I am opening up old courseware to the world on a "pay if you like it" or have it free basis.
This is a new thing for transentia!
My first offering is Unix System Administration.
I ran this course between 1999 and 2002. It was presented in the US (New York), around Australia and Macau.
The course was pitched at people who were intending to step into a Unix/Linux System Administration role and who (may) already have known a little bit about the OS.
It was promoted as a five-day course, to give plenty of hands-on time. There are quite a few exercises and we always started with a 'bare' machine and a RedHat Linux CD-ROM, so participants tended to
need a fair bit of 'play' time; it wasn't all talking head stuff. One or twice I did it in 3 days; it was pretty rushed, but the customer gets what the customer wants!
Because it is not really my "core business" (which is: enterprise Java development) I didn't really give the material the care and feeding it needed and eventually stopped promoting and maintaining it.
Here's the 'blurb':
Users of the UNIX operating system who want to develop more in-depth administration skills, World-Wide Web site developers and administrators who are interested in hosting their site under UNIX, other IT personnel and consultants who
need to understand UNIX system administration.
The popularity of the UNIX operating system has increased steadily over the last decade or so. The system's stability and scalability has led to it becoming the system of choice for enterprise-level applications such as hosting mail and
World-Wide Web servers and providing database services. At the same time, the growing acceptance of popular, freely available derivations such as Linux and FreeBSD means that UNIX is reaching out to the desktop as never before.
The growth of UNIX means that skilled administrators are in great demand.
At the end of this course, the participant will have:
- gained a working knowledge of UNIX configuration, maintenance and tuning
- developed skills to enable him/her to automate many of the day-to-day aspects of running a UNIX system
- developed skills sufficient to enable him/her to administer a UNIX-based user community
- become aware of some of the various security issues surrounding UNIX
- gained the ability to solve system-related problems as they occur
- obtained an appreciation of the widespread UNIX administrator's community and of the resources that are available to support him/her
Sample Course Overview
The system administration course will cover the following topics.
- UNIX history, current status and future
- versions of UNIX
- UNIX architecture and design
- UNIX administration features and foibles
- the system administration task
Configuring the Kernel
- why configure?
- detecting, selecting and describing devices
- system parameters
- testing and recovery from errors
- dynamic configuration
Examining the Bootup Process
- booting single-user
- boot-time options and configuration scripts
Adding Disks/Devices and Dealing With Filesystems
- taking a hardware inventory
- filesystem types
- the UNIX view of devices
- formatting disks
- making a filesystem
- checking filesystem integrity
- UNIX user facilities
- adding and removing users
- accounts and groups
Accounting and Security
- setuid and setgid executables
- checking the security of an installation
- UNIX accounting facilities
- quota management
Backing Up and Restoring Files
- backup strategies
- UNIX tools
- UNIX's cron and at commands
- installing local and remote printers
- print queue management
Monitoring and Maintaining a Unix System
- CPU and memory performance
- installing applications
- man page maintenance
Automation of Administrative Tasks
- writing shell scripts
- TCP configuration
- NFS and NIS
- PPP for dialup connections
- S/Key authentication
- TCP Wrappers
- checking system integrity
Hosting a World-Wide Web Server
The X Window System
- client/Server architecture
- user-level configuration
The course is now well and truly at End of Life.
I figure that it would be such a pity for it to end as a set of bits decaying away on my hard disk so I am opening it up to the world on as "as-is" basis:
Unix System Administration DonationWare 24 June 2009.zip
(MD5: f47907c2536ecebde62be6a3039d80f0; size: 9,152,758 bytes)
Some (unfortunately necessary) legalese:
- This content is provided "as-is", with no guarantees.
- Feel free to use it, but not to abuse it (to give a couple of examples: don't make hundreds of copies for friends; don't claim it as your own work).
- I retain copyright, so "all rights reserved."
If you like it, or have any questions/comments, send me an email (
If you find this material useful, please consider paying me a small amount: via PayPal.