[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  • knowledge of the Unix philosophy at shell and system call levels;
  • comprehension of Unix shells and the POSIX standard;
  • knowledge of the variety of tools available and understanding of a core selection of them;
  • knowledge of the Unix system call interface and associated systems programming;
  • programming skills at the Unix shell level using pipelines and shell scripts applying a number of tools;
  • programming skills at the system call level for systems programming.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Assignment 1 20% Monday 18 April 2011
    Assignment 2 20% Friday 27 May 2011
    Laboratory Exercises 10% At the end of each lab session
    Examination 1 50% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

    Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    The teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning, equipping you with the ability to apply skills upon completion.


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
    • Graded assignments with comments
    • Test results and feedback

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Required Resources

    You will need access to:

    • UNIX based computer with standard UNIX operating environment (access to programs such as csh, tsh, vi, sed, awk, perl, gcc, gdb, make)
    • A web browser such as Safari or Firefox

    These may be accessed at no cost in Monash computer laboratories, or by remotely using a (freely-downloadable) ssh utility to log into the ra-clay Monash Linux server. Linux distributions are also downloadable at no cost, but no installation support will be provided for these.

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
    1 28/02/11 Unit Introduction, Editing with the Vim Editor Laboratory Exercises are assessed at the end of each lab session
    2 07/03/11 Introduction to C, Make  
    3 14/03/11 C programming: Pointers & Data structures  
    4 21/03/11 Unix C Programming  
    5 28/03/11 Inter-process communication, the GLib utility library Assignment 1 handed out
    6 04/04/11 Introduction to shell programming  
    7 11/04/11 Shell filters  
    8 18/04/11 Shell programming Assigment 1 due Monday 18 April 2011
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Regular expressions  
    10 09/05/11 Perl 1: scalars & arrays Assignment 2 handed out
    11 16/05/11 Perl 2: Perl regexes  
    12 23/05/11 Perl 3: Perl modules, Perl 6. Assignment 2 due Friday 27 May 2011
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    Participants must attend at least 8 of the 11 labs.

    • Assessment task 1
      Assignment 1
      C/Unix programming assignment
      Criteria for assessment:

      Correctness; efficiency; quality of solution; documentation

      Due date:
      Monday 18 April 2011
    • Assessment task 2
      Assignment 2
      Shell/Perl programming assignment
      Criteria for assessment:
      Correctness; efficiency; quality of solution; documentation
      Due date:
      Friday 27 May 2011
    • Assessment task 3
      Laboratory Exercises
      Exercises held during laboratory sessions
      Criteria for assessment:
      Lab exercises are assessed during the scheduled laboratory session. Marks are awarded for successful completion of the laboratory exercises.
      Due date:
      At the end of each lab session


    • Examination 1
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

    Reading List

    Recommended texts:

    Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, A (2nd Edition), Mark G. Sobell, ISB978-0131367364.

    The C Programming Language, Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie (2nd edition).  ISBN 9780131103627

    The Linux Programming Interface, Michael Kerrisk, ISBN 978-1-59327-220-3

    Programming Perl, Third Edition, Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen and Jon Orwant.  ISBN 978-0-596-00027-1

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]