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Using Linux at Northern Michigan University

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We load them with Java, C , PuTTY. We haven't had success with VNC ... Give a lousy error message. Give points for fixing the problems. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using Linux at Northern Michigan University


1
Using Linux at Northern Michigan University
2
Northern Michigan University
  • Regional University
  • Normal quality students
  • Some great
  • Some struggle
  • About 9,000 students and 200 majors
  • Have some money

3
NMUs Computers
  • Every student gets a laptop
  • We load them with Java, C, PuTTY
  • We havent had success with VNC
  • We may not load them with Linux
  • We have a Laboratory
  • Kinda silly with all the laptops
  • Great for system admin class

4
Advantages of Linux
  • Source code available
  • But its huge
  • Parts are interesting
  • System very inspectable
  • Can see whats happening inside

5
System Admin Class
  • Teach Basic Linux Admin
  • Incoming students typically juniors
  • Lots of students from CIS, a few from the town
  • Assume students dont know nothin
  • Frustrates some students
  • Works for others

6
Goals of System Admin Class
  • Add/del users
  • Networking (NFS, Samba, YP, net printing)
  • Compile the kernel
  • Become YP/NIS server and client
  • Taste shell and perl programming
  • Independent learning
  • DEBUGGING SKILLS ARE VITAL

7
Pride of Ownership
  • Everyone gets their own computer
  • They install everything on it
  • When it breaks, its their fault.

8
Fences Make Good Neighbors
  • Get a firewall between your lab and the world.
  • Leave access to the departmental server
  • Deny access to the world
  • Files are forced to move through the departmental
    server

9
Teach How to Debug
  • Break their computers for them.
  • Give a lousy error message.
  • Give points for fixing the problems.
  • Everyone gets a unique problem set.

10
Never Let Students Hack Each Others Computer!!!!!
11
The Problem List
  • Points 10 Task Fix telnetting to euclid
    ---- Points 15 Task I cannot ping Euclid
    ---- Points 5 Task What is your ethernet
    hardware (mac) address? ----
  • Task Fix telnetting to euclid Cause add
    "198.110.193.8 euclid euclid.nmu.edu" to
    /etc/hosts ---- Task I cannot ping Euclid
    Cause Add the line 'exit' to the script
    /etc/rc.d/init.d/network ---- Task What is your
    ethernet hardware (mac) address? Cause Just ask

12
No Cheating (kinda)
  • Dont let students keep backup copies of /etc

13
Grading is Important
  • Dont use a dumb grading scheme.
  • If you give points for labs…
  • Then assignments will be 0 or 100
  • You must use tests and broken-labs too.

14
Operating System Class
  • Students are seniors.
  • Goals are OS algorithms, not too much code.

15
Using Kernel Source
  • Dont make them compile kernels.
  • Do show them code.
  • Size
  • Grep for stupid.
  • 106 stupids, 32 of the other word
  • Show easy parts
  • Old scheduler
  • Read syscall

16
Kernel Size
17
Top is Interesting
  • 1108pm up 61 days, 545, 16 users, load
    average 0.00, 0.00
  • 84 processes 81 sleeping, 1 running, 2 zombie, 0
    stopped
  • CPU0 states 0.1 user, 0.1 system, 0.0
    nice, 98.0 idle
  • CPU1 states 0.0 user, 0.0 system, 0.0
    nice, 100.0 idle
  • Mem 512920K av, 497660K used, 15260K free,
    356K shrd,
  • Swap 497972K av, 9324K used, 488648K free
  • PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT CPU
    MEM TIME COMMAN
  • 422 randy 15 0 1040 1036 820 R 2.8
    0.2 000 top
  • 1 root 8 0 116 68 68 S 0.0
    0.0 004 init
  • 2 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0
    0.0 000 keven
  • 3 root 19 19 0 0 0 SWN 0.0
    0.0 000 ls

18
Strace is Interesting
  • strace /bin/ls
  • Uses 119 syscalls
  • Open 21 files!!!!!!
  • Writes 3 times.
  • Goal Give a real picture for how things work

19
Benchmarking
  • Easy to make a benchmark
  • Time consuming to run them
  • Whole class can do one run
  • Always experimental error

20
Benchmarking Ideas
  • Compile time vs RAM
  • Read time vs read size
  • Never get to disk performance
  • Which is faster, open or read?

21
Independent Study
  • Linux inspires kids.
  • Source code is available
  • Lots of tools
  • Linux is new
  • There are projects to be done.
  • Can effect the world!

22
Linux Benchmarking Project
  • Three kids
  • Is the kernel bloated and slow?
  • Compare new and old kernels
  • Count lines
  • Use lmbench
  • Teacher was interested, too!

23
Benchmarking Results
  • Experimental Errors Experienced.
  • Teamwork errors too!
  • Email from Linux, Alan Cox, etc.
  • Article on Slashdot
  • Speech at Argonne National Lab.
  • Professional Recognition

24
Unexpected Learning
  • Army comes to arrest fellow prof
  • They were very nice people.
  • Student interest in security soars.
  • Learning happened
  • ACS is angry

25
Unexpected Learning (cont)
  • We shutdown campus.net
  • And a business in California
  • Students suddenly interested in our connectivity
  • Internet law became interesting too.

26
Conclusion
  • Good Teaching is good teaching!
  • Need to be enthused.
  • Need to be hands-on.
  • Need to show examples.

27
Linux Helps with Teaching
  • Showing code examples.
  • Inspect a running system
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