Server Administration Syllabus
CSCI 3375 Fall 2021

Instructor Information

Name : Terry Sergeant   Office Hours
E-Mail :   MW 10:00–11:00; 1:30-3:00
Office : JB 322   Tue 8:30–9:30
Phone : 325-670-1292   Thu 8:30–11:30
Web Site :   F 10:00-11:00


Description : Students will learn server administration skills with emphasis on security-oriented, command-line management of a server running web and database services. Students will manage their own cloud server instance and will gain exposure to topics such as security measures, working with the DNS, deploying and securing web applications, shell scripting, and various security tools. Although not a strict requirement, background in database and web programming is helpful.
Prerequisites : CSCI 2324
Textbook : None. You will be required to set up and maintain for the semester a server with Amazon Web Services. This will require a credit/debit card to set up. expenses. You will also be required to reserve a domain name. I expect expenses for the entire semester to be less than $20.

Course Objectives

Students who satisfactorily complete this course will (hopefully) be able to:


Your grade in the course will be earned / calculated as follows:
lab days   20%
homework   60%
final exam   20%
A $\rightarrow$ 90 100
B $\rightarrow$ 80 89
C $\rightarrow$ 70 79
D $\rightarrow$ 60 69
F $\rightarrow$ 0 59

Lab Days

Most Thursday's will be designated as a “lab day” in which we will spend some time working on exercises or homework during the class period. Attendance is mandatory and you will receive a grade out 10 possible points for each lab day evaluated as follows:

3 points preparation did you prepare for the lab day in advance?
2 points attendance did you show up on time and stay for the entire lab session?
5 points participation were you actively engaged in the session without distraction?

If you know in advance you will have to be absent on a lab day you can receive credit by doing the following:

  1. Prior to the start of class on Thursday send email to announcing you will be absent and attaching files you have been working on as evidence of your preparation for the lab period. If your preparation has been significant you will receive 3 points.
  2. Prior to Friday at 8:00am send email to explaining your progress since the first email. Also attach files as evidence of your progress. You can receive up to 7 points based on your continued progress.


Homework assignments will be given weekly and in most cases are due on Tuesdays. Homework assignments will continue what was started during a lab day. Homework assignments should reflect your own independent work.

An assignment is considered late if it is not submitted at the beginning of the class period on the day it is due. Late assignments are assessed a 30% penalty for the first week. Assignments submitted after the first late week receive a grade of 0.


The final exam is to be done without help from others. Only study aids that are expressly allowed by the instructor are to be used during the exam. Receiving improper help is a violation of the academic integrity policy.

Students with Disabilities

An individual with a disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a “person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” Any student with a documented disability may choose to seek accommodations. Eligible students seeking accommodation should contact the Director of Undergraduate Advising and Disabilities as soon as possible in the academic term (preferably during the first two weeks of a long semester) for which they are seeking accommodations. The director will prepare letters to appropriate faculty members concerning specific, reasonable academic adjustments for the student. The student is responsible for delivering accommodation letters and conferring with faculty members. Please refer to the most recent version of the Undergraduate Catalog for the complete policy. (Rachel King, Director of Undergraduate Advising and Disabilities, Office: Sandefer Memorial, 1st floor Academic Advising Center, Phone: 670-5842, Email:

Student Support

Peer-to-peer academic support (tutoring) is available for all undergraduate HSU students. The Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) is open for virtual tutoring sessions via Zoom. To access instructions or make an appointment, open the ACE course on your Canvas dashboard. For additional information regarding academic support, contact the Advising Center at 325-670-1480 or

Academic Integrity

Violations of academic integrity have been described to some degree in other sections of this syllabus.

Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be handled in accordance with university policies outlined in Undergraduate Catalog and in the Student Handbook. The current catalog prescribes that “no student who has violated the Academic Integrity Policy will be allowed to graduate from Hardin-Simmons University with honors.” Penalties will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor and typically range from failure on the assignment to failure of the course. A general rule-of-thumb is that a first offense (if not too major) will result in a zero on the assignment and a second offense will result in an F for the course. The current catalog states that an F earned in this way cannot be replaced by retaking the course.

Computer Account Use

The instructor may occasionally use email to communicate with the class as a whole or with individuals. When contacting you for this course the instructor will use your HSU email account. You are expected to check your HSU email account at least once per day and you will be held responsible for any content distributed in this way.


Regarding class attendance, the Undergraduate Catalog states:
Accordingly, absence from more than 25 percent of class meetings and/or laboratory sessions scheduled for a course (including absences because of athletic participation) is regarded as excessive, and a grade of F may be assigned as deemed appropriate by the professor.

Course Calendar and Class Structure

We may vary from this outline somewhat.

Week Date Topic / Schedules
Week 1 24 Aug Work in Linux Command-Line
Week 2 31 Aug AWS EC2 Install and Security Basics
Week 3 07 Sep LAMP Install and DNS
Week 4 14 Sep Administering MySQL
Week 5 21 Sep Bash scripting and cron
Week 6 28 Sep Workgroups and Web App Management
Week 7 05 Oct Wordpress
Week 8 12 Oct More Bash Scripting
Week 9 19 Oct Working with APIs
Week 10 26 Oct Docker: Basics
Week 11 02 Nov Docker: Deploying a Web App
Week 12 09 Nov Docker Compose and Persistent Storage
Week 13 16 Nov Using RDS
Week 14 23 Nov Wed–Fri: Thanksgiving Break!
Week 15 30 Nov Using Beanstalk
——— 09 Dec Final Exam: Thu 09 Dec 1:00pm