Updated: 2017-10-12 17:46 EDT

1 Possible cessation of classes next week (Oct 16)Indexup to index

College faculty want quality education issues addressed; their offer to Management from September 27 is summarized here http://www.collegefaculty.org/union_presentation_september_27_2017 and available here https://thecouncil.on.ca/download/12661 (PDF download).

Faculty have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions for students.

Management walked away from the bargaining table on October 10, saying their current offer is the final offer and they will not bargain further to avoid a strike. They want the faculty bargaining team to present their latest offer directly to faculty for a vote. The Management commentary and offer is here https://thecouncil.on.ca/download/12677 (PDF download).

You will note that the two sides are not addressing the same issues. The faculty response to the Management final offer is here:


A faculty strike has been called for early on Monday, October 16. More information is available in the FAQ for students and on the faculty union web site and via Work Stoppage Resources.

It’s not clear whether access to the Course Linux Server will continue in the event of a faculty strike. The College may lock out access, though since Blackboard will remain accessible, I hope the CLS will, too. Access to off-campus course web pages will continue.

2 Readings, Assignments, Labs, Tests, and ToDoIndexup to index

2.1 Read (at least) these things (All The Words)Indexup to index

  1. Week 06 Notes HTML – this file – Read All The Words
  2. Search PATH – how the shell finds commands
  3. Quoting – hiding characters from the shell
  4. For next week: Unix/Linux File System – directories, inodes, hard links
  5. List of Commands You Should Know
  6. Video Tutorials on Lynda.com – tagged by week number
  7. Linux and Sysadmin News in the World

2.2 Assignments and lab work this weekIndexup to index

Check the due date for each assignment and put a reminder in your agenda, calendar, and digital assistant. Just like in the Real World, not all due dates are on the same days or at the same times.

2.3 Lab work this weekIndexup to index

2.3.1 WorksheetsIndexup to index

Worksheets are preparation for your assignments. You can’t do the assignments without having done the worksheets first, and you can’t do the worksheets without having first read the Course Notes:

  1. Read the web notes. (Please: Read All The Words)
  2. Do the relevant Worksheet(s).
  3. Do the relevant Assignment(s).

Make notes from the worksheets on how each command works. What do the options used in the worksheets mean, for each command? (See the weekly Command List.)

Form a small study group to do the worksheets. Each person tries the example given, and you make sure you all get the same answers. Worksheets are not for hand-in; they are not worth marks; the assignments test your knowledge of the lectures and worksheets.

The worksheets are available in four formats: Open Office (ODT), PDF, HTML, and Text. Only the Open Office format allows you “fill in the blanks” in the worksheet. The PDF format looks good but doesn’t allow you to type into the blanks in the worksheet. The HTML format is crude but useful for quick for viewing online.

Do NOT open the Worksheet ODT files using any Microsoft products; they will mangle the format and mis-number the questions. Use the free Libre Office or Open Office programs to open these ODT documents. On campus, you can download Libre Office here.

Worksheets prepare you for the upcoming assignments.

2.4 Upcoming tests and examsIndexup to index

This course has two midterm tests (10%, 15%) and one final exam (40%).

Bring your favourite marker to your test

Bring your favourite marker to your test

Note that your upcoming Midterm Test #2 is worth more than five assignments put together. Don’t spend all your time doing an assignment at the expense of studying the Practice Tests and Answers for the Midterm Test.

2.4.1 Second Midterm test – November 2 or 3 – 15%Indexup to index

Your Second Midterm test is 45 minutes long and contains approximately 45 multiple-choice questions similar to those found in the two preceding Practice Tests and Answers. Do both practice tests before the Second Midterm test!

  • Time: in your one-hour lecture class on Thursday or Friday in Week 9 (November 2 or 3).
  • General seating; sit anywhere.
  • 45 minutes for 45 multiple-choice questions
  • Do both the practice tests before the Midterm test!

2.4.2 The Final Exam – 8am Monday December 11 – 40%Indexup to index

The Final Exam is three hours long and contains approximately 180 multiple-choice questions similar to those found in the three preceding Practice Tests and Answers. Do all three practice tests before the Final Exam!

  • Time: 08h00-11h00 (8am to 11am) Monday December 11 (Week 15)
  • Location (two rooms): T119 and T102A,B,C
  • This exam has assigned seating – see your email for your assigned seat.
  • 180 minutes (three hours) for 180 questions
  • Do all three practice tests before the Final Exam!
  • Three Hours! Take a bathroom break before you start the exam!

All three practice tests will be posted under Practice Tests and Answers. The Final Exam is comprehensive of the whole course; you need to do all three practice tests for the Final Exam.

3 Midterm Test #1 AnalysisIndexup to index

I spent many hours correcting your errors and omissions on your mark-sense forms. Many of you lost marks for that. Before your next test, carefully re-read the posted Test Instructions. Penalties go up for making errors on the next tests.

Here are some statistics for the first midterm test:

The 203 class scores:

100 100 97.8 97.8 95.6 95.6 95.6 95.6 93.3 93.3 93.3 93.3 93.3 93.3 93.3 92.4 91.1 90.8 90.2 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9 88.9 86.7 86.7 86.7 86.7 86.7 86.2 84.4 84.4 84.4 84.4 84.4 84.4 84.4 84.4 84 83.6 82.3 82.2 82.2 82.2 82.2 82.2 82.2 81.4 81.4 80.2 80 80 79.4 78.1 77.8 77.8 77.8 77.8 77.8 77.6 76 76 75.6 75.6 75.6 74.8 73.3 73.3 73.3 73.3 73.3 72.6 72.6 71.8 71.1 71.1 71.1 70.4 69.7 68.9 68.9 68.9 67.6 67.6 66.8 66.7 66 66 64.4 64.4 64.4 64.4 63.8 62.2 62.2 62.2 62.2 60 60 60 60 60 60 59.1 58.2 58.2 57.8 57.8 57.3 57.2 55.6 54.9 54.9 54.9 54.9 53.9 53.3 53.3 53.3 53.3 52.8 52.8 52.8 52.8 52.8 52.2 51.7 51.1 51.1 51.1 50.7 49.1 48.9 48.9 48.9 48.9 48.9 48.9 48.6 47.2 47.1 46.7 45.3 44.2 43 42.2 42.2 41.8 40.1 40 40 40 40 40 38.1 38.1 38 38 38 38 37.8 37.4 36.6 36.1 34.8 33.3 33.3 33.3 33.3 32.5 31.1 30.7 30.7 29.6 28.9 28 27.2 26.7 26.7 26.7 26.7 24.4 24.4 24.2 23.7 23.2 22.5 22.2 22.2 20.9 20.3 19 19 19 17.8 17.2 16.7 14.8 12.7 9.7 8.4 4.4

4 Notes from the ClassroomIndexup to index

4.1 Commands UsedIndexup to index

5 Marking Scheme for Assignment #06Indexup to index

Bonus (optional) Assignment #06 HTML may be done after you get your marks email and question sheet back for Midterm #1. You can use this bonus work to optionally improve your mark on the first midterm test. See the assignment for details.

Your question sheet will be brought to the lab section you wrote on the question sheet, if it is a valid lab section. See the Blackboard course Announcements for details (under “bonus Assignment 6 details”).

6 Searching the course notesIndexup to index

I received an email like the text below from a student who was working on a problem for over two hours:

I have spent almost 2 hours on Task 4.6 and I still can’t find the 100 files. […] I think the problem is searching for warez case-insensitive. I know we learned this before, but I just can’t find it in my notes.

This is not good use of student time for two reasons:

  1. Don’t spend more than 15 minutes on a problem! Your time as a student is valuable. See the Course Introduction: fifteen minute rule
  2. I showed you how to search the course notes for keywords in Assignment #05 HTML:

You have a search tool that will find keywords inside the course notes. Please use it and save yourself time.

