Computer Science (COMP) 325

Unix Operating System - Principles and Administration (Revision 1)

COMP 315 Course website

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study:Science

Prerequisite: COMP 268 or equivalent

Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisite for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering.

Precluded courses: COMP 325 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for COMP 315 or COMP 374.

Students in this course are required to contact their tutor using email or the course (Moodle) forums. Please see the Tutor and Coordinator Support page for more information.

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

SCIS Orientation

COMP 325 is not available for challenge.

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This course concentrates on the aspects of UNIX that are most needed by a program developer or UNIX programmer: the theory of the UNIX operating system as it informs the system administration. Students are required to install any UNIX /Linux of their choice on their personal computers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Install a Linux Operating System on a partition on your computer, or on a dedicated hardware.
  • Learn thoroughly the process of booting and shutting down.
  • Review UNIX Operating System concepts.
  • Practice using utilities, such as, awk, yacc, pine, elm, and others.
  • Learn Unix file system and security from administrator's point of view.
  • Learn to backup the file systems using different utilities.
  • Practice the use of regular expressions.
  • Learn to write Unix shell scripts.
  • Review Unix GUI basics.
  • Learn the privileges of the super user.
  • Learn Unix daemons and user processes and how to control them.
  • Manage user accounts.
  • Install and activate external devices, such as printers and disks.
  • Plan and activate periodic processes.
  • Learn how to read Unix uptime history and resolve problems.
  • Learn about Unix drivers and kernel properties.
  • Learn to install and manage networks using Unix system.
  • Manage user electronic mail system.


Part I: User's View

Unit 1: UNIX Shell

Unit 2: File Security

Unit 3: Basic Shell Programming

Part II: System Administrator's View

Unit 1: Processes

Unit 2: The Network Models

Unit 3: Useful utilities and Files

Unit 4: File System Backup


To receive credit for COMP 325, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent), an average grade of 50 percent on all TMAs, and at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

TMA 1 General UNIX Utilities TMA 2 Programming Activities TMA 3 System Administration Final Total
15% 15% 15% 55% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Sarwar, S. M., Koretsky, R., & Sarwar, S. A. (2005). Unix: The Textbook (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Addison Wesley.

Special Instructional Features

COMP 325 is offered through Moodle, a Learning Management System that can be accessed through the Web and Athabasca Landing, a web-based social networking environment. COMP 325 can be completed at the student's home, using a dedicated system or disk partition. COMP 325 is an elective course in all undergraduate programs offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, June 6, 2011