Course Title: Unix Essentials for System Administrators

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Unix Essentials for System Administrators

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.
To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.
Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:
Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020


City Campus


520T Future Technologies


Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Dalija Beganovic

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4664

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 57, Level 5, Room 36

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Please be aware that this course forms part of AD006 (Associate Degree in Information Technology) and is not part of the BP162 (Bachelor of Information Technology) study plan. Also, it will follow the Vocational Education calendar dates and not the Higher Ed semester dates which means that classes will start 3 weeks earlier. The timetable is published under the Vocational Education timetable link and is not available on STS. If you enrol in this course as an elective please check with your program coordinator before commencement as this is not a bachelor course.

Course Description

This course is designed as a hands-on introductory course on UNIX (and UNIX-like) System Administration. It is designed particularly for use with the UNIX operating system, but much of it applies to Linux systems as well.

The course covers the basic and frequently used UNIX/Linux commands and introduces important concepts in security and managing your computing environment from the system administration point of view. In addition, you will become proficient in text editing, shell scripting, inter-process communication using pipes, redirection, file processing, and common configuration and troubleshooting procedures.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for AD006 Associate Degree in Information Technology:
• Enabling Knowledge
• Critical Analysis
• Problem Solving

On completion of this course you should be able to:
1. Select common UNIX commands to solve real-world problems.
2. Design and implement common system automation tasks using shell scripts.
3. Perform routine system administration tasks, such as user account management, and system monitoring.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of advanced UNIX file processing.
5. Apply knowledge of system security and data backups in an UNIX environment.
6. Apply the UNIX philosophy to the design of programs and systems.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and laboratory exercises.
• The lectures will be devoted to presentation of new material, and will discuss the topics presented in the course.
• The Tutorial/Laboratory sessions will provide you with hands-on experience in using UNIX/Linux operating systems.

In addition to the specifically laboratory type work, a series of questions will be provided to reinforce the key concepts from the lectures.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will make extensive use of computer laboratories and relevant software provided by the School. You will be able to access course information and learning materials through MyRMIT and may be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

The computer science subject guide is located at and can provide useful references to further augment your studies.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment Tasks 

To pass this course you must achieve a total score of at least 50%. 

Assessment Task 1: Practical Tests 

This assessment task consists of three practical tests.  

Weighting towards the final grade (%): 60 % (15% + 20% + 25%) 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6 

Assessment Task 2: Online Tests 

This assessment task consists of two online tests.  

Weighting towards the final grade (%): 40% (20% + 20%) 

This assessment supports CLOs 1-6 

Practical Tests Submission Policy 

There are three practical tests to be completed during the semester. All of them will be completed in class and will relate to the course topics. You will be notified in advance of the practical test date. 

Online Tests 

The questions are designed to check your understanding of the concepts presented in the class. 

Feedback on your performance in the assessments will be given on a regular basis during the semester. Written comments will be posted on the Canvas Grade Center.