CIS 90 (Spring 2011) Sections 71336

Calendar   Grades

Introduction to UNIX/Linux

Course Description

Provides a technical overview of the UNIX/Linux operating system, including hands-on experience with commands, files, and tools.

This is a starter course for people interested in learning how to use a UNIX/Linux computer. It is also a prerequisite to all the follow-on UNIX/Linux classes taught at Cabrillo College.

The material learned in this course is applicable to all versions of Linux and UNIX such and Red Hat, Ubuntu, HP-UX, Suse, Solaris, Debian, etc. Students will have accounts and remote access to a Linux server on campus for use during class and at home.

Student Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Navigate and manage the UNIX/Linux file system
  • Automate and schedule tasks
  • Customize the shell environment

Some 50 shell commands will be covered that will let a student login remotely, navigate the file system, create and modify files/directories, set permissions, run & schedule programs/scripts, manage processes, do searches, do text editing with vi, and use electronic mail. Pipes and filters will be covered to construct custom commands from basic commands. Students will learn how to develop a custom shell script using commands they have learned.

Taught in a Virtual Classroom

This class is taught using a web-based conferencing tool called CCC Confer and only meets online. Students will attend the weekly class meetings in a virtual classroom. In the virtual classroom students can watch lecture presentations, ask questions and participate in discussions. For audio they can either use their computer's audio or dial into a toll-free phone number. Each class meeting is recorded so if a class is missed, students can watch the archive.

A Day in the Life

Most classes will start with a first minute quiz. The reason for this is to get the class successfully started on time. The quiz questions will always be published a week earlier. Students can work together or use the forum to work out the answers in advance. Students must be in their seat when the class starts (or connected online to CCC Confer) to take this quiz. There are no makeups for first minute quizzes.

Following the quiz there will usually be a short amount of time for any housekeeping items that are necessary. After that the instructor will take questions on the previous week's lesson or lab assignment before moving on.

The lecture on the new material will then begin. The lecture format will use the whiteboard, PowerPoint’s and live demonstrations. Periodic breaks will happen usually around the start of each hour.

In general during class, the computers will be on so students can view the presentation and Google information. There will also be frequent class activities to break up the lecture and give students some time to try out what they just learned. The last part of the class will cover the upcoming lab assignment.

Computer Lab and TBA Hours

This course includes both lecture and lab activities. The day and time of the lecture portion are shown above and in the Cabrillo Schedule. The lab activities comprise the TBA (to be arranged) portion of the course. The TBA lab activities are required and designed to continue the learning process. The CIS lab provides students with practical hands-on experience where they implement what they learn in lecture on live Linux systems. The CIS Lab is located in the CTC (building 1400). This lab has the equipment for doing lab assignments and are available to all CIS students. The Opus server, available remotely over the Internet, is another Linux resource for CIS Linux students. Expect each weekly lab assignment to take an average of 3 hr 5 min to complete. As you would expect, some labs will require less time while others will require more. Please plan accordingly.

Late Work Will Not Be Accepted

Please complete all assignments on time as they will not be accepted if they are late. This will help both the student and instructor keep the class moving and avoid log jams at the end of the term. All assignments are due by midnight (Pacific Time) of the due date shown in the Course Calendar. If an assignment is not complete by the deadline it is better to make an incomplete submittal for partial credit than no submittal at all. There is always extra credit work for students needing extra points.

Contacting the Instructor

Instructor contact information and office hours are shown on Cabrillo Salsa page. The phone number listed there is really only voice mail. As voice mail isn't always picked up right away, email or the forum is faster and preferred. For personal matters use office hours or email. Please include the name of the class in your email subject lines to get past spam filters. For everything else use the Help Forum and everyone can benefit from the public questions and answers.

Help Forum

There is an electronic Help Forum for this class. This forum is intended to be a place where students can share information, ask questions, and get answers. The forum is especially intended to be a resource for completing lab assignments. It offers a way to ask questions about an obstacle or some less-than-meaningful error message, and to share solutions to those problems. Everyone should be courteous and respectful on the forum. Off-topic, rude or otherwise inappropriate posts will be removed. Joining the forum requires member registration with a real first and last name. Fake or anonymous screen names will not be allowed to register. Avatars that are photographs of the forum member are a great way for everyone to get to know each other.

Web Site

All the important course information is on This includes links to the forums, resources, lab assignments, flash-cards, lecture slides, grades, and the course calendar. Note that this material may change. If you print something like a lab assignment, please check the web site before submitting your work to make sure you have the latest version. The flash-cards are an optional tool students can use to drill important Linux knowledge into their brains.

Classroom Etiquette

For students in the virtual classroom, use the "Raise hand" icon in CCC Confer to let the instructor know you have a question. The chat window can be used to ask questions and communicate with the instructor or other classmates. For students dialing in please use *6 on your phone to mute/unmute your line so background noises in your location don't distract the class.

Please plan on coming to all classes. If class will be missed let the instructor know ahead of time. It is the student's responsibility to get any missed material or information from other classmates (the forum is a good way to do this). Please note that being disruptive is grounds for being dropped from the class by the instructor.

Grading Policy

Grading will be based on the total number of points students earn doing quizzes, tests, lab assignments, forum participation, and final. Visit the Grades Page to see exactly how grades are determined and to track progress.

For some flexibility, personal preferences and family emergencies there are a number of extra credit opportunities. For students looking for more challenge or some additional points see the Extra Credit Page.

Students who just want to learn and not mess around with grades, can always take the class as pass/no pass. Indicate this on the Student Survey provided in the first class. You can change your mind later by contacting the instructor.

Special Learning Needs

Students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning, and psychological disabilities, are encouraged to explain their needs and appropriate accommodations to the instructor during office hours. Please bring a verification of your disability from the Learning Skills or DSPS offices and a counselor or specialist's recommendations for accommodating your needs.

As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to insure equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities. If you need assistance with an accommodation, please contact the Learning Skills Program at 831-479-6220 (for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders) or Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) at 831-479-6379 or 831-479-6421 (TTY) to make arrangements as soon as possible.

Missing Classes and Drops

It is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw from classes. If you miss more than two classes, the instructor may drop you from the course enrollment unless prior arrangements have been made and agreed to.