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FIT2065 Operating systems and the Unix environment - Semester 1, 2013

The main topics covered in this unit include computer systems, operating systems, process management and coordination, memory management including modern implementations of virtual memory, file systems, operating system security, shell variant scripting, regular expressions, Unix utilities, Unix file system, Unix system administration and installation, Unix programming, research and development.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk

Workload requirements

There are 4 contact hours for this unit per week:

  • 2 hours/lecture
  • 2 hours/tutorial

The amount of time students need to allocate to their assignment work and understanding of material will vary from student to student. The university model of a 6 point unit suggests that an average workload would be 12 hours per week including the 4 contact hours of classes, and an additional 8 hours of assigned work and private study.

Unit Relationships


CPE3007, CPE2008, CSE2208, CSE2391, CSE3001, CSE3208, CSE3391, FIT3041, GCO3813


One of FIT1001, FIT1031 or CSE1201 or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Professor Bala Srinivasan



Professor Bala Srinivasan

Dr Malik Khan

Mr Guy Kijthaweesinpoon

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -A knowledge and understanding of:
  • the role of operating systems in the architecture of computer systems;
  • the practical considerations involved in the use of the Unix operating system; specifically memory management, process management and file system implementations;
  • the role, utility and syntax of Unix scripting languages;
  • considerations and techniques for securing the Unix operating system;
  • the responsibilities of and tasks undertaken by Unix system administrators;
  • points of contrast and similarity between Unix and other operating systems in widespread use.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • appreciate Unix operating system as it is implemented in modern computer systems - Unix system file system, memory management, and networking, and practical functions;
  • know how to solve many systems problems using Unix scripting and system facilities;
  • appreciate Unix system programming, research and development, and security.
Developed the skills to:
  • use important Unix utilities to monitor Unix systems and Unix networks; construct Unix shell scripts to solve many system problems;
  • implement security controls in the Unix environment;
  • use Unix utilities for data processing, system development and research;
  • install and configure the Unix environment;
  • use Unix OS for important network servers and tailor their Unix systems to provide important system and network services.
Demonstrated the communication skills necessary to:
  • understand the need to balance requirements of users in multiuser operating system environments;
  • confidently discuss issues in groups with regard to the implementation of Unix;
  • articulate opinions in group environments with respect to the implementation of operating system environments.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Computer systems overview, introduction to Unix and brief history of Unix  
2 Getting a handle on the Unix OS  
3 Shell scripting  
4 Process description and control  
5 Concurrency and Threads  
6 Deadlock and starvation Assignment 1 due
7 Memory management  
8 File management Assignment 2 due
9 Unix utilities  
10 Unix security Unit Test in the tutorial class
11 System administration  
12 Review Assignment 3 due
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy:

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Summary

Examination (2 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Shell Scripting 10% Week 6
Assignment 2 - Concurrent Programming 10% Week 8
Unit Test 10% Week 10 tutorial class
Assignment 3 - Written Assignment 10% Week 12
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 - Shell Scripting
    An individual assessment where students have to develop a working shell script for a practical problem. This is purely a programming exercise. The specification of the assignment will be provided in Week 3.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The program will be assessed on the following:

    •  Functionality;
    •  Efficiency;
    •  Correctness;
    •  Generality of the software;
    •  Error conditions, error trapping and error messages; and
    •  Readability and modularity of the code.
    Due date:
    Week 6
    Submission of soft copy through file transfer on the unit Moodle web site.
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Concurrent Programming
    An individual assessment where students have to develop a working program for a practical problem using concurrecy concepts learned in this unit. This is purely a programming exercise and you are free to choose any programming language for implementation. However, C language will be used for the examples in the labs.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The program will be assessed on the following:

    •  Functionality;
    •  Efficiency;
    •  Correctness;
    •  Error conditions, error trapping and error messages; and
    •  Readability and modularity of the code.
    Due date:
    Week 8
    Submission of soft copy through file transfer on the unit Moodle web site.
  • Assessment task 3
    Unit Test
    The unit test will be conducted in the Week 10 tutorial class as a combination multiple choice written test and a scripting exercise. Since it is conducted during the tutorial sessions, each tutorial class will have a different set of multiple choice and scripting questions.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Correct answers to multiple choice questions (no negative marks for incorrect answers).
    • The scripting part will be assessed based on the correctness of the script.
    Due date:
    Week 10 tutorial class
  • Assessment task 4
    Assignment 3 - Written Assignment
    A written assignment exploring various principles of operating systems that are covered in the lectures. This assignment is a pre-cursor for the preparation of the final examination.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Correct answers to the questions.
    • Explanation or reasoning of  behavours.
    Due date:
    Week 12
    Submission of soft copy through file transfer on the unit Moodle web site.


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

Learning resources

Reading list

Following are the reference books for this unit. A number of web based reference material will be provided on the unit's moodle site.

  • William Stallings, "Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles", 7th Ed.
  • Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne, "Operating Systems Concepts", John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 7th Ed.
  • Simson Garfinkel and Gene Spafford, "Practical Unix & Internet Security", O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Latest Ed.

Monash Library Unit Reading List

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
  • Interviews
  • Test results and feedback
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement ( for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the portal.

Recommended Resources

Access to Linux or Unix off-campus would be useful, but is not required.

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

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.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Based on feedback:

  • The practical component will be complemented with theoretical questions in the tutorials;
  • Supporting theory will be added as part of the lectures; and
  • The non-assessable weekly quizzes will continue.

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