Unix Crash Course support files

[Dennis Ritchie]


This page provides the files associated with the Unix Crash Course, which is part of the Unix course provided by the AMC Graduate School. This is a personal page of one of the teachers of that course and the Academic Medical Center or its Graduate School is not in any way responsible or attributable for the content of this page.

The Unix Crash Course is one-and-a half day course that introduces the concepts of the Unix operating system with an emphasis on using the (Bourne) shell. The subjects that are touched upon are:
The syllabus, exercise solutions and presentation are made available under the GNU Free Documentation License. We also provide shell scripts to create the environments for the labs and exercises, which can be executed on any non-minimal GNU/Linux system. For those who do not have a GNU/Linux system available, we provide a copy of Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS (a.k.a. Trusty Thar) and a Windows program to install it on a USB pen drive, along with a "persistence file", preloaded with afore mentioned scripts.

The syllabus is available in PDF format or in an OpenDocument format. The latter can be used in Libre Office, a free Office suite for multiple operating systems.
Appendix C of the document contains a few exercises. A document with possible answers can be found here in PDF format or here in OpenDocument format. The slides of the accompanying presentation can be downloaded in PDF format.

If you don't have a GNU/Linux system available to try the labs or exercises, you are advised to download a DVD-Rom image of the latest release of Ubuntu Linux and installing it on a USB pen drive. You can freely download it from ubuntu.com but for your convenience we also provide the 64-bit desktop version of version 14.04 LTS on this page. If you're on a Windows system, you will want to download the free Universal USB Installer (or fetch it from this page) with which you can create a bootable USB pen drive from the DVD-Rom image file. Booting from this drive enables you to try Ubuntu Linux without installing anything on your hard disk. If you create the pen drive, you are advised to use the option to create a persistence file so changes to your Linux environment do not get lost between boots. This option is mandatory if you make use of the pre-setup persistence file described in the next paragraph.

If you install Ubuntu Linux on a USB pen drive, you are advised to download this ZIP file. This is a 30MB ZIP file that contains a 500MB file named "casper-rw". If you replace the same file in the root directory of your USB drive with this file, you get 500MB of persistence on the Ubuntu system on your USB drive which is pre-loaded with the scripts for setting up the labs in the sylabus (named setup_labs.sh) and for setting up the environment for the exercises (named exercises.sh). The scripts are in a directory that is searched for executables so you can execute either setup_labs.sh or exercises.sh to setup the required environment.
If you do have a GNU/Linux system available you can download the setup_labs.sh and exercises.sh scripts separately and execute
sh /path/to/downloaded/script to create the environment for the labs or exercises.

Lastly, downloading (executable) content from the internet is often tricky. The text file SHA256SUM contains a cryptographycally secure checksum of the files provided on this page. If you're on Windows you could use a program like Hashtab (a GUI program) or sha256sum.exe (on the Windows command line) to verify that the files have not been altered.
The text file itself is cryptographycally signed with the PGP key of the author of this page. The public key to verify the signature can be downloaded from a public key server.

Here's a list of all the files provided on this page:

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