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This paper presents a tutorial survey of the function and construction of executive systems for minicomputers. A modular approach to the construction of device schedulers, swapping and multiprogramming supervisors, and file systems is emphasized. Considerable use is made of programming technology borrowed from large-scale computer systems, but specialized to the needs of small-scale minicomputer systems. The paper also describes the use of high-level languages, structured programming, and program-development systems in the application of this technology to the minicomputer environment.