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Welcome to OSL740 - Administration of Open Source Systems

What This Course is About

This course is the second in a series of courses about Linux technologies

  • OSL640 taught you to be a Linux user. In OSL740, you will move from being a Linux user to being a Linux system administrator.
  • As a system administrator, you will be responsible for installing, configuring, adjusting, maintaining, and troubleshooting the operation of computer systems. This is a lot of responsibility, and with that responsibility comes power. You will be able to change anything on the system, and you will also have the ability to damage or destroy the system.
  • In addition to manually configuring machines, you will learn to use bash and Python to automate some configuration tasks. Although this course will not cover the full features of either language, it will serve as an introduction to scripting and automation to make you a more capable and efficient system administrator.
  • In this course you use an external SSD drive (USB 3) with the lab computers to set up a Linux system. You will also set up at least four additional Linux systems using "Virtual Machines", and therefore gain experience with different types of system configurations as well as setting up networking between systems.
  • The next course in the OSL stream will expand on what you learn here and teach you to administer Linux servers (web servers, DNS servers, FTP servers, file sharing servers) -- and to use more complex Python scripting to boost your system administration efficiency.

Learning by Doing

Most of the learning in this course occurs through the hands-on problem solving that takes place in the eight labs and two assignments.

Requirements for Success

  • It is very important to stay up-to-date with the coursework, and to practice until you have confidently mastered each task.
  • All of the software used in this course is open source software, so you are free to use, modify, and redistribute it. This means that you can install it as many times as you want on as many different computers as you would like. It also means that you can tinker with it -- you can take it apart, see how it works, and put it back together in the same or a different way, limited only by your time and ambition. You are encouraged to experiment and question liberally.
  • The notes that you make during the labs and assignments are your reference material for the quizzes, tests, and assignments. Take really good notes, and if you have questions, experiment and consult with your professor.
  • Carefully read ALL lab instructions and check your work regularly. The labs have been designed with backup safeguards to prevent the student from losing their work. On the other hand, students may lose their work if they fail to follow lab instructions or accidentally forget their removable hard disks in the workstation's hard disk bay drive!

Course Faculty

During the Winter 2023 semester, OSL740 is taught by:

Required Materials

Solid State Drive (SSD)Minimum Capacity: 240 GB
CentOS 7 Full Install
DVD Image
Download at Seneca Lab
Download from Home
USB Flash Drive
(3.0 preferred)
Minimum Capacity: 16 GB
Lab Logbook
(download & print
Both sides per lab permitted)
NOTE: If you've taken this
class in a previous semester,
you MAY NOT bring that
version of the lab logbook
to any testing.
Download Doc
!Dos and Don'tsTips
Peter Calaghan
Section ZAA


  • Labs and Quizzes - 25%
  • Assignments (minimum of 2) - 30%
  • Tests (minimum of 1) - 20%
  • Final Assessment - 25%

Wiki Participation

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