Concluding the Virtual Unix Lab
I've finished my PhD thesis some time ago, and as the
system described in it is heavily based on NetBSD, I feel
it's relevant for mentioning here.
The full title is ``System Administration Training in the
Virtual Unix Lab -- An e-learning system with diagnosis via a
domain specific language as base for an architecture for tutorial
assistance and user adaption''. The book was published
in Jan 2009 by Shaker, Germany as
and it is also available for online
purchase and if you look around a bit on
my VUlab page, you will
find a permitted local copy for downloading as well.
Here's the backmatter of the book: ``Practical exercises in system administration can render a machine
unusable, and restoring the machine requires manpower which is often
scarce. As a result, there is a lack of dedicated exercise machines
which can be used in the education of system administration. The Virtual
Unix Laboratory is an interactive e-learning system that provides a
solution for this situation. After sign-up, machines are installed on
which students can do their exercises with full "root"-access. At the
end of the exercise, the system checks which parts were done correctly,
and gives feedback.
The first part of this book describes the goals of the Virtual Unix
Lab and related works, followed by observations about education of
system administration. In the second part, the Verification Unit Domain
Specific Language (VUDSL) is defined, and diagnosis of the Virtual Unix
Lab exercise results and feedback to the user are realized with it. An
evaluation of the system shows interesting results and identify areas
for further improvement. The third part explains how tutoring and user
adaption can be realized. An architecture for a tutoring component for
the Virtual Unix Lab is described, and user adaption is based on the
user model built by the tutoring component.''
The system was implemented on a machine running NetBSD, training
systems available were NetBSD/sparc and Solaris/sparc.
Interesting technical points where configuring access to the lab
machines by enabling IPfilter rules from the user's webbrowser,
and disabling the rules by an at(1) job. Also, the system to
install the lab clients used disk images and NetBSD in netbooted
I hope that's enough of a reason to post this here.
[Tags: dsl, hubertf, Publications, training, vulab]