Summer 2000 CS 691X UNIX System Administration


The class meets MW 1-3:20pm, in ECS 237. The class is scheduled to run for eight weeks.

Each monitor in the lab must be powered off or set on a screen saver at the end of each class. Please turn them off for the weekend.




Course Outline

This course is scheduled to run for eight weeks, two sessions per week. So the sessions are numbered 1-16 in the list below.

The following was taken from the course page for summer 1999 and is provided to give you an idea of the course content.
  1. May 25
    • Introduction
    • Overview of lab facilities
    • Demo: installation of Redhat LINUX
    • Students make an inventory of the PCs in the lab, noting (when possible) the memory and disk situations, and the machine's IP address.
    • Reading assignment for next session: Chapters 1 and 2 of ESA textbook.
  2. May 31
    • Introduction and course overview. Begin a tour of hte UNIX filesystem.
  3. June 5
    • We installed Redhat 6.2 Linux on the machines in the ECS 237 lab. Each machine's IP address is, where n is the number assiged to the PC. For example, PC 13 gets the IP
    • The broadcast mask should be, and the name servers set to and
    • The generic multisync monitor seems to work for all the machines, and the Mach 64 video card. Some machines may need different settings.
    • Let's use the same root password on all machines in the lab. That password will be cs691x.
  4. June 7
    • More of the tour of the file system, and some useful commands for sysadmins.
    • Some helpful pieces of information:
      • To get out of X Windows, type CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE
      • To do a clean reboot, we recommend the command sync;sync;reboot. To stop the system, as you would before powering off, use sync;sync;halt.
      • To make the slides for your chapters, I recommend Powerpoint. You may choose to use Powerpoint with HTML as the output format. Please email to me a copy of your presentation, preferably in Powerpoint format, so that I can put it on the course web page.
    • Discuss the Linix loader, known as LILO. More on Booting a Linux System
    • June 3
      • Cindy Johnson presented Nemeth Chapter 3. (Powerpoint version.)
      • Harry Chen presented Nemeth Chapter 4
      • By now, we should have finished installing Linux on the Pentiums, Discuss the following questions:
        1. Where does LINUX keep its logs?
        2. Where are the rc scripts, which get run at boot time?
        3. Where are the HOWTOs?
    • June 8
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 5 (Julie Jiao)
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 6 (Debbie Merson)
    • June 10
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 7 (Alhabashi Khattab)
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 9 (Zhao Ying and Andrej Cedilnik)
      • Several commands in the /sbin directory, with the term 'mod' in the command name, are applicable to Linux loadable kernel modules. Examples include 'lsmod' and 'modprobe'.
      • Reading assignment: chapters 1 and 2 of Linux Kernel Internals
      • Demonstrated compilation of the Linux kernel, using 'make xconfig'. It's also possible to use 'make config' or 'make menuconfig'. In general, a brand new kernel should be put onto a floppy for initial testing. The command 'dd bs=8192 if=zImage of=/dev/fd0' can be used for this purpose, without changing the kernel on the hard disk. The command 'make zdisk' will issue the dd command for you.
    • June 15
      • We need to figure out the characteristics of these monitors if we're to use 'make xconfig' effectively.
      • Demonstrate a kernel recompile.
    • June 17
    • June 22
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 13 (Liang Xu and Jihong Chen)
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 14 (Kejian Wu, Yiqing Ren, Xiao-min Su)
    • June 24
    • June 29
    • July 1
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 23 (Quanhua Lu and Bo Ye)
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 31 (Dan Winter)
    • July 6
    • July 8
      • Discussion of Nemeth Chapter 29 (Lianhe Shao)
      • Begin project demos
    • July 13
      • Project demos
    • July 15
      • Project demos
      • Hand in all project writeups!


The group and/or individual projects.

Useful Links

Microsoft's Powerpoint Viewer for Windows 95/98 and NT

The following XF86Config file seems to work well for the machines in the lab ECS 237. This file should be placed in the directory /etc/X11.

This page is the responsibility of Charles Nicholas and Gary Burt. If you wish, you can send mail to Charles or Gary with comments or questions. This is not an anonymous mail service.