CSE3208 UNIX programming , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Dr Campbell Wilson
Caulfield : Dr Campbell Wilson
Outline An introduction to UNIX systems for students with knowledge of C programming but who have not worked in a UNIX environment. The structure of the operating system and variant forms. Shells, utilities and C programming tools. Introduction to programming shell scripts. The interface between the UNIX system and C programs in the form of system calls.  Please note: C programming tools may not be covered in lectures depending on lecture progression.

This objective of this unit is to give students a working knowledge of the UNIX operating system. Specifically, after completing the unit, students should be conversant in:

- The history and context of UNIX
- Bourne shell variant scripting
- Regular expressions
- UNIX utilities
- The UNIX file system
- UNIX system administration and installation
- awk scripting


Prerequisites Refer to Monash handbook entry.

Unit relationships CSE3208 is an elective unit able to be taken by students from various degrees.  You should check with your course coordinator to ensure you will gain credit into your degree program for CSE3208.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

There are no required texts.

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

There is no required software.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading references will be provided.

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for CSE3208 are:

This unit information outlining administrative arrangements for the unit.
The unit website URL will be made available in the first lecture.

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Introduction TBA
2 Shell programming I
3 Shell programming II
4 Bourne shell concepts
5 Pattern and stream matching, regular expressions
6 awk
7 Useful UNIX utilities
8 Programming tools
9 System installation and administration
10 Systems Programming
11 TBA

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


1 Assignment (20%)
Graded tutorial exercises (20%) - More information on this will be provided in the first lecture.
Final examination (60%)

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

-achieve at least 40% in each assessment component.
-achieve at least 50% of the overall score for the unit (see below)


Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

A=assignment mark out of 100
B=graded tutorial exercise mark out of 100
C=examination mark out of 100

Final score=0.2A+0.2B+0.6C

(Final score may be modified subject to policy on passing the unit outlined above)


Assessment Requirements


Due Date


UNIX Assignment Week 10 20 %
Graded tutorial exercises Week 5, 8, 11 20 %
Examination 2 hour(s), open/closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available in the lecture.. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments will be submitted to the tutor in the tutorial class of week 10.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Late assignments will not be accepted unless an extension is granted (see below).

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Students are encouraged to contact the tutor and lecturer for assistance at any time via email, or during consultation hours. A discussion group will be made available on the unit website (URL to be advised)


Notices regarding the subject will be presented during the lecture times and will generally also be placed on the unit website.

Consultation Times

To be advised.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr Campbell Wilson
Phone +61 3 990 31142
Fax +61 3 990 31077

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Mar 1, 2006