CIS 191 - Spring 2019

UNIX/Linux Server Administration

Time:Thursdays 10:15am to 2:20pm
Room:Room 829 Aptos and Online
Lab:Open Lab - 1 hour per week TBA
UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition)

Course Calendar

Week Date Topic
1 1/31


2 2/7

System Administration

Reading:Chapters 1 & 4
RH124: 1.4. Practice: The GNOME 3 Desktop Environment
RH124: 1.7. Lab: Accessing the Command Line
RH124: 2.6. Practice: Command-Line File Management
RH124: 2.9. Lab: Managing Files with Shell Expansion
3 2/14

Boot Loaders and Booting

Reading:Chapter 3
RH124: 4.4. Practice: Editing Files with vim
RH124: 8.2. Practice: Identify the Status of systemd Units
RH124: 8.4. Practice: Using systemctl to Manage Services
4 2/21

Files, Filesystmes and Block Devices

Reading:Chapter 6
RH 124: 12.2. Practice: Backing Up and Restoring Files From a tar Archive
RH 124: 12.7. Lab: Archiving and Copying Files Between Systems
5 2/28

Partitioning Disks

Reading:Chapter 8
RH 134: 9.5. Lab: Adding Disks, Partitions, and File Systems to a Linux System
6 3/7


Reading:Chapter 8
7 3/14

Logical Volume Management

Reading:Chapter 7
RH 134: 10.4. Practice: Adding a Logical Volume
RH 134: 10.7. Lab: Managing Logical Volume Management (LVM) Storage
8 3/21 Midterm
- 3/28 Spring Break
9 4/4

User Accounts and Groups

Reading:Chapters 5 & 9
10 4/11

Controlling Processes

Reading:Chapter 11
11 4/18

System Monitoring and Logging

Reading:Chapter 10
12 4/25

Package Management

Reading:Chapter 12
13 5/2

Kernel Customization

Reading:Chapter 13
14 5/9


Reading:Chapter 24
15 5/16 Docker Containers
16 5/21 Final

Course Description

Introduces skills required to administer UNIX/Linux systems. Skills include installing and configuring a popular distribution, such as RedHat Linux, maintaining file and file system structures, distributing and monitoring processes, starting and stopping the system for routine maintenance and troubleshooting, rebuilding and upgrading the kernel, configuring peripheral devices such as printers and modems, backing up and restoring files, and disaster recovery. Develops skills through using both graphical and command line user interfaces, and will be demonstrated by building a custom version of Linux. Prepares students for several industry standard Linux certifications.

Student Learner Outcomes

  • Manage filesystems
  • Manage and customize user and group accounts
  • Implement system performance optimization


  • Describe the structural components of Unix/Linux systems and outline the similarities and differences among various distributions.
  • Contrast command line and graphical user interfaces and evaluate the tradeoffs between the two.
  • Install a UNIX/Linux System as a workstation or server to meet the needs of a small to medium company.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of boot loaders by configuring two operating systems to dual boot, and by recovering a system that won’t boot.
  • Define and customize the run levels into which a server will boot.
  • Bring a system down and back up again after reorganizing or expanding storage space.
  • Transfer files from one system to another using network protocols or removable storage devices.
  • Configure a graphical desktop environment by editing the configuration files for the X Windows server, a window manager, and appropriate graphical clients.
  • Use online manual pages and Internet web sites to discover proper command usage or how to use a new utility.
  • Create, modify and delete user accounts and groups, and customize user profiles to meet specified security and productivity needs.
  • Add, update and remove software packages using an appropriate package installation tool.
  • Configure and manage terminals, modems, and printers.
  • Configure system logging to collect information needed for troubleshooting and correcting system problems.
  • Maintain optimal system performance by monitoring disk usage, scheduling processes, and removing resource bottlenecks.
  • Perform a complete system backup and restore the system with that backup.
  • Recover lost files and forgotten passwords.
  • Restore an unstable system by identifying and removing one or more errant processes.
  • Maintain operating system currency by upgrading to a new kernel and applying supplemental patches.
  • Configure system and kernel resources by recompiling the kernel.
  • Transform a single user workstation into a multiuser server.
  • Explain the use of various commands used by a system administrator.

Grading Policy

  • 60% Labs and Homework
  • 20% Midterm
  • 20% Final

TBA (To Be Arranged) Lab Hours

This course meets weekly at the times shown in the Cabrillo Schedule of Classes and above. In addition each student is required to spend lab time every week in either the CIS Lab (room 830) or online using one of the online accounts issued to you. Students may choose the time and day for their TBA Lab Hours where they will work on lab assignments designed to give them practical hands-on experience and continue the learning process. These TBA lab hours are required and tracked. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the TBA lab hours, which start on Week 1 of the term. Tip: A great time to do TBA lab hours is in the CIS Lab during my STEM hours. If that is not possible, questions can always be posted on the class discussion group.

Class Pacing and Due Dates

Assignments are due most weeks during the term. Each class builds on the previous class so it’s important to keep up with the assignments. Keeping pace with the lectures will help you get the most out of in-class lab activities. However, I would much rather you do an assignment late than not at all. Late work will be accepted until a reasonable amount of time before the end of the semester. There will be a nominal penalty for late assignments.

If you have an emergency that prevents you from submitting assignments on time, please email me for an accommodation.

Classroom Etiquette

It is important to have an effective, distraction-free classroom environment for learning. To minimize distractions all cell-phones should be turned off or at least silenced. Never carry on conversations during the lecture as this is probably the most annoying distraction possible to those sitting nearby.

For students in the physical classroom, computers can be turned on for viewing lecture slides locally, Google-ing related technical information, and doing classroom exercises. A student’s full attention is desired so the computers should not be used during lecture for email or anything that would distract them or others from the material being taught.

For students in the virtual classroom, use the “Raise hand” icon in CCC Confer to let the instructor know you have a question. The chat window can be used to ask questions and communicate with the instructor or other classmates. For students dialing in please use *6 on your phone to mute/unmute your line so background noises in your location don’t distract the class.

Please plan on coming to all classes. If class will be missed let the instructor know ahead of time. It is the student’s responsibility to get any missed material or information from other classmates (the forum is a good way to do this). Please note that being disruptive is grounds for being dropped from the class by the instructor.

Academic Conduct

Instructors at Cabrillo will not tolerate any forms of academic dishonesty. We do not accept remarkably similar assignments. Students who engage in violations of academic integrity (cheating, plagiarizing print or electronic sources, copying computer files, web site content) as outlined in Cabrillo’s Student Rights and Responsibilities document are subject to disciplinary action by the instructor including receiving an “F” for the assignment, being dropped from the course with a “W” or being issued an “F” for the course.

Special Learning Needs

Veterans or students with disabilities, including “invisible” disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning, and psychological disabilities, are encouraged to explain their needs and appropriate accommodations to the instructor during office hours. Please bring a verification of your disability from the Learning Skills or DSPS offices and a counselor or specialist’s recommendations for accommodating your needs.

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to insure equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities. If you need assistance with an accommodation, please contact the Learning Skills Program at 831-479-6220 (for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders) or Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) at 831-479-6379 or 831-479-6421 (TTY) to make arrangements as soon as possible.

Students interested in receiving accommodations and services can contact the ASC at (831) 479-6379 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of the ASC counselors. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment to fill out necessary paperwork. ASC is located outside Room 1073 in The Hub, upstairs behind the library.

Missing Classes and Drops

It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from classes. If you miss more than two classes or two lab assignments, the instructor may drop you from the course enrollment unless prior arrangements have been made and agreed to.