Submitted by Hugh_Hughes on Sun, 08/18/2019 - 20:21
Module Title
Operating Systems & Administration (Semester3&4)
Module Credits
Module Semester
Module Status

This module provides an introduction to operating system design, implementation, operation and administration. The module examines the major components of operating systems and their relationship with hardware and software layers. The module equips the learner with the ability to upkeep and configure a reliable operation of computer systems.


This module will ensure learners meet the following objectives:

  1. Understand the theoretical and practical aspects of modern operating systems.
  2. Evaluate different operating-systems architectures and their advantages.
  3. Identify common file systems, device and process management practices.
  4. Maintain industry-standard operating systems via command line and graphical user interfaces.

Operating System Basics

  • The development of operating systems
  • Timeline for the development of Microsoft Windows operating system
  • Timeline for the development of Linux, and Mac OS operating systems
  • Overview of the tasks that an operating must perform
  • Overview of the strengths and weaknesses of graphical user interfaces versus command line user interfaces
  • File system navigation using the Windows GUI and MS-DOS command line interface
  • Mobile operating systems

File Systems, Device Management and Process management

  • File naming schemes
  • File Structure
  • File types
  • File access – permissions systems on Windows and Linux
  • File operations: read/write/rename/create/delete
  • Hierarchical directory systems
  • Directory operations
  • Memory Management
  • File system implementation: layout/disk space management
  • The process model; creation, termination and hierarchies
  • Processes and Scheduling processes
  • Using the Task Manager to analyse performance of CPU, memory and swap usage by processes in Windows
  • Disks: hardware, formatting, error handling
  • Using Device Manager to configure devices and their drivers in Windows
  • Power management issues
  • Measuring performance using DEBUG and Task Manager on Windows, ‘top’ and Gnome System Monitor on Linux

Shell Scripting

  • Shells and shell commands
  • Initialisation files
  • Variables
  • Shell statements and operators
  • Redirection and Pipes
  • Arrays
  • Options and arguments
  • Functions
  • Debugging

OS Implementations

  • Installing operating systems on PCs and MACs
  • Adding and configuring printers, scanners, drives and other peripherals using drivers on Windows and Linux
  • The bash terminal
  • The Windows command line shell
  • Automating tasks using batch files and bash scripting
  • Ubuntu Linux: case study of software distribution through the synaptic package manager
  • Options and settings: hidden files, system files, user access control
  • Practical disk partition and reformatting
  • Hard disk snapshots/imaging for maintenance purposes
  • Practical security issues: password choice, phishing/social engineering, code injection, client/server isolation, physical security, viruses
Module Assessment
Continuous Assessment
Proctored written examination