CIS 90 (Spring 2018) Syllabus

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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. Topics include basic UNIX/Linux commands, files and directories, text editing, electronic mail, pipes and filters, shell environments and scripting. Required for students wishing to pursue the UNIX/Linux track leading to industry certification.

Student Learner Outcomes

  • Navigate and manage the UNIX/Linux file system by viewing, copying, moving, renaming, creating, and removing files and directories.
  • Use the UNIX features of file redirection and pipelines to control the flow of data to and from various commands.
  • With the aid of online manual pages, execute UNIX system commands from either a keyboard or a shell script using correct command syntax.


  • Execute approximately 50 of the most common UNIX commands from the keyboard using correct command syntax.
  • Use online manual pages to determine what commands are required to perform a particular task and how to use those commands.
  • Navigate the UNIX file hierarchy by changing the current working directory to any predefined location.
  • Manage multiple file types by viewing, copying, moving, renaming, creating, and removing files and directories.
  • Use a UNIX based text editor to create and edit configuration and scripting files.
  • Use the UNIX/Linux mail environment to write, send, receive, and save electronic messages.
  • Ensure the security and privacy of user files by setting and changing file and directory permissions.
  • Use the UNIX features of file redirection and pipelines to control the flow of data to and from various commands.
  • Create, remove, and schedule UNIX processes to maintain efficient and steady use of the central processing unit.
  • Transfer data from one UNIX system to another and print a hard copy of textual data.
  • Select an appropriate UNIX/Linux shell environment to fit the needs of a user and customize the configuration files for that environment.
  • Write a simple shell script application that allows a user to select from a menu system of multiple functions.

Taught in Both Physical and Virtual Classrooms

Don't miss class because your car broke down, you are out of town, dislike the commute, or just not feeling well. This class will be taught using ConferZoom. ConferZoom is a web-based conferencing tool that allows you to participate and interact online. Students may attend class by coming to the Aptos classroom, attending simultaneously online, or watching a recording of the class at a time that fits their schedule.

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 ConferZoom) to take this quiz. There are no makeups for first minute quizzes.

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

The lecture on the new material will then begin. The lecture format will use the ConferZoom whiteboard, web browser, PowerPoint 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.

TBA (To Be Arranged) Lab Hours

This course meets weekly at the times shown in the Cabrillo Schedule of Classes and above. In addition each student is required to spend 50 minutes every week in either the CIS Lab (room 830) or online using the CIS VLab. Students may choose the time and day for their TBA Lab Hours where they will work on lab assignments designed to give them practical hands-on experience and continue the learning process. These TBA lab hours are required, tracked, and graded. It is the student's responsibility to complete the TBA lab hours, which start on Week 1 of the term, and record their attendance. Tip: A great time to do TBA lab hours is in the CIS Lab when the instructor is there. If that is not possible, questions can always be posted on the electronic help forum which is monitored by the instructor.

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 11:59PM (Opus 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

It is important to have an effective, distraction-free classroom environment for learning. To minimize distractions all cell-phones should be turned off or at least silenced. Never carry on conversations during the lecture as this is probably the most annoying distraction possible to those sitting nearby.

For students in the physical classroom, computers can be turned on for viewing lecture slides locally, Google-ing related technical information, and doing classroom exercises. A student's full attention is desired so the computers should not be used during lecture for email or anything that would distract them or others from the material being taught.

For students in the virtual classroom, use the chat window in ConferZoom to let the instructor know you have a question. It is also a good idea to mute your audio so background sounds at your location are not piped into 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.

Academic Conduct

Instructors at Cabrillo will not tolerate any forms of academic dishonesty. We do not accept remarkably similar assignments. Students who engage in violations of academic integrity (cheating, plagiarizing print or electronic sources, copying computer files, web site content) as outlined in Cabrillo's "Student Rights and Responsibilities" document are subject to disciplinary action by the instructor including receiving an "F" for the assignment, being dropped from the course with a "W" or being issued an "F" for the course.


The District is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment, and all access to institutional programs and activities. The District, and each individual who represents the District, shall provide access to its services, classes, and programs without regard to national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race or ethnicity, color, medical condition, genetic information, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, or military and veteran status, or because he/she is perceived to have one or more of the foregoing characteristics, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

Special Needs

I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning, and psychological disabilities, to explain their needs and appropriate accommodations to me during my office hour. Please bring a verification of your disability from the Accessibility Support Center (ASC) offices and a counselor or specialist's recommendations for accommodating your needs.

Students needing *accommodations* should contact the instructor ASAP. 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 Accessibility Support Center (ASC), Room 1073, 479-6379 or 479-6370, or the Learning Skills Program Room 1073, 479-6220 to make arrangements as soon as possible.
See: Cabrillo College Accessibility Support Center (ASC)


If you are a Veteran or active duty military personnel with special circumstances (e.g.,upcoming deployments, drill requirements, disabilities, challenges) you are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to me. I am available any time via email, during office hours, and by appointment.

Financial Aid

Cabrillo College provides several financial aid opportunities for students. For tuition and/or book assistance information, see: Financial Aid Office

Missing Classes and Drops

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