Table of Contents Copyright (C) 1998, The University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA
Several years ago, I converted the course notes for the University of Washington computer training course on Unix System Administration that I teach to HTML format and published them on the Web. These pages are maintained as a FrameMaker book, which is run through an experimental Frame to HTML filter, "fm2html" produced in Norway. Not an ideal solution, by any means, but effective none the less.
My intentions in presenting these course notes using hypertext include the following goals:
You may access this information using any World Wide Web (WWW) browser, such as NCSA's Mosaic or Netscape Communication Corporation's Netscape browsers, or one of the other X Window System, NeXTStep, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, or other WWW graphical client applications (you can even use the "lynx" character mode browser, although you will not be able to view the graphic images with a non-graphical browser).
- To eliminate the need to print out the 100+ pages of notes and view-foils that had previously been used in teaching this class. I thought the savings in paper and view-foil material (not to mention the time involved in updating, printing, etc.) could be better spent in adding more references and examples to the course contents.
- To provide a "launching off" point for exploring the resources found on the Internet that make a Unix system administrator's life easier. There are many Usenet newsgroups, email lists, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) files and anonymous ftp sites on the Internet that provide a vast amount of information and public domain software useful for administering Unix systems.
- To make it easier for students to get at the items I refer to in class and in my position supporting Unix system administrators on campus. I used to tell students the anonymous ftp site and directory names, but find now that providing hypertext links means quicker access, making it easier to keep up with constant changes.
- To provide an ongoing resource that system administrators can use in their everyday life back in their departments. It is one thing to be presented with an onslaught of new information in a class as large as this. It is quite another to remember (and be able to get to) the items mentioned when you really need them!
This course was originally taught in a "mostly-lecture" format in a training facility filled with X terminals. Students would have to log in to a central computer, then log in to their workstation using telnet. This was not very secure at all, and was a bit inconvenient at that.
Starting in the summer of 1998, I began teaching the course in a PC lab facility (many thanks to Michael Becke, who repartitioned 20 hard drives to give me some free space). The course begins by getting 20 students to install RedHat Linux and then we all get our hands dirty from there. This is a much better way for the students to learn, and much safer than using a "production" system.
Using hypertext documentation to teach this course was a new thing for me. I learned a lot of lessons the first few times, and continue to learn them each time I give the course. In fact, I've taken to publishing other useful information for Unix System Administrators on my home page.
More likely than not there will be problems in the links, formatting, etc. of these documents as new topics and are added and old ones enhanced. If you find any problems, please feel free to send me email at the address below and I will fix them.
You are welcome to use and mirror these pages, provided you respect the University of Washington's Copyright interests in this material. (Please let me know if you do this.) A GNU gzipped Unix tarball of these contents is available at http://www.washington.edu/R870/R870.tar.gz.
Dave Dittrich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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