadlock notes for CS on the BYJU'S Exam Prep website.

Q. How are deadlock questions asked in competitive examinations?

They are usually asked in the form of numerical and theoretical MCQs. You can prepare accordingly with the deadlock MCQ questions and deadlock MCQ pdfs compiled by BYJU'S Exam Prep.

Q. What is the difficulty level of deadlock questions in examinations?

The difficulty level of these questions is high, but if you have a clear understanding of the sub-topics, you can easily solve them.

Q. Which computer science examinations include questions on deadlock?

Deadlock for computer science is tested in the following examinations:

  • JEE