Linux Basics tie8tf063/5 early spring 2007

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Linux Basics tie8tf063/5 early spring 2007

Grades have been published in Winha. Thanks for participating! See also: notes about exam evaluation.

(Autumn 2007 the course code will be dat8tf063-6.)

After completing Linux Basics, you

  • Can install a Linux workstation with software
  • Can use command line interface
  • Can install 1-2 most important servers
  • Know the idea of Free software and the most important Free licenses
  • Know how to keep learning Linux independently

(Study guide)

Linux Basics tie8tf063 (the old tie63f) is lectured on Mondays 10:15 – 14:00 in classroom h5013 (karte’s timetable). The course is teached by Tero Karvinen.


w3 Installation, Distributions

w4 Desktop Linux, Licenses

w5 Command Prompt

w6 Package Management and Administration

w7 Apache Web Server

(w8 Winter holiday, no classes)

w9 OpenSSH Server and Client

w10 Programming

w11 Exam 2007-03-12 10:15, class H5013.

Detailed Agenda

Week Subject

w3 Installation, Distributions

  • Install Ubuntu Dapper 6.06 LTS. Obtaining install medium. Demonstration. Trying it. Details. Dual boot installations, backing up. Differences to installing other operating systems.
  • Distributions: Definition. Life without distribution. Most important distributions.

w4 Desktop Linux, Licenses

  • Basics – all your users want to do this: Browsing the web, reading email trough web, writing documents, printing.
  • Common tasks: Browsing filesystem, editing text and source code, publishing on the Web
  • Specific uses: Spreadsheets; Slides; Removable storage; CD writing, ripping music; Image manipulation; Web browsing tricks

w5 Command Prompt

  • Moving and looking around. Relative and Absolute Path.
  • File Manipulation.
  • SSH Remote Control
  • Help
  • History and Guessing
  • Usefull commands
  • See also: Command Line

w6 Package Management and Administration

  • Many ways to use the package manager: “Applications: Add applications”, “Administration: Synaptic”, “Update Manager”, ‘apt-get’
  • Definition of the package manager. Probelms solved by the package manager.
  • Priviledged use. Root doesn’t surf. ‘sudo’
  • sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get install inkscape, sudo apt-get upgrade, apt-cache search apache

w7 Apache Web Server

  • Installing Apache
    • Enabling user homepages
  • Why Apache

(w8 Winter holiday, no classes. You can enjoy Linux at home. )

w9 OpenSSH Server and Client

  • Installing OpenSSH server
    • Letting a friend log in
  • Why OpenSSH (and how to choose software for remote access)
    • Security, features, price, platforms
  • Posix file permissions
    • Create a folder where your friend can write

w10 Programming

w11 Exam 2007-03-12 10:15, class H5013.


Publish homework reports on your myy homepage on Where a12345 is your student number and 1 is the number of the excercise (week number – 34). Use normal html for publishing web pages. Each student does homework separatly and writes his own report. You can of course advice fellow students if they get stuck. Homeworks must be on the homepage one whole day before next class (Latest Saturday 23:59). Mention my course: “Based on Linux Basics course by Tero Karvinen“. If you want, you can use a Free license (like the license of Linux) by adding text: “This document can be copied under the GNU General Public License”.

The following assingments are just an initial draft. They become official when they are given as homework at the end of each class.

h-1: Install Ubuntu Linux.

h-2: a) Publish a web page. b) Do three common computer tasks (for example: burn a cd, postwork a photo…) c) List most important programs you use daily or weekly. Find alternates to those in Ubuntu (if there are any).

h-3: a) write a cheat-sheet of commands. Use examples that are meaningfull to you, don’t just list commands. b) Try all the commands learned, many times – learn them all by heart. For this (b) part, only document if something unexpected happens or if you want more information about some command. c) Try 5 commands (other than those mentioned on the class) d) Try all commands in the article Command Line.

