Introduction to Network Operations Course

Introduction to Network Operations: UNIX/Linux, Networking and Domain Name System (DNS)

This introductory online course is targeted at novice/entry level UNIX/Linux users pursuing careers in Network or System Administration. The course is practically oriented and guides the trainee step by step on how to install and setup a working UNIX server, connect it to the Internet and then run a Caching Domain Name System (DNS) server in a Virtualized environment. The techniques covered in the course are applicable in real world environments to setup Internet-ready caching DNS servers. The course was developed over 9 months with assistance from several experts from within and out of Africa. It is a foundation course that provides trainees with necessary skills to allow them to progress to more advanced topics in the future.

Who Should Attend

Novice/entry level network engineers and system administrators (from Africa) who are interested in learning about UNIX/Linux, Networking and DNS. The course is targeted at upcoming network engineers and system administrators from Research Education Networks (RENs), Network Operator Groups, Universities, ccTLD registries or Internet Service Providers (in Africa).

Course Syllabus

This course is comprised of nine modules consisting of:

  • Pre-Course sign up (1 week)
  • Week 1 - Introduction to UNIX and Linux - Theory
    • 58 slides of theory content
    • One assignment (marked by Moderator)
  • Week 2 -Networking Overview and Working with FreeBSD Ports - Hands On and Theory
    • Mandatory Online Call
    • 86 slides of theory content
    • One quiz (automatically marked on the platform)
  • Week 3 - Working with UNIX Shell - Hands On and Theory
    • 53 slides of theory content
    • One Assignment (marked by Moderator)
  • Week 4 - 45 + 37 = 82 slides VIM Editor and Intro to DNS - Hands On and Theory
    • 82 slides of theory content
    • One Assignment (marked by Moderator)
  • Week 5 -The Domain Name System - Hands On and Theory
    • 23 slides of theory content
    • Final Mandatory Call
    • One Quiz (automatically marked on the platform)
    • Final Assignment (marked by Moderator)
    • Course feedback survey

This is a moderated course that is moderated by expert moderators from Africa.


No prerequisites but interested trainees user should be computer literate and be comfortable with English.


Will I get a certificate after completing this course?
Yes, printable certificates of completion are available after you meet all the criteria necessary to complete the course.

Registration Process:

  • 3rd Monday of every month - new registration cycle opens (emails to various mailing lists with instructions sent)
  • Last Wednesday of every month - registration closes
  • Last Friday of every month – cohorts created on Moodle and Mailing lists created

How can I enroll?
The course will be run monthly in English and French with the registration beginning on the third Monday of every month and closing on the last Wednesday of every month.

The registration link to take the course in English is: https://goo.gl/zjM8Ke

Members or staff from of Network Operator Groups, ccTLD Registries, Universities, IXPs, or National Research and Education Networks in Africa are advised to contact their respective organizations in order to take the course. The ISOC Africa Regional Bureau is working with a number of organizations across Africa to enroll trainees and assist in moderation of the course.

Is this course free?
If you are in Africa, the course is also available via Moodle here: http://isoc-inforum.afrinic.net

If you are from another continent, please send an email to inforum at isoc.org:

What resources will I need to complete this course?
All that is needed to take the course is a PC or Laptop with a modern browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.) running an operating system supported by VirtualBox (e.g. Windows, Ubuntu, Mac OS X, etc.), an Internet connection, and dedicated time to complete the course.

How much time commitment will be needed to complete the course?
At least ten (10) days of dedicated time. However, you will be allowed 30 days to complete the course.

Will this course be available in other languages?
Yes, it is availble in French

Will there be courses in future that build on this introductory course?
Yes, have a look at the Network Monitoring and Services Course

Will the course be available to people from regions outside Africa?

Yes. Please send an email to inforum at isoc.org.

Who can I contact for more information on the course?

For more information, kindly contact Kevin G. Chege (chege@isoc.org)


If you have any questions or know of higher education or other organizations that might be good partners for the development and delivery of online courses, please drop us an email at inforum at isoc.org.