A Linux-based Lab for Operating Systems and Network Courses
For many of our students, their experience with our lab turns out to be the first time they have academically dealt with the inside of a computer. Thus, we find ourselves teaching a way of thinking as much as the particular techniques related to the subject matter. The commonplace tasks of debugging a system, such as isolating a problem to hardware configuration, BIOS settings, OS kernel or application, are new territory for beginning students. This lab gives them the chance to gain confidence in a realistic setting.
One criticism that students have made of our approach is, “The real world mainly runs Microsoft Windows—why aren't you teaching us about that?” While their claim is indeed valid when one looks at market share and while any computer scientist who claims to be well-rounded must accommodate the demands of the market, there are significant obstacles to providing the kind of experience we provide using commercial software. The two largest obstacles with commercial operating systems are the lack of source code and the lack of easily available technical support from the software developers. A student who wants to explore the performance differences between several different page-replacement strategies in the file system can do so more easily with Linux and a PC than with any other OS and computer of which we are aware.
Another lesson we learned is that with today's large disk drives and with the use of removable cartridge hard drives, it is possible for a number of operating systems to (more or less) coexist on the same machine and for a wide variety of platforms to communicate over a local network. We think this has provided our students with a taste of the complexity of real-world systems administration (though they will not truly know what that is like unless we make them wear beepers and page them at all hours).
On balance, we find this Linux-based approach an improvement over our previous methods and plan to continue it. We've had very positive preliminary feedback from the students who have used the lab and are looking forward to hearing whether it helps our graduates in the “real world”.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- LiveCode Ltd.'s LiveCode
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide