Introduction, Operating Systems

Table of Contents

1. Overview of the Laboratories
2. Changing Passwords
3. Accessing class resources
4. Seeking help and working as a community
5. Correct use of VirtualBox
6. Using sudo and su for Administration
7. Shutting down
8. Terminal Agility
9. Assessment

In this introductory laboratory, I shall describe how the labs will build on each other. We shall then practice some basic lab skills. You will practice these skills implicitly in later labs, meaning that the labbook will expect you to know how to do these, so please pay attention and ask questions whenever you are struggling to understand or perform any of the activities in this laboratory. It is not recommended to do this lab outside of the prescribed lab environment for this lab.

Please report any problems you have with the lab material; this will help students both in this year and subsequent years.

As an overview for this lab session, we will be practicing the following basic skills: seeking help and working as a supportive community, accessing class resources, changing your password, introduction and correct use of VirtualBox, and practicing some basic terminal skills. Mastery of these essential skills will help you complete the assigned labs with fewer problems, greater speed and gain a more thorough understanding of the lab material and its relation to the lectures.


It is vitally important that you learn to cope intelligently with errors and learn to diagnose problems; being able to give a good diagnostic report is a very desirable outcome of this paper. Working on other labs can be a useful way of coping if you’re stuck waiting for help.

1. Overview of the Laboratories

The laboratories in this paper build on some of the previous labs. Therefore, some labs will require you to have completed the work in some of the previous laboratories. This means you not only have to install and configure a service, but also maintain it, which involves some configuration management skills.

Our network will start off very small, and we shall slowly grow it as needed. However, we shan’t have any more than about five virtual machines at most in any one lab, due to host resource requirements.

The network we shall build mirrors quite nicely what you might find in a Small Or Home Office (SOHO) network, so you should immediately be able to reproduce and build on what you learn in this course at home. This is an important way of solidifying and expanding your knowledge and skills, which is crucial for developing your experience in preparing for work in the industry.

We start building our network in this lab by importing a ready-made machine. This machine shall have a hostname of “client1”, and in VirtualBox, we shall refer to as as “tele301-client1”, in order that all TELE301 related machines are grouped together. In later labs, we will add a second client using a Live CD, then quickly move on to installing our server virtual machine which will eventually become our gateway in our SOHO network to the wider network.