Course detail

Advanced Topics of Linux Administration

FIT-ILIAcad. year: 2019/2020

Students attending the course obtain hands-on experience with modern Linux systems. The course starts with the process of selecting a Linux distribution suitable for a certain planned scenario of its usage. Students can choose their distribution freely, and they use it during the entire course. Distributions chosen by the students are installed into a virtual environment that is used in the course without a risk of causing potential problems on a standard network. Students obtain deeper knowledge in two main areas, namely, storage subsystems and server-side services, as well as in various subsystems closely related to these main main topics of the course. The part of course devoted to storage includes different views on Linux file systems, logical volume management, and encryption of individual partitions. The course also covers server-side data storage technologies such as software RAID and export of block devices using the iSCSI standard.The part of the course devoted to server-side services concentrates on high-availability and load-balancing clusters and their impact on services provided by a system. Further, the course also contains an introduction to the SELinux security project as well as to network management in Linux.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will acquire knowledge and hands-on experience of modern technologies for GNU/Linux that are used in complex enterprise environments. Using these technologies, students will be able to design and implement solutions based on GNU/Linux servers for various application scenarios of such servers. The extent of the acquired knowledge corresponds to the level of Red Hat certifications.

Improved knowledge of operating systems and their administration.


User-level proficiency in the GNU/Linux operating system.


Positive attitude towards UNIX-based systems.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Vermeulen, S.: SELinux Cookbook, Packt Publishing, 2014.
Lucke, R.W.: Building Clustered Linux Systems, Prentice Hall, 2004.
Bookman, C.: Linux Clustering: Building and Maintaining Linux Clusters, Sams Publishing, 2002.
Negus, C., Bresnahan, C.: Linux Bible, Wiley, 8th ed., 2012.
Nemeth, E., Snyder, G., Hein, T.R., Whaley, B.: UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Prentice Hall, 4th ed., 2010.
Vermeulen, S.: SELinux System Administration, Packt Publishing, 2013.
Kopper, K.: Linux Enterprise Cluster: Build a Highly Available Cluster with Commodity Hardware and Free Software, No Starch Press, 2005.
Van Vugt, S.: Pro Linux High Availability Clustering, Apress, 2014.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Not applicable.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Points for both the homework and the final practical test will be assigned based on an evaluation of the systems or their components installed and configured by the students.

Exam prerequisites:
To successfully pass the course, a student needs to get at least 50 points in total out of which at least 24 points must be obtained from the homeworks and at least 16 points from the final practical test.

Language of instruction

Czech, English

Work placements

Not applicable.


The course covers advanced topics of administration of Linux/Unix operating systems as well as services typically running on such systems. The course emphasizes practical training of administration skills.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

The knowledge and experience gained by the students is evaluated through 4 homework covering the contents of the course (4x 15 points) and further through a final practical test (40 points). The practical test has the form of having to install a system according to some predefined requirements in some given time limit.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme BIT Bachelor's, 2. year of study, winter semester, 4 credits, optional

  • Programme IT-BC-3 Bachelor's

    branch BIT , 2. year of study, winter semester, 4 credits, optional

Type of course unit


Computer exercise

26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


  1. Introduction to Linux distributions and differences among them.
  2. The SystemD management system.
  3. Storage management using Logical Volume Manager and software RAID.
  4. Single-mount file systems and their benefits: ext*, xfs, btrfs.
  5. Exporting block devices over a network using iSCSI.
  6. Cryptography in GNU/Linux and possible attacks.
  7. High availability clusters: infrastructure, fence agents.
  8. High availability clusters: resource management, constraints.
  9. Shared file systems: gfs2.
  10. Load balancing on top of high availability clusters.
  11. Increasing internal security through SELinux.
  12. Network management and firewall configuration in Linux.
  13. Designing solutions for complex Linux usage scenarios.


13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


  1. Preparation of automated installation and configuration for virtual machines.
  2. Installation and configuration of SW RAID and LVM.
  3. Installation and configuration of iSCSI.
  4. Building a high availability cluster.