Instructor:      Joseph E. Cannon, Ph.D., MasterCNE

Office location: Lanham 119    

Office phone:    (301)322-0764 


Web page:

Office hours:    T&Th - 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm       Th Only - 10:40 am to 11:00

                        4:40 pm to 6:00 pm


Course Reference Number: ????             

Classroom:               L116-A     

Days/times:              T&Th - 11:00 am to 1:30 pm            


Required Textbook:  UNIX System Administration Handbook, 3rd Edition, by Evi

                    Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Scott Seebass, and Trent R. Hein,

                    Prentice Hall PTR, 2001, ISBN 0-13-020601-6.    


Recommended Texts:  UNIX System V Primer, by Mitchell Waite, Don Martin, and

                    Stephen Prata, 2nd Edition, SAMS The Waite Group.


                    UNIX Shell Programming, Revised Edition, by Stephen G.

                    Koch and Patrick H. Wood, Hayden Books.    



CIS 276 is an introduction to the UNIX Operating System's System Administration, including policies and procedures with an emphasis on the interdependencies of the file system, disk layout, and backup/restores.  Assignments will require out-of-class time. Each week, we will have three hours of lecture, and two hours of laboratory.  Shell programming (Borne Shell) will also be reviewed, with students writing several shell scripts.  Prerequisites: CIS111 and CIS272. 


Learning Objectives


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following:


Assignments, Exams and Grading


Quizzes: There will be 5 quizzes, each worth 20 points.  There will

        NOT be any make-ups on these.  Therefore, if one is missed

        (and this includes arriving in class after the other students

        have finished) a grade of zero will be given.  At the end of

        the course the lowest quiz grade is dropped.


Exams: There will be 2 exams, a midterm and final, each worth 100

       points.  The exams are cumulative and comprehensive covering 

       the material in the course up to and including the time of the

       Exam.  Attendance is mandatory as there will NOT BE ANY MAKE-

       UP EXAMS.  If the midterm is missed the student will be

       assigned a 10 page written report as a substitute for the

       midterm exam.  A student CANNOT miss the final exam.


Assignments: All students are responsible for completing each

           assignment in accordance with its specifications and

           submitting it as indicated.  Assignments must be completed

           and given to me no later than the beginning of the class

           on the announced due date.  Assignments will NOT be

           accepted late.  There will be four (4) assignments, each

           worth a maximum of fifty (50) points.  Assignments can be

           e-mailed to me as a Word document file.


Grading: Your grade will be based on attendance, homework, projects,

        midterm exams, and the final examination.  Attendance will be

        used to help resolve any borderline course grades. The 500

        points for the course are awarded as follows:


        200 pts – Assignments

        100 pts – Midterm Exam

        100 pts – Final Exam

        100 pts – Quizzes



        A = 450+ pts, B = 400-449 pts, C = 350-399 pts,

        D = 300‑349 pts, F = 0-299 pts


               CIS 276 - UNIX System Administration

               Schedule - Spring 2001


 This is a tentative schedule, subject to change due to class pace, canceled classes, and other factors.


*Quiz Day

Week   Class Dates             Topics                  Reading


 1    Jan. 25           Course Policy, Syllabus

                        Intro to UNIX Administration   Chapter 1


 2    Jan. 30, Feb. 1   UNIX Installation              Chapter 2


 3    Feb. 6, 8*        Superuser Powers               Chapters 3&4

                              Process Control                              


 4    Feb. 13, 15       File System                    Chapters 5&6

                        User Management


 5    Feb. 20, 22*      Serial Devices & Disk           Chapters 7&8



 6    Feb. 27, Mar. 1   Backups                        Chapters 9&10


 7    March 6, 8        Syslog and Log Files           Chapter 11


 8    March 13, 15         MIDTERM EXAM on Tuesday, March 13


 9    March 20, 22*     Drivers and the Kernel         Chapter 12


10    March 27, 29      TCP/IP Networking              Chapter 13


11    April 5*          TCP/IP Networking              Class Notes


Spring Break - College Closed Thursday, April 5 - Sunday, April 15


12    April 17, 19      Routing                        Chapter 14


13    April 24, 26*     DNS - Domain Name System       Chapter 16


14    May 1, 3          Network File System            Chapters 17&18

                        Wireless Computing


15    May 8, 10         Management and Security        Chapters 20&21



May 17 - FINAL EXAM - 11:00 am in L-116A


*Quiz Day


General Class Policies


Research on college success demonstrates that class attendance is a significant factor in student success.  Considerable material will be covered during each class session.  There will be discussion of assignments, and handouts will be distributed. If a student must miss class, it is his/her responsibility to get the notes and assignments and any handouts, etc. from a classmate preferably prior to the next class period.



The assignments are on the class schedule.  The student is expected to complete all homework assignments.  Homework is due at the beginning of each class.  Late homework will be penalized 15% per class period past the due date.  Homework will be collected and will count for 40% of the final grade.


Written Work

All written assignments must use a word processor (Microsoft Word 97 or 2000).  All projects must be submitted in an approved folder (a 9"x11.5" folder with pockets).  On the outside of the folder, print your name, the course name, meeting days/times, and the name of your instructor.  Include footnotes/endnotes, and follow APA guidelines for citations.  Also, note the rules concerning plagiarism. 


Tape Recorders

May be used.


Eating and Drinking in Class

No food or drink L.


Student Handbook

The Prince George’s Community College Student Handbook contains official policies and procedures regarding student conduct, academic integrity, and related matters.  You are responsible for conducting yourself in accordance with those policies.  The Student Handbook also contains a wealth of information designed to help students achieve success.  Please pick up your free copy from the College Life Office in the Largo Student Center (near the bookstore).


CIS Info Sheet

The Computer Information and Office Systems Department issues its “CIS Info Sheet” for all students in CIS classes near the beginning of each semester.  This sheet contains valuable information regarding lab locations and schedules, important dates during the semester, weather cancellation information, bookstore hours, etc.  Look for this sheet to be distributed in class, and retain it along with this syllabus for future reference.


Students with Disabilities

Prince George's Community College is committed to a policy of reasonable accommodation and services to persons with disabilities. In order to receive services, students with disabilities must register with Disability Support Services.  Call between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, 301 322-0838 to schedule an appointment.


Caveat concerning cheating

Copying versus helping: It is a very simple matter to copy someone else's project or to ask a friend to write a project for you. It is more difficult to ask that friend to help you understand the concepts and then assist in correcting your project. The former is cheating; the latter is legitimate student-to-student tutoring. The former teaches you nothing, though it may get you a perfect score on a given project; the latter improves your ability to tackle the next project, the next exam, and the next assignment after that. While naturally I do my best to discourage cheating, I also encourage you to work with each other to improve your understanding, that is, to tutor and assist each other. I expect that you will always be able to explain your project. If you cannot explain it, I will assume that you didn't do it, and I will grade it accordingly. If you are unsure of the difference between helping and cheating, it is better to err on the side of caution. Also, review carefully the Indiana University Writing Center’s guidelines concerning plagiarism found at