CSC 171 - Linux Administration I Syllabus - Fall 2016

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Faculty Information

CSC 171 - 202 section (meets in A208)

John Koontz

Office hour: Thursday 8:20-9:20pm

Office: A208/9

Phone: {email preferred}

Email: Place CSC171 in Subject

Course website:

CSC 171 - 201W section (online only)

Joanna Delaporte, LPIC-1

Office hour: Online via email anytime. Google hangouts as needed.

Office: A209

Phone: 373-3859. I am usually away from my desk; please email me.

Email: Place CSC171 in Subject.

Course website:

Description and Objectives

Fundamental Linux system administration on cloud-hosted virtual machines. Current LPIC-1 101 Exam objectives will be covered, including system architecture, package management, command line, vi, and filesystems.


CSC 128 with a grade of C or higher or Linux Essentials certification.

Required materials

A Cisco “NDG Introduction to Linux I” access code is required to access curriculum and exams. The Cisco NetAcad access code can be purchased in the Parkland Bookstore ( using financial aid/cash/credit. Or, you can purchase it on the site, following these instructions, using PayPal or a credit card. According to Pam Lytel in Parkland’s Financial Aid office regarding materials for 171/271, “ The classes are financial aid eligible, and if the student qualifies for a bookstore credit, they can purchase anything they want, not just course requirements.” (email to Joanna Delaporte, May 25, 2016).

An Amazon Web Services account will be required to access virtual machines for the online section of the course. You can use your Parkland email, if desired, to sign up for the “Free Tier” for one year. Be aware that if you are responsible for any charges to your account beyond the Free Tier usage. Be aware of what services/machines you start. Keep your AWS Management Console set to the same region all the time to make it easier to see what you have running. If you need help determining what services you are using, ask your instructor.

Optional textbook: LPIC-1 Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide: Exams 101 and 102 Paperback – April 27, 2015. by Christine Bresnahan (Author), Richard Blum (Author). ISBN-13: 978-1119021186 ISBN-10: 1119021189 Edition: 4th . This is the same as CompTIA Linux+ by Bresnahan and Blum, 3rd Ed. You can find a copy of each of these books in the Parkland Library.

Course outline and exam schedule

See the Course Schedule for an outline of topics to be covered.

Laboratory/Computer Access

The course materials will be accessible from any computer on campus or your own computer off campus. If you are using a Windows computer to access the Linux virtual machines, you will need to install PuTTY.

Grading, the method for evaluating student performance

Grades will be allocated in the Cisco NetAcad application according to student performance on assignments and exams. The percentage of total points will be converted to a letter grade as follows:

90 - 100% will receive A

80 - 89%   will receive B

70 - 79%   will receive C

60 - 69%   will receive D

0   - 59%   will receive F

The instructor reserves the right to lower these criterion, but will never raise them. Although attendance is not mandatory, participation is a percentage of your grade - simply stated: if you are not here, you can't participate. A small number of assignments may be added or dropped as the course progresses.


Lab Assignments

27 @ 5pts each

135 total

AWS Projects

6 @ 5 pts each

30 (estimated number of graded labs in AWS)

Chapter Exams

27 @ 10pts each

270 total. Each chapter exam may be retaken.


1  @ 40pts



1  @ 80pts








Attendance and makeup policies

Not all lecture information will be captured in the notes, you are expected to attend and contribute to the class discussion. Attendance is not required, but do note that participation is a factor to your grade.  Multiple studies show that lack of attendance reduces your grade, so consider the inverse that you will get a higher grade just for being there and listening! After the first week of class, if you are neither attending class in person nor submitting graded work, you will be withdrawn from the class without refund. Campus safety recommends locking/closing the door during class; please be on time to class.

Penalties for late work

Be sure to take the quizzes and exams before they close. The instructor may reserve the right to re-open quizzes or provide partial credit after their due date.

The midterm and final will only allow one attempt during their scheduled time slot. If you need to make arrangements to take either exam other than at its scheduled time, please discuss this with your instructor at least one class period (or 48 hours for online sections) in advance. Be aware of due dates and make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete your assignments.

Email Correspondence

The instructor is available to assist students having difficulty with the material after they have completed or attempted their assignments (readings, labs, projects). Emails must include the course number in the subject line (CSC171) or risk being filtered to a lower priority folder. It is important for students to plan their studies early enough before due dates if they anticipate needing assistance from the instructor. The instructor will not debug student code through email but will assist with problem areas.

Campus Policies

There are additional Parkland College policies to review in the Parkland Syllabus Addendum (see below), including plagiarism policy, learning disabilities, public safety, Library usage, Parkland Tech Service (3333) and expectations for professional conduct. Please be sure to review this document.


If you believe you have a disability for which you may need an academic accommodation (e.g. an alternate testing environment, use of assistive technology or other classroom assistance), please contact: Cathy Robinson, Room U264, 217-353-2082,                                                                

Industry Certification (taken from NDG Intro to Linux Course Information)

The NDG Introduction to Linux I curriculum helps individuals prepare for the LPI LPIC-1 Exam 101 certification exam. To earn the LPI LPIC-1 certification, learners complete two certification exams. This is the first of two exams. This course also aligns to the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification exam. Learners that earn the CompTIA Linux+ certification can receive “The 3-for-1 certification deal”, which documents certification for the CompTIA Linux+, LPI LPIC-1 and SUSE CLA certifications. To find the steps to follow, visit the CompTIA website. For additional information about the LPI LPIC-1 certification, review the LPI certification website.

Exam Voucher Scholarship

If you are planning to take the certification exam(s), Parkland has a limited number of exam vouchers available through CSIT scholarship funds. To apply, go to Applications are accepted only during the month of October (for Fall) and March (for Spring), and awarded vouchers must be used within 60 days. Additionally, after you complete this course, you should receive an email from NDG with a discount for 10% off the exam voucher price.

Exam Locations

Parkland’s Assessment Center (U203, across from the L wing) is a Pearson Vue testing center, so the Linux+/LPIC-1 and Linux Essentials exams can be scheduled on and taken on campus.