CS3451 - Computer Systems Administration

Fall 2012

Instructor Information

Instructor: Ruihong Zhang, Senior Lecturer

Office: Rekhi 302 
Office Hours:  T,TH 11:00 AM – noon or by appointment
e-mail: ruihong at mtu.edu


Course Identification

Course Number: 83186          

Course Name: Computer Systems Administration

Course Location: 215 Rekhi Hall

Class time: T,TH 2:05-3:20

Prerequisites: CS3411(C)



Course Description:

Computer systems administration introduces the students to the basic concepts in system administration. A foundation of knowledge is laid upon which a further education in systems administration can be based upon. This class introduces the students to the issues and problems that a systems administrator will face. Topics include OS installation, boot-up and shutdown, process management, account management, file systems, storage technology, backup and restore, printing system, security, basic TCP/IP networking.


Course Resources

·       Required Text Book: Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook, 4th edition, by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, Ben Whaley

·       Additional online Resource


Grading Policy

Grades will be based on the following:

Class participation and attendance




Lab quizzes (about 4)


Midterm Exam


Final Project


All assignments are due before class starts. The score will be deducted 20% for one calendar day late submission. 

Late submission for more than one day will not be accepted.


Tentative Course Schedule



Reading Assignment

Lab Assignment

Lab Quiz

Week 1

Course Introduction
Introduction of personnel
Introduction of the lab environment
OS Installation
Ch1: Introduction of System Administration
Unix/Linux Introduction

Chapter 1
Fedora 15 Installation Guide



Week 2

Rootly powers and Access Control
Essential Administrative Tools

Chapter 4
Chapter 2 page 33-36



Week 3

The filesystem

Chapter 6



Week 4

Controlling processes

Chapter 5

Final Project

Quiz 1

Week 5

User account management

Chapter 7

Lab 5


Week 6

Scripting (1/2)
Scripting (2/2)

Chapter 2

Lab 6


Week 7

Startup and shutdown

Chapter 3

Lab 7

Quiz 2

Week 8

Adding a Disk
Periodic Processes

Chapter 8
Chapter 9

Lab 8


Week 9

Backup and Restore

Chapter 10

Lab 9


Week 10

Syslog and Log files
Drivers and Kernel

Chapter 13

Lab 10


Week 11

Software Package Management

Chapter 12

Lab 11

Quiz 3

Week 12

Performance mornitoring and tuning
In-class Exam

TCP/IP introduction

Chapter 29

Chapter 14



Thanksgiving Break


Week 13

Data Center Basics

chapter 22
chapter 26
chapter 27



Week 14

Management, Policy and Politics
Final project presentation

Chapter 32


Quiz 4


The exam time will be your last chance to do the final project demo