Linux Administration

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CIS 228

       Course Name: Linux Administration

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommended: CIS 218, CNS 105 or comparable knowledge.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers instruction in installation, support, and administration of a Linux operating system in both server and workstation configurations. Content includes Linux and Web server installation, system startup/shutdown, hardware configuration, disk and file system structure, package management, TCP/IP networking, system management and security, X-Windows usage and configuration, user management, Linux printing, system performance measurement and tuning, Linux Kernel “hacking,” and Linux utilities.  Credit cannot be received in both CIS 228 and CNS 228.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

1.    Demonstrate how to install Linux in server and workstation configurations
2.    Demonstrate how to install and use office software on a Linux workstation
3.    Create hard drives with partitions and setup file systems
4.    Demonstrate how to implement basic Linux local area network (LAN) and TCP/IP networking services
5.    Use advanced Linux commands and utilities for system administration
6.    Create user and group accounts and secure system resources
7.    Explain the system startup/shutdown process
8.    Demonstrate how to use basic "C" language programming and Linux kernel "hacking"
9.    Demonstrate how to install and configure a Linux web server
10.  Implement Linux printing
11.  Compile the Linux kernel

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A. Introduction

B. Installation
   1. Workstation, server and custom installation
   2. Installation and support of Office and other software packages
   3. Package management

C. Linux Structure
   1. Files, devices, processes
   2. File systems and disk structure

D. Networking and Communications
   1. Network implementation: hardware and software installation and configuration
   2. Network services: ifconfig, rcopy,rlogin, terminals and modems, NFS, X-Windows concepts and implementation

E. User Administration and Security
   1. Superuser, su, user administration
   2. Authentication, /etc/groups, /etc/password, /etc/shadow
   3. Protecting files, detecting problems
   4. System attack and protection strategies

F. Programming, Languages and Utilities
   1. Review of Linux shells, shell scripting
   2. awk, sed, grep, and other utility commands
   3. File backup and restore: tar, cpio, g(un)zip, (un)compress
   4. CRON facility
   5. “C” language

G. System Administration
   1. System startup, shutdown, init structure
   2. System run modes: single, run levels
   3. System monitoring, accounting, problem determination and performance tuning
   4. Automating system tasks with cron and scripts

H. Internet Protocols, Services, Concepts and Utilities
   1. TCP/IP concepts and implementation
   2. Route, finger, nslookup, netstat, traceroute
   3. Internet daemons, structure
   4. Internet services: Telnet, FTP, DNS, Routing, SMTP, HTTP
   5. Linux printing: LPR, LPD, LPQ

I. Web Services
   1. Basic web server design
   2. Apache web server installation and configuration
   3. Web browsers

J. Kernel Management
   1. Linux source code, kernel configuration, tuning and compilation
   2. Device drivers and installation, concepts and modularization and re-entrancy

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, class exercises and discussion, hands-on lab exercises and projects.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading: Students will be expected to read text book and research appropriate manuals as needed.
Writing: Interactive programming requires student to be able to write screen and other instructions using clear and syntactically correct English.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will be evaluated on quality of the completed lab assignments, projects, other written assignments, quizzes, and exams as specified by the instructor.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at