h-4: a) write a reference card of important administration commands with examples b) install some program new and usefull to you c) enable “multiverse” repository

h-5: a) Install apache web server, allow user homepages, make a homepage as a user b) install and test mod-php c) write a php program that reads user inputs d) optional extra: install mysql-server and phpmyadmin e) optional extra, challenging: write a php program to access mysql database

h-6: a) Get a friend login to your computer securely. b) Send messages to a user on same host c) Create a directory that users on same host can read and write d) Try out one of the ssh-related articles e**) Difficult extra: mount sshfs

h-7: a) Write a shell script b) Use a control structure (if, for…) in a shell script c) compile a program using configure and make d) compile “Hello world” in java e) optional difficult extra: install eclipse IDE and compile “Hello World” with that.

Good luck for preparing for the exam!



Linux Basics Exam tie8tf063/5

h5013 2007-03-12 10:15

Before the Exam

Shut down your cell phone. Have on your table: your hard drive, picture ID, pen. Put everything else (coats, bags…) where shown. You are allowed to use any material that is available on the public Internet, including everyones homework notes and search engines. Talking, looking at others monitors or having notes is forbidden. You are not allowed to log in to anything on the net. Chatting, emailing and all other two way communication is forbidden.



JogginPenguin Ltd is a 10 person company specializing in total web solutions. You are their administrator. Login to computer is “foo”, password is “bar”. (In this exam, don’t change the password).


JogginPenguin has 10 employees: Maija Mehilänen, Tshignh Tsa, Pekka Hurme, Muhamad Muhamad, Håkan Petersson, Jim Jones, Einari Vähäkäähkä, Raivo Hurme, Veli Vähä-Aho and CEO Eija Väntäri. They all want to log into this computer and store files to their home directory.

1) Create users

Web server

Company also needs a web server. Because of the lack of computers, you can install the server software on the same computer that is being used as a workstation. (In this exam, web server must be visible at least to lab network).

2) Create a way for users to publish homepage

3) Write a short step-by-step guide for non-technical users to create and publish homepages (when they are logged in that workstation).

Remote usage

JoggingPenguin is a small multinational company. Employees want to access their files in the computer from Sweden, India and Norway. (In this exam, computer must be accessible from lab network).

4) Make it possible to remotely access files for all users

5) Write a short step-by-step guide for non-techical users to remotely access files to that computer

After the exam

Make it easy to check your exam. Leave your computer unlocked and see that screensaver does not automatically lock screen. Put your name and student number on the documents. Leave open on the screen:

  • All documents
  • Examples or tests of what you did

Give feedback at

Notes About Exam Evaluation

Linux Basics course evaluation is now in Winha. Congratulations to everyone who passed the course!

Worst grade was 0-Fail and the best was 5-Excellent. Average was 3,3 (Good).

What we learned from the exam

To access a computer from the network, you need either ip address or fully qualified domain name of the computer

$ ip address
$ host $(ip address)

Localhost ( is not a public ip address! When telling your users to contact a computer, use public ip address or domain name.

Make the computer ready for your users. Eg. if your users want to publish web pages, create public_html directories for them.

When writing instructions 1) be specific and 2) target your audience. – If you know the address of your server, write it to instructions. – “Step-by-step” guide means that you have to test and list every step. – When writing to “non-technical users”, it’s better to use graphical user interface and avoid any unnecessary steps (and better yet make it easier by making some work for them)

Train with realism. For example, create complex passwords: “v29AKk_pat”.

Don’t try to install software downloaded from random web pages (in any operating system).

What we learned from homeworks

It helps if you do them. There was a high correlation between homeworks done and exam result. Some of the homework reports were excellent, and some were not.

When reporting 1) tell what really happened, 2) test if you succeeded, 3) clearly tell which parts failed and which succeeded 4) also report unexpected results.

Thank you for participating my course! Currently we don’t have advanced Linux course in English, but it is possible to write your thesis about Linux. I have other Linux courses in English for companies to buy.

The feedback you gave is very useful for me. I’ll take it into account when planning a new course. If more ideas pop into your head, just use the quick feedback form:

Now you know the basics. To master Linux, just install it at home and train!

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