Secure Unix System Administration

CS 3531/5531-Summer 2003

Course Syllabus

Professors: Dr. Rahman Tashakkori
Office: CAP 121, Office Phone: 262-7009
Office Hours: By appointment
Class Time/Location: MTWR 10:20-11:35 am (we will agree on the extended periods for some labs)
Lab Location: TBA
First Day: May 27    Last Day: July 18
Professors e-mail:
Professor's Web Page:

Course Description
This course offers an in depth examination of key concepts in Unix implementation, support, and administration.  The course will address some important security issues with different Unix systems in a networked environment.  It will discuss the administrative preparation and actions to avoid future problems.  The course incorporates some labs which provide an opportunity for students to learn about different administration responsibilities.  This course targets the upper-level undergraduate and graduate students with the interest in installing, operating, administering or managing a Unix system.  Technical support staff, programmers, and software developers will significantly benefit from this course.

Some of the Topics
      Who is a system administrator and what does she/he do?
      Startup and shutdown process
      File management
      Controlling processes
      Managing users
      Devices and Drivers
      Web server
      Security issues

Operating Systems
Undergraduate Students with strong System I and System II background and extensive experience with Unix will be given permission to register.  This permission will be given after an interview with the instructor.

Reference Texts
Unix Systems Administration Handbook, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall PTR.

Additional readings to be distributed during class.

Grading Policy
        Midterm Exam                                                20%
        Final Exam and project report                         30%
        Lab exercises                                                  20%
        Short Quizzes and  **Class participation        10%
        Projects and Class presentations                      20%

**Students are required to attend all classes.  Each missing class will result in 3 points drop of the overall grade.  A student with more than 5 missing classes will receive an F for the course.

Grading Scale
        A- = 90 to 92.99            A = 93 to 100
        B- = 80 to 82.99             B = 83 to 86.99        B+ = 87 to 89.99
        C- = 70 to 72.99             C = 73 to 76.99       C+ = 77 to 79.99
        D- = 60 to 62.99             D = 63 to 66.99        D+ = 67 to 69.99
        Below 60 is an F.

All assignments and programs MUST be completed by students individually.  You may discuss the assignments and programs among each other but you have to write/edit programs by YOURSELF.   Please see the ASU Academic Integrity Policy for a description of the woes that befall a transgressor!

I will provide additional information for Graduate Students