Final Paper Information

Due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, December 2

What should be in the paper?

As you are graduate students, I will expect that your paper will be of submission quality for a good conference.

Your paper should be on a system administration topic area that you would like to follow up on. It should be at least five to seven pages, and certainly more are welcome. Some suggestions might be

  1. Writing about a new area such as approaches to booting, or developments in security.
  2. Independent work, where you outline an innovative procedure or thought, such as a new approach to monitoring in the cloud or even something like a new file system design.
  3. 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.

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 in class on December 2nd.


In order to automate the process of finding plagiarism, we will also use TurnItIn. You must submit a copy of your paper before class on December 2nd to the TurnItIn system via Blackboard. This will be the only use of Blackboard we will make this semester.

Content format

Please use LaTeX to write this (I suggest pdflatex, though if you are using SVG diagrams or other technically challenging diagrams, you might have to use a less direct route). In addition to your final paper in PDF format, I will expect you to also submit a tar file with the LaTeX source for your paper, along with your bibliography in BibTeX format. Also, if you have any diagrams, these should be included in the tar file. If your paper is at all complicated to prepare (such as using graphviz variant other than dot), please include a Makefile.

You must be the sole author of your submisssion; do not submit a paper that you have written with someone else.

Late Policy

As stated in the syllabus, no late submissions will be submitted.


The paper will be graded on adherence to formatting instructions, good grammar and punctuation, and, of course, your content.