Final Paper Information

Due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, December 3

What should be in the paper?

As you are graduate students, I will expect that your paper will be of submission quality. You should have

  1. A summary of what you have learned in class (please delineate material you already knew). This should take at least 1-2 pages, though you certainly may use more if you like. Additionally, please use another page or two write about what you thought was most interesting — this can be anything such an assignment, or a description of an event or sequences of events when you were doing an assignment, or even something that has puzzled you. If you like, please feel free to write more in this section (I often have students that write 5 or more pages in this section, so don't feel shy if you are feeling inspired.)
  2. A system administration topic area that you would like to follow up on. This should be the bulk of your paper, and should be five to seven (or more if you like pages). Some suggestions might be
    1. Writing about a new area such as a new filesystem (e.g. btrfs), new approaches to booting, or developments in security.
    2. A well-understood topic such as NFS, server room power provisioning, or Samba and how it has been recently expanded.
    3. Independent work, where you outline an innovative procedure or thought, such as a new approach to monitoring a number of computer systems or even something like a new file system design.
    4. A significant installation project in the lab environment, such as setting up a three-layer architecture (a.k.a. three tier architecture) service. Please set up separate virtual machines for these. An example would be setting up an Asterisk server and some virtual clients.

Physical format

Please print the paper single-sided, on lettersize (8.5 x 11) paper, and the text should be double-spaced. Please staple your paper. Please do not email me this paper, it should be handed to me on December 3rd.

Late Policy

As stated in the syllabus, there will be a 50% penalty in grade if this paper is turned in late.


The paper will be graded on adherence to formatting instructions, good grammar and punctuation, clear and coherent reasoning, and demonstrated knowledge about system administration.