OPS235 - Introduction to Open System Servers

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 12:00:50.571
Last review date 2018-07-20 12:01:06.827

Subject Title
Introduction to Open System Servers

Subject Description
This project-based subject will teach students how to install and configure a Linux server. Further, students will learn how to connect to and communicate over a network in a controlled environment. They will learn how to manage their files on their system and how to set-up file and directory permissions. Students will manage basic system security and firewall settings. In order to configure their system, students will gain knowledge of a few basic Unix/Linux commands and be exposed to 'Shell' basics. Finally students will work with both text and graphical user interfaces.

Credit Status
1 credit in the CNS/CTY Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:


  1. Install a multi-function Open Source server to deliver standard services to multiple users on a network.
  2. Create OS installation and software update policies to maintain a server’s integrity and security.
  3. Install appropriate tools to customize and manage how a server is administered.
  4. Install software packages to customize server functions.
  5. Manage storage devices to maximize server performance and organization.
  6. Create virtual machines and virtual networks to increase network services and options while maintaining the same physical footprint.
  7. Manage user accounts to provide customized and secure access to appropriate network services and applications.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to create backups and restore data to minimize system downtime.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

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 Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

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 Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • Introduction to Open Source Software
    • GPL and Open Source
    • Linux Kernel and other GPL software
    • Open Source Projects and Community
  • Working with Storage Devices and Filesystems
    • Physical Partitions
    • Removeable Storage Devices
    • Filesystems
    • Filesystem Images
    • Linux filesystem hierarchy and system directories
    • Mounting and unmounting storage devices
    • Device and partition names in /dev/
  • Linux Server installation
    • DVD Installation
    • Root account
    • Partitioning
    • Securing Linux Boot Loader GRUB
    • Getting System Information
    • Kickstart and Network Installs
    • Setting Default Runlevel
  • Virtualization
    • Configure and Install Virtual Machines using KVM
    • Networking with Virtual Machines
    • Backing up and moving virtual machines
  • Package Management
    • Installing and removing packages using yum and rpm
    • Using rpm to query package database
    • Using yum to perform system updates
  • Logical Volume Management
    • Physical Volumes, Volume Groups, Logical Volumes
    • Creating physical volumes, volume groups and logical volumes
    • Adding and removing space from a volume group
    • Extending and shrinking logical volumes
    • Putting /home on a separate logical volume and configuring /etc/fstab
  • User and Group Management
    • Adding and removing users and groups
    • UID, GID and file ownership
    • /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/group
  • Creating and using tar archives and file system images
    • Using archives with tar, gzip, gunzip
    • Creating filesystem images and copying data using dd
  • Installing software form source code
    • Finding and extracting source code tarballs
    • Configuring, compiling and installing software from source
  • Configuring and customizing system services
    • Runlevels, init, and upstart
    • Init scripts and runlevels
    • Using chkconfig to customize runlevels
    • Starting and stopping services
  • Dual booting with another distribution
    • GRUB
    • Other Linux distributions
  • Managing privileged access with sudo
    • /etc/sudoers
  • Setting up an Ethernet TCP/IP Network
    • Configurating TCP/IP Network
    • Network device name, IP Address, Subnet mask, broadcast address
    • Networking commands: ifconfig, netstat, route, ping
    • Examining TCP/IP Configuration files
    • Hostname Resolution/etc/hosts /etc/resolv.conf
  • Configuring Linux firewall using iptables
    • Iptables
    • Iptables rules
  • Introduction to selinux
    • What is selinux
    • Writing selinux booleans to accomodate httpd
  • Internet Services
    • Internet services and port numbers
    • Configuration files
    • Setting up ssh and http servers
    • Troublehoot and monitor network activity using netstat
  • Using sshd
    • ssh to a remote host
    • ssh public key authentication
    • Tunneling Xwindows and other services using ssh
    • scp and sftp for transferring files
  • Installing and configuring DHCP server
    • DHCP Lease Transaction
    • DHCP Relay Agent
    • Instaling dhcpd
    • Configuring dhcpd in /etc/dhcpd.conf
    • Using /var/log/messages to troublehoot DHCP

Mode of Instruction
Classroom lectures and discussions are supplemented by lab sessions with the instructor, reinforced by assigned readings and assignments between classes. 

It is the student's responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on BlackBoard or in class. Students will not be able to access BlackBoard as of the last day of the student’s class

Prescribed Texts
Linux Administration:  A Beginner's Guide, 7th, Ed., Wale Soyinka, McGraw-Hill
ISBN#: 978-0071845366

Required Supplies
USB storage device, 64 MB

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Since this is a professional credit subject, marking standards reinforce professional practice by demanding legible, tidy work. Written materials should be well organized and grammatically correct, with proper spelling and punctuation.


  • Students must retain a duplicate of all assignments.
  • Computer assignments should be documented to the instructor's standards.
  • Assignments must be handed in on the scheduled due date. Late assignments are penalized.
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor.

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor prior to the next scheduled class. If your reason is accepted, you will be permitted to write a make-up test. Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.

Term Work and Final Exam
  • Students must attain a combined grade of at least 50% on term work and the final exam. Students must pass the final exam in order to pass the subject
  • For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme: 

Problem & Activity based labs and Quizzes 20%
Task based assignments (minimum 2) 10%
Written Tests (minimum 2) 20%
Practical Tests (minimum 2) 20%
Final examination 30%

Approved by: Denis Gravelle