Syllabus for System Administration

Professor: Ken Koehler
Office: Muntz 372
Office Hours: TR 12:30-2:00 (excluding faculty meetings) and by appt.
Telephone: 745-5782

Course Goals

This course will provide the knowledge and hands-on skills necessary to manage a Local Area Network and its resources. Topics covered include directory services, server management, file and print services, and user/client administration in a heterogeneous operating system environment. Students will setup and manage a fully functioning computer network of systems. Hands-on active learning required.

During the courses, students will:

Because Linux provides complete transparency, it is the system of choice for most of our needs. A special Linux distribution has been built for this course, and will serve as our primary platform. Comparisons with other platforms will be made as necessary.


The course notes (see Schedule below) are the primary source material for this course. Throughout, information that you will enter during startup, at the command line or in edits, are in red. Technical terms which you should know are in bold (although sometimes bold is used for other reasons as well).
While many examples will appear in the notes, not everything you need to do will be given there. You are expected to understand each entry and its purpose, and be able to use it (or variations on it) in different contexts for the remainder of the course.
Additional references include:

These and many more are hosted at, and at the Linux Documentation Project.

In addition, the following links may be useful:

Electronic Communications Policy

All announcements will be sent to your U.C. e-mail address. Regularly check that account for messages.

Electronic Recording Policy

No video recording is permitted in class at any time. Audio recording and still pictures of blackboard work are permitted if you ask first, and agree not to share the materials with anyone.

Attendance Policy

Failure to attend class will result in the following:

Attendance will be taken at the start of each class period. If you are not present when it is taken, it counts as a missed class.

Students who miss class are responsible for making up the work missed.

Policy on Incompletes

A grade of incomplete will only be given in cases of medical emergency and if the student is in good standing regarding attendance and participation.

Withdrawal Participation Policy

In order to withdraw with a grade of W, a student must complete at least one in-class exercise.

If this minimum requirement is not met, the withdrawal grade will be WX.

The last day to withdraw from any class is March 20. Withdrawals after that date must be signed by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.


You are expected to read each week's notes critically, before we cover the material in class.

Here is a calender for your convenience (breaks and holidays have been marked with asterisks):

       January               February                 March        
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                        1  2  3  4  5  6  7    1  2  3  4  5  6  7
                        8  9 10 11 12 13 14    8  9 10 11 12 13 14
   12 13 14 15 16 17   15 16 17 18 19 20 21   15 ** ** ** ** ** 21
18 ** 20 21 22 23 24   22 23 24 25 26 27 28   22 23 24 25 26 27 28
25 26 27 28 29 30 31                          29 30 31

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
          1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30  

Tests and Grades

There will be a laboratory exercise each week. Each exercise must be completed before the end of that week; you will receive 2 points for doing the exercise successfully, and 2 points for e-mailing to me a correct log of all commands used to complete the exercise. If you complete these tasks late, but before exam week, you will receive 1 point for each part.

The remainder of your grade will be based on the final exam. You will have 2 hours to solve the 11 problems which you will find in the file /root/final.txt. Each problem is based on one of the lab exercises, and is worth 4 points.

Cell phones may not be used during the exam.
You may use your computer, and the course web site, but no access to the Internet is allowed. You will edit the final.txt file to include each answer after the question; all answers must include in exact detail all commands that you would use to answer the question. At the end of the exam, I will upload those files and evaluate your solutions on the following scale:

Grades will be assigned on the following scale:

90 to 100 points = an A
80 to 89 points = a B
70 to 79 points = a C
60 to 69 points = A D
0 to 59 points = an F
Plus or minus grades will not be given.

If you in any way damage the disk partitions (or the partition table) on your PC which are assigned to other classes through a careless or malicious act, you will be summarily withdrawn from the class. If the act was intentional, or if you are caught attempting to cheat on the final, expulsion proceedings may be initiated against you.

©2014, Kenneth R. Koehler. All Rights Reserved.