7 Student Feedback – How to succeed in LinuxIndexup to index

I encourage you to read the course notes. Don’t take my word for it:

Note from a student in 17W:

From: Damien Houle - CST8207-17W
Subject: Wonderful Website

I wanted to make sure your aware of how much the students and myself
from last semester appreciate your awesome website. Many of us have
used it on multiple occasions throughout our level 2 course for
our current assignments because it has everything we need, as long
as we READ ALL THE WORDS! I really miss your labs and lectures and
realize now how spoiled I was to have you as my teacher and Linux
mentor. Hope the semester offers you as much fun as our class was
although i doubt it.
Best regards
Damien Houle (aka Linux people)

Note from a student in 17W:

Dear Professor Allen,
I was working with the mid-term practice last weekend, and it doesn't goes
very well. And then I go back to watch the class notes(I know! I should do
that in the first place) because I realize that I missed lots of the
information. Then I found that the pages of course notes are super helpful.
It helps me a lot!
I thought the pages are too much links and too complex when I just taking a
quick look in the first time, but I was wrong. It's so impressive that the
contents are strong logical, everything is explained in detail but not
complicated, easy to understand. Most of the things does not take me a long
time to understand.
I really should read the pages earlier!!!
It does takes me many time to adapt the new learning style as a foreign
student, but I am feeling better right now. Hopefully, it is not too
late for the test.
Anyway, just want to tell you that the course pages are very helpful. And
thank you, This is a great work for us!

8 Getting a job reference from your professorIndexup to index

Note from another former student:

I just wanted to thank you again for the reference that you me when
applying for a government position last year.
I ended up getting the job and I am part of a great team.
Thanks again,

If you want a good reference from me, get great marks and keep your attendance up-to-date.

9 Copying from other students – plagiarismIndexup to index

Here is a note from a Student who was charged with plagiarism (academic fraud) in a previous year:

After everything, I would just like to thank you for not giving us
any harsher consequences. I really appreciate it, it's probably the
best Christmas gift after this stressful weekend I could get. And
what might be weird for you, I'd like to thank you for that you
found this plagiarism out because I have a lesson in my mind I will
never forget. I'm still very embarrassed [...] but these are the
consequences I have to face right now. Thank you once again and I
wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

One other student involved in the above case failed the course. Review the class notes on Plagiarism if you copy the work of other students or if you let your work be copied by other students. I know who you are and we’re going to have a chat about your behaviour soon.

10 Learning and using VIM via Web BrowserIndexup to index

A user found a keyboard-driven web browser (Vimperator) that led him to using VIM, the editor it was based on:


“I become quickly fond of Vimperator – it complemented my current workflow with the mouse very well. I could use my other hand to close tabs with ‘d’ etc. Over time my surfing got really efficient and that made me curious – if Vimperator can make surfing the web this good, then perhaps that weird Vim editor isn’t that bad after all? So, I read about Vim and started using it. It took me literally hours before I was hooked with Vim. I was mind blown!

And it was after that moment I truly understood how powerful and efficient a keyboard driven workflow can be. The terminal is not just some niche thing nerds use to look cool."

Learn that editor!

11 TutoringIndexup to index

Many students find that hiring a personal tutor helps them get through the first term. Financial assistance is available. See the Tutoring heading in the Course Introduction.

12 Attacks on the CLSIndexup to index

You are not paranoid if they really are out to get you! See the Week 03 Notes HTML for command pipelines to count the SSH attacks on the CLS.

12.1 HTTP attacks on Course Linux ServerIndexup to index

In addition to the SSH attacks, machines on the Internet receive attacks using bogus HTTP requests. These unsuccessful attacks below attempt to use a chain of parent directories to fetch a file out of the file system:

[Dec 13 13:50:57 2015] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../ratings.html HTTP/1.1
[Dec 13 13:51:01 2015] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../index.html HTTP/1.1
[Apr 26 17:09:59 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/yqcP HTTP/1.1
[May 02 12:21:45 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/IJSj HTTP/1.1
[Jun 27 17:54:40 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/3qS9 HTTP/1.1
[Oct 07 09:34:11 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/ahMk HTTP/1.1
[Oct 15 06:49:57 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0
[Oct 19 20:49:33 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0
[Oct 23 00:43:39 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0
[Nov 02 21:35:09 2016] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0
[Jan 07 20:51:33 2017] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0
[May 10 21:22:29 2017] [client] Invalid URI in request GET /../../../../../../../mnt/mtd/qt HTTP/1.0

The Apache server blocked all the above attacks.

Take Notes in Class

Take Notes in Class

| Ian! D. Allen, BA, MMath  -  idallen@idallen.ca  -  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
| Home Page: http://idallen.com/   Contact Improv: http://contactimprov.ca/
| College professor (Free/Libre GNU+Linux) at: http://teaching.idallen.com/
| Defend digital freedom:  http://eff.org/  and have fun:  http://fools.ca/

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