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SYA710 - Installing GNU/Linux

Weekly Outline

Course Outline

Subject Description:

Linux is a UNIX-like, multi-user, multi-tasking, multi-platformed operating system which can be copied and redistributed without fees or royalties. It is robust, scalable, reliable and is in use throughout the world as a server and desktop OS.This subject focuses on the installation of GNU/Linux. In this course students will learn to build and install Linux by using general and distribution-specific tools.

Credit Status:

1 credit in the LUX program


Meet admission requirements for LUX

Specific Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this subject should will be able to:

  • Use administrative tools (anaconda) for installing Linux
  • Create (livecd-creator) new versions of live Linux CDs
  • Automate (kickstart) the Linux install process
  • Use package management (rpm, yum) software
  • Install Linux to/from various media
  • Install Linux as a virtual (kvm) guest
  • Build (pungi) new versions of Linux installation CDs
  • Manage the Linux startup (init) process
  • Modify and maintain storage (fs, lvm) configurations

Topic Outline:

Introduction to SYA710

  • outline, policies, project, labs, midterm test, exam, email
  • overview of lab T2107
  • basic Linux installation - Fedora 9

File Systems & Logical Volume Management

  • ext2, ext3, ntfs, reiserfs, vfat
  • mount, umount
  • inodes, labels, virtual file system
  • mkfs, fsck, resize2fs, ntfsresize
  • pvcreate, lvcreate, vgcreate
  • vgreduce, vgextend, lvreduce, lvextend
  • pvdisplay, lvdisplay, vgdisplay

Linux Startup

  • boot process
  • init, inittab, rc
  • runlevels, system V init
  • upstart

Package Management

  • RPM, Yum
  • rollback, auto updates

Building a New Kernel

  • make xconfig, gconfig, menuconfig, oldconfig
  • .config file
  • vmlinuz, initrd

Automated Installations

  • kickstart
  • udpcast
  • ssh, dd

Virtual Machines

  • lguest, kvm
  • Linux-VServer
  • OpenVZ
  • User Mode Linux
  • Xen

VM Management

  • virt-manager
  • openbox, virtualbox

Creating Custom Spins

  • pungi

Making Live CDs

  • livecd-creator

Modes of Instruction:

2 hours of interactive lecture per week and 2 hours lab time per week

Prescribed Text:

None specific to this course but our Seneca library has access to many on-line texts

Reference Material:

Web links given out during course


Having your own laptop and/or desktop PC will help. Most likely at least a 4GB usb key will also be useful

Promotion Policy:

To obtain a credit in this subject, a student must:

  • Achieve a grade of 55% or better on the final exam
  • Satisfactorily complete all assignments
  • Achieve a weighted average of 55% or better for the tests and final exam
  • Achieve a grade of 55% or better on the overall course

Modes of Evaluation:

  • 1 final exam worth 40%
  • 1 midterm test worth 30%
  • 10 labs worth 10%
  • 1 major project worth 20%
    • pre-report worth 5%
    • in-report worth 5%
    • post-report worth 10%

Academic Regulations:

Students are responsible for being aware of college regulations in the Academic Policy Handbook.

Seneca Academic Policy - Cheating and Plagiarism Cheating and/or plagiarism are offences which will not be tolerated by the College. Such offences occur when a student violates the procedures governing the administration of examinations, tests or other means of evaluating student achievement in a subject or program.

Pending Approval By: Evan Weaver, Chair

College Policy Accommodation for Students with Disabilities: The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counseling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 2900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Center for Equity and Human Rights at Ext. 2078 or via e-mail at


Here's a list of links to relevant course info: