Most of the computers in the United States use some version of MS Windows or MacOS as their operating system. Although these two operating systems are among the most widespread, and run the majority of the software currently marketed, they are certainly not the only operating systems available to run Macintosh or IBM-clone hardware. Indeed, where certain networking applications are concerned, they are not even the most desirable operating systems available.

Within the computer industry, Unix-style operating systems have been in use for years as platforms from which to launch complicated applications and administrate intricately designed computer networks. Further, programmers have been writing software for use on these platforms, and further advancing the platforms by communicating their new software across networks built of interconnected Unix machines. Programmers on the Unix platform designed the Linux operating system in order to gain further control over their computing environment and to allow further customization of their operating systems.

The Wellesley College Computer Science department does not offer a course in Unix system administration, nor does it offer many courses which involve programming within a Unix environment. Indeed, accessable Unix machines on the campus of Wellesley College are a distinct rarity, with only the Olaf Cluster available to the general public. This Independent Study is designed to allow any Wellesley College student to create, configure, and administrate her own Linux system. Those students who configure their own Unix machines according to the instructions within this 350 will gain an understanding of the Linux operating system, which allows for an easier grasp of programming for and within the Unix environment.

Anne Cross
(Dragon Mage)
May 17, 1999

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Created: February 15, 1999
Last updated: May 6, 1999