CIS 191 Linux Operating Systems [back]

This class focuses on the fundamentals of Linux server and desktop administration.  Using CentOS Linux software, students will be taught entry level system administration topics using a Linux server distribution. The course utilizes TestOut Linux+ Certification materials and VirtualBox virtualization software which enables each student to configure the operating system without jeopardy to the host computer.  During the hands-on labs, students will be encouraged to explore the software.  In some cases, we will disable the software and computer to provide the students the experience in actual troubleshooting and recovery techniques. 

The class follows the requirements for the CompTIA Linux+ Certification Exam and the Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1 Certification Exam requirements. 

Students seeking certification in the CompTIA Linux+ or LPIC-1 exams should expect to spend extra time (outside of class studying for the exam). 

See the syllabus for specific topics covered. 

This course is not difficult. It is technical. It is comprehensive. It is very hands-on. It does require a significant time investment by students both in and out of the classroom.

Both Online and In-class versions of the course are offered.

This course is offered in two formats—Online and In-class. The two formats are tied together and taught using the exact same course requirements. This will permit students who start Online to attend the In-class sessions and the In-class students to move Online as required. If you find that the Online course is not for you and that you need the In-class environment to succeed or if you start the In-class course and find that your schedule has changed or life has intruded to the point that you cannot continue attending class at the specified time, you can move freely between the formats.

Not all students will succeed in an online class. Online classes are frequently more difficult to successfully complete since they lack the In-class course structure, student community and immediate access to an instructor to answer questions or help with lab procedures. As a result many Online students become frustrated, fall behind in assignments and feel isolated.

Required Materials

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Smith, Roderick W.  CompTIA Linux+ Complete Study Guide, Second Edition.  Sybex.  2013.  ISBN:  978-1118531747

TestOut Logo

TestOut.  Linux+ Powered by LPI (2010) LXO-101 and LXO-102, 978-1-935080-38-1

TestOut Ordering:  It is cheaper to purchase TestOut LabSim directly from TestOut.  Follow the instruction on LabSim Student Worksheet.

A copy of the text is on reserve in the Learning Resource Center.  Students may checkout the text for a three hour period, but the text must remain in the Learning Resource Center.

Lab Requirements

The virtual machine lab environment is provided via VirtualBox software that is downloadable to your computer.  You will need to obtain the virtual machine via the College Library (fastest), the department Lab Technician or the instructor (slower), or download (slowest (nearly 10GB). 


The course will use a combination of CentOS available for download from Fedora Linux 19 available for download from, and Ubuntu 12.04 available for download from In addition, we will use virtual machines powered by VirtualBox 4.2.16.

Class Requirements (See the course syllabus for greater detail).

This course uses multiple technologies to present class materials. You must be able to configure your computer to access these technologies.

o TestOut LabSim—provides students with video lectures, data sheets, lesson quizzes, demonstrations and lab simulations as well as practice certification exams.
o VirtualBox virtualization software—is used to provide a stable, online and in-class environment for students to complete lab assignments without endangering their home or the lab computers.

Lectures—are actually discussions.  I will conduct a short overview of what we will be studying each week along with some demonstrations.  The remainder of the lecture time period will be a discussion of the topic, text and outside readings.  Students must come to class prepared to discuss the material.

Discussionsrequired to participate in 5 online discussions on topics posted on the Moodle web site.  Discussion items will be drawn from classroom topics, operating system developments, computer ethics, industry trends and current events related to the computer industry. 

Labs—are assigned weekly.

Weekly Quizzes—there are weekly quizzes on the materials covered that week.

Final Exam—the Final Exam is two parts:  (1) a practical application exam where the student will be required to configure a computer based on information they receive from a scenario developed by the instructor, and (2) a written exam (TesOut Practice Certification Exams).