CS 98/198: Hands-on Unix System Administration

OCTOBER 30, 2012
If you need help with thinking of an idea for the final project, here's a list of ideas (taken from previous semesters): Link

AUGUST 25, 2012
Hey all! Please fill out the required survey.

AUGUST 20, 2012
An updated syllabus can be downloaded here.

AUGUST 20, 2012
Class will start on Monday, August 27th, NOT September 10. Class will not be held on September 3rd, as it is Labor Day holiday.
The syllabus will be updated to reflect accurate dates. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

AUGUST 18, 2012
UPDATED Enrollment information:
Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. You may be dropped if you do not attend the first two classes. If the section is full, please add yourself to the waitlist. Waitlist will be processed by application.

There's been confusion about the waitlist Tele-BEARS enrollment lately. To waitlist, please use the "Add to Wait List" function on the left side menu of TeleBears. The "Add Class" function will offer a different CS decal if the section is full.

Graduate students cannot enroll for course credit but are welcome to audit.

JULY 25, 2012
Enrollment information:
Enrollment will be first-come, first-serve through Tele-BEARS.
For reference, the course control numbers are as follows --
CS 98-8 (lower-division): 26111
CS 198-8 (upper-division): 26113
Once those sections fill up, enrollment will be by application (more on that later).

Attendance will be mandatory the first two meetings. You will be dropped if you miss one of the first two lectures.
Have a lovely rest of the summer everyone. And remember, SysAdmin Appreciation Day is this Friday, July 27th. :D

JULY 22, 2012
Site is now live. Send any major gripes to Jessica.

JULY 21, 2012
It's official, the UNIX System Administration Decal will be held this Fall '12 semester Mondays 6-8p in 273 Soda!

about the course_

The Fall 2012 Sysadmin DeCal meets on Mondays from 6-8PM in 273 Soda and is facilitated by Dara Adib, Felix Wong, and Jessica Yu. Office hours are held by appointment (don't be shy!). We'll cover the setup and administration of a production-quality UNIX server, suitable for web/mail hosting, shared shell hosting à la the EECS Instructional servers, and the like. Topics include general UNIX proficiency (which is also useful in CS courses), the Internet infrastructure, and system administration essentials. For more details and grading policy, please see the course syllabus.

Here are the tentative topics we'll cover this semester. Labs, slides, and any handouts will be posted here.

8/27 : Welcome and intro: what LSD and Unix have in common (slides, lab)
9/3 : Labor Day Holiday
9/10 : User environment: it's a series of tubes (slides, lab)
9/17 : User environment: tonight we dine in shell (slides, lab)
9/24 : File management: starting from / (slides, lab)
10/1 : Process management: forks, bombs, zombies, and daemons (slides, lab)
10/8 : Software management or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love APT" (compiling slides, package management slides, lab)
10/15 : Networking services: there's no place like (slides, lab)
10/22 : When disaster strikes and all else fails (slides, lab)
10/29 : Scaling and version control: head in the clouds (slides, version control slides, no lab)
11/5 : Special topics (optional "extra credit" group lab due 11/26)
11/12 : Veteran's Day Holiday
11/19 : Wrap up final projects (lab)
11/26 : Final project presentations!


The course will cover the setup and administration of a production-quality Unix server, suitable for web/mail hosting, shared shell hosting à la the EECS Instructional servers, and the like. Topics include general Unix proficiency (which is also useful in CS courses), the Internet infrastructure, and system administration essentials.
The Hands-On Unix System Administration DeCal, or the "Sysadmin DeCal" if you prefer something more manageable, is a lecture/lab course targeted towards CS students, either with some prior Unix experience or an eager ability to learn new things quickly. (No prior Unix experience is assumed, but we will get you up to speed fast!) As an important skill in system administration is the ability to learn about new and unfamiliar technologies, this class will provide a foundational understanding of Unix and send you exploring uncharted territories in weekly labs and the open-ended final project.

After completing the Sysadmin DeCal, students will be able to set up and maintain their own general- purpose server. The course culminates in a final project, requiring students to collaborate in groups of 3-4 people to develop a system demonstrating that they can integrate many disparate software components into a single coherent unit.

This course will be graded on a Passed/Not Passed basis. To earn a `Pass' grade, students must submit laboratory reports for all assigned laboratories and complete a final project. Attendance is mandatory. Up to two laboratories may be dropped; the final project may not be dropped. More than two unexcused absences or failure to complete the final project will result in an automatic NP!

PDF version

If you need help, ask on Piazza or send us an email!


GNU/Linux and Mac OS X users should already have SSH installed.
Windows users should use PuTTY.

There are a few servers you can connect to:
cory.eecs.berkeley.edu, nova.cs.berkeley.edu, star.cs.berkeley.edu -- the most popular INST SPARC Solaris login servers (use your cs198-xy class account)
ssh.ocf.berkeley.edu -- the OCF x86 Debian GNU/Linux login server (use your OCF account)
coupdetat.ocf.berkeley.edu -- the dedicated DeCal server hosted by the OCF; connect to your virtual server by SSHing first into coupdetat (use your OCF account) and then again into your virtual server
contact information_

Anything decal related: decal at ocf.berkeley.edu

Dara: daradib + decal at ocf.berkeley.edu
Felix: waf at berkeley.edu
Jessica: flamingtoast at berkeley.edu


Giving credit where it's due.
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