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Quick Links
Course Outline
Fedora Project
Fedora documentation
Assignment 1

Assignment 2

Welcome to OPS235 - Introduction to Open System Servers

What This Course is About

This course is the second in a series of courses about Linux technologies:

  • ULI101 taught you to be a Linux user. In OPS235, you will move from being Linux a user to being a Linux system administrator.
  • As a system administrator, you will be responsible for installing, configuring, adjusting, maintaining, and troubleshooting the operation of computer systems. This is a lot of responsibility, and with that responsibility comes power. You will be able to change anything on the system, and you will also have the ability to damage or destroy the system.
  • In this course you use a removable disk tray with the lab computers to set up a Linux system. You will also set up four additional Linux systems using "Virtual Machines", and therefore gain experience with different types of system configurations as well as setting up networking between systems.
  • Later courses (OPS335 and OPS435) teach you to administer Linux servers (web servers, DNS servers, FTP servers, file sharing servers) -- and to use scripting to boost your system administration efficiency.

Learning by Doing

Most of the learning in this course occurs through the hands-on problem solving that takes place in the eight labs and two assignments.

Requirements for Success:

  • It is very important to stay up-to-date with the coursework, and to practice until you have confidently mastered each task.
  • All of the software used in this course is open source software, so you are free to use, modify, and redistribute it. This means that you can install it as many times as you want on as many different computers as you would like. It also means that you can tinker with it -- you can take it apart, see how it works, and put it back together in the same or a different way, limited only by your time and ambition. You are encouraged to experiment and question liberally.
  • The notes that you make during the labs and assignments are your reference material for the quizzes, tests, and assignments. Take really good notes, and if you have questions, experiment and consult with your professor.
  • Carefully read ALL lab instructions and check your work regularly. The labs have been designed with backup safeguards to prevent the student from losing their work. On the other hand, students may lose their work if they fail to follow lab instructions or accidentally forget their removable hard disks in the workstation's hard disk bay drive!

Course Resources

Supplies Checklist (Required for Second Class)

1. Bootable Fedora Media (CD / DVD)

Storage Media Download and Burning Options Graphics
Fedora 16 Live CD (x86_64)
Fedora 16 installation DVD (x86_64)

1. Use Freedom Toaster (in the Open Lab) (click for details)

2. Download and Burn in TEL Open Lab (click for full instructions)

3. Download and Burn at Home (click for details)

Blank Writable CD or DVD
Available at the Bookstore or other retail stores
Blank Writable DVD
Available at the Bookstore or other retail stores
Freedom Toaster
in TEL Open Lab

(Convenient, but machine has problems with some types of DVDs)

2. Additional Hardware

Item Item Details Graphic
SATA Hard Disk in Removable Drive Tray Hard Disk Size: at least 160GB.
Please buy the tray from ACS or the bookstore as not all trays are compatible.

Mechanical shock from dropping a hard drive causes drive failure for several students each semester. If you use a mechanical hard drive, be careful not to drop it, and transport it in a padded container (e.g., a neoprene netbook sleeve, available from some dollar stores).

Hard drives are currently expensive due to flooding in Thailand. Solid state disks (SSDs) are becoming competitive in price, are faster, and are less susceptible to shock, so you may want to look for a deal on an SSD instead of a hard drive -- but check to ensure that your SSD will fit properly into your drive tray.

Please tighten the drive screws securely to prevent the tray from jamming in the holder, or leave the screws off.

Hard Disk in Disk Tray
At least 160 GB (available at the Bookstore)
USB Flash Drive 2GB or larger recommended).

Warning: anything on this flash drive will be erased!
A single USB key
At least 2 GB or larger

3. Study Aids

Item Item Details Graphic
Lab Log-Book Download and Print: Lab log book (PDF).

Please note that you can use your log book during quizzes, written tests, practical tests and the final exam.

It's also the record that you have completed the labs, so don't lose it!
Lab Log-Book
Used for marking labs and for an evaluation aid

Important Information

Bring all of these supplies to each class.
Even after installation, the Live CD, Installation DVD, and flash drive may be required.
Place your Full Name and Contact Information on the hard disk tray cover and directly on the disk drive.
Use an adhesive label and permanent marker, or a white marker on the black cover.
Always "double-check" that you have removabled your hard disk tray prior to exiting the lab room.
You may have your hard drive tray stolen which will result in lost work!
Do not share your OPS235 disk drive with another course.
The work you do in this course will render your other work inaccessible and may erase it.
Earlier labs become the foundation for later labs.
Seemingly "small errors", or "skipping instructions" in earlier labs can have negative consequences when performing other dependent labs. Make backups when requested at the end of labs for "restoration points" in case something goes wrong while performing a lab.
Always shut down your system under software control, rather than using the reset or power buttons. You can shutdown using the GUI or with the poweroff, reboot, init, or shutdown commands. Shut down your virtual machines before shutting down your main system.
If you get a message about the gnome-power-manager configuration at the login screen, you may have run out of disk space. Switch to a character-mode virtual terminal (for example, switch to VT2 by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F2). Login and take a look at the available space (with the command: df -h). If the / filesystem is full, delete some files (such as unused VM images in /var/lib/libvirt/images) and then reboot the system.
Failure to listen to lab "suggestions" by this resource could result in loss of work...

Course Faculty

During the Winter 2012 semester, OPS235 is taught by:

Andrew Smith
Sections A,B,C,D

And here's Andrew's timetable:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
09:50 OPS235C
10:45 OPS235C
11:40 OPS235C
12:35 OPS235C OPS235A
13:30 OPS235A OPS235A
14:25 OPS235A
15:20 OPS235B OPS235B
16:15 OPS235B OPS235B

Old Weekly Schedule (Do not use)

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