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Times: Lecture: M,W 10:10-11:00, Sloan 233, Lab: Th 4:10-6:00ish, Sloan 353A. (There will be no lab the first week of class.)
Web site: http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/~cs302/
Instructor: Geoff Allen, geoff@wsu.edu
Office: ITB 2159
Phone: 335-0446
Office Hours: More or less 7:30-4:30 every day. Best to call or email first. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings are usually taken.

CptS 150.
Familiarity with the Unix operating system and experience with at least one structured programming language (C preferred). Also helpful to know vi.
Textbook: E. Nemeth et al., Unix System Administration Handbook, 3rd Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000. Goals: Practical skills required for Unix system administration.
30% Quizzes, one per topic (pretty much one per chapter, and close to one per week)
40% Laboratory projects (may include one or more "take home labs" -- a code word for "homework")
30% Comprehensive final exam

Note: Grading for this class is not curved. Everyone can get an "A"; Everyone can get an "F". It's up to you.

Generally, the scale will be within a couple of points of the following. The exact placement will be that which gives the most most logical split between A- and B+.

A: 93B+: 87C+: 77D+: 64
A-: 90B: 83C: 73D: 58
B-: 80C-: 70F: 57 and lower
Make-up Policy: Quizzes and labs may be made up within one week with a 20% penalty. No credit will be given after one week.


  1. Introduction: Unix history, essential tasks of system administration.
  2. Booting and Shutting down: Bootstrapping, single- and multi-user operation, startup scripts and processes, startup problem diagnosis, reinitialization, shutting down.
  3. Rootly powers: Privileged operations, file and process ownership, system accounts and superuser access.
  4. File system: organization, file types, permissions, and directory tree organization.
  5. Processes: Identifiers, components, life cycle, signaling, and process monitoring.
  6. Users: adding and deleting users, user account initialization scripts, quotas, authorization, pseudo-logins.
  7. Periodic processes: cron and at -- system-scheduled maintenance process configuration.
  8. Log files: deciphering and managing.
  9. Networking: Network hardware, TCP/IP operations, routing.
  10. The Domain Name System: configuration and use
  11. Electronic mail: user agents, transport agents, delivery agents, configuring and using sendmail
  12. Security: password security, hacking, cracking, privileged execution, security tools.
  13. Policy and politics. Computer ethics, "real world" problems, politics, penalties for misuse of systems.

Part of the CptS 302 Website
Instructor: Geoff Allen , geoff@wsu.edu
Source Modified: Sun Dec 23 16:47:39 2001
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