CIS 90: Introduction to UNIX/Linux#


Wednesdays 1:10pm to 4:15pm


Aptos Room 828 and Online


Open Lab - 1 hour per week TBA



The Linux Command Line (Required, Free)
William Shotts No Starch Press
ISBN-13 9781593279523
Learning the Shell (Book Companion Site)
Introduction to Linux (Free Online Course)

Course Description#

Provides a technical overview of the UNIX/Linux operating system, including hands-on experience with commands, files, and tools. Topics include basic UNIX/Linux commands, files and directories, text editing, electronic mail, pipes and filters, X Windows, shell environments, and scripting. Required for students wishing to pursue the UNIX/Linux track preparing for industry certification. May be offered in a Distance-Learning Format.

Course Content#

1. Welcome#

  • Find the command line on your system

  • Access Opus and Arya

  • Navigating the command line

2. The Command Line#

  • Describe the anatomy of a command

  • Use the keyboard to navigate the command line

  • The terminal and the shell

Chapter 1

3. The File System#

  • Navigate the filesystem

  • Use relative and absolute paths

  • List files


Chapter 2

4. Managing Files#

  • Understand file types

  • View file contents

  • Make links


Chapter 3

5. Files and Directories#

  • Make and remove directories

  • Copy and move files


Chapter 4

6. Commands#

  • Identify a command

  • Use the manual

  • Create an alias


Chapter 5

7. Input/Output Processing#

  • Use redirects

  • Build command pipelines


Chapter 6

8. Like a Boss#

  • Wildcards

  • Quotes

  • Tab Completion


Chapters 7 and 8

9. File Permissions#

  • Understand users and groups

  • Control access to files

  • Change your password


Chapter 9

10. Processes#

  • Run a process in the background

  • Send signals


Chapter 10

11. The Environment#

  • Read and set environment variables

  • Understand $PATH

Chapter 11

12. Love Your Text Editor#

  • Edit a file with vi, emacs and nano


Chapter 12


13. Scripting and Startup#

  • Write a shell script

  • Control the startup environment

  • Create aliases


Chapter 24

Student Learner Outcomes#

  • Navigate and manage the UNIX/Linux file system by viewing, copying, moving, renaming, creating, and removing files and directories.

  • Use the UNIX features of file redirection and pipelines to control the flow of data to and from various commands.

  • With the aid of online manual pages, execute UNIX system commands from either a keyboard or a shell script using correct command syntax.


  • Execute approximately 50 of the most common UNIX commands from the keyboard using correct command syntax.

  • Use online manual pages to determine what commands are required to perform a particular task and how to use those commands.

  • Navigate the UNIX file hierarchy by changing the current working directory to any predefined location.

  • Manage multiple file types by viewing, copying, moving, renaming, creating, and removing files and directories.

  • Use a UNIX based text editor to create and edit configuration and scripting files.

  • Use the UNIX/Linux mail environment to write, send, receive, and save electronic messages.

  • Ensure the security and privacy of user files by setting and changing file and directory permissions.

  • Use the UNIX features of file redirection and pipelines to control the flow of data to and from various commands.

  • Create, remove, and schedule UNIX processes to maintain efficient and steady use of the central processing unit.

  • Transfer data from one UNIX system to another and print a hard copy of textual data.

  • Select an appropriate UNIX/Linux shell environment to fit the needs of a user and customize the configuration files for that environment.

  • Write a simple shell script application that allows a user to select from a menu system of multiple functions.

Grading Policy#

  • 60% Labs and Homework

  • 20% Midterm

  • 20% Final

COVID-19 Policy#

Students must conduct an illness/health self-assessment each day they visit campus which includes the questions below. If you answer YES to any of these, you should not come to campus and should contact me for further guidance.

  • Are you currently experiencing a fever? Is your temperature 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher?

  • Do you have a headache, chills, body aches, or fatigue? Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose? Have you lost your sense of smell or taste?

  • Do you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?

By attending this course, you acknowledge that you are aware of the Cabrillo College COVID-19 Prevention Plan and Safe Reopening Plan and agree to abide by the guidelines therein to preserve the safety of yourself and others. You further understand that you will be asked to leave campus if you fail to adhere to the guidelines provided.

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.

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.

Nondescrimination and Accessibility Notice#

The District is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment, and all access to institutional programs and activities. The District, and each individual who represents the District, shall provide access to its services, classes, and programs without regard to national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race or ethnicity, color, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, or military and veteran status, or because he/she is perceived to have one or more of the foregoing characteristics, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

Students needing accommodations should inform the instructor. As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to insure equal access for students with verified disabilities. To determine if you qualify or if you need assistance with an accommodation, please contact the ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT CENTER (Formerly DSPS), Room 1073 (upstairs in the Library), (831) 479-6379 or (831) 479-6370.

Support Services#

Cabrillo College has many programs and services designed to help you during your academic journey. You can visit the website at for a complete listing of support services (under the Student Services tab). Please take advantage of the services provided to you by the college.

Financial Aid#

Cabrillo College provides several financial aid opportunities for students. For tuition and/or book assistance information, go to Cabrillo’s Financial Aid page.

Student Rights and Responsibilities#

You are expected to contribute to a positive learning environment. Your responsibilities as a student include:

  • Respect for your fellow students, staff, and faculty

  • Actively participating in the learning environment

  • Taking responsibility for learning and progressing in your course

  • Requesting assistance from the instructor when needed

  • Adhere to all academic integrity principles

  • Reading and understanding the Cabrillo Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. (the student grievance procedure is outlined beginning on pg. 18 of the handbook).

  • Following all school policies and procedures (All policies and procedures can be found at Cabrillo’s Board Policies and Administrative Procedures page).


Cabrillo College is committed to providing a safe and secure campus environment. The college will not tolerate acts of harassment or violence. For campus safety and security information, go to the Sheriff’s page. To report an incident or complaint, please go to the Just Report It page on the website: Just Report It.