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Archive for the ‘ Open University ’ Category

No U

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So – today the OIA wrote to me to inform me that my complaint against the OU was “NOT JUSTIFIED”.  So ends my one man crusade for justice.  My advise would be : Avoid the OU – it is over priced for what you get and you’ll probably learn as much Linux techniques as If you just throw it on a virtual machine.


The OIA actually said in the letter that “Our view is that a marking guide is just that, a guide or tool which is used by a marker.  It is our view that the use of a marking guide does require interpretation and the expression of an academic judgment.  To that end I do not accept your argument that marking solely on the use of a marking guide means that there is no room for judgment.”


To Robert Behrens – the author of this letter : If i mark something SOLELY using the guide then I am not making any judgments.  If I am using the guide to form judgments, then this is would be fine.  Of course to determine how much room for judgment there is you would actually have to look at the marking guide – something which the OIA has failed to do, and has drawn its conclusions based on supposition and speculation.


If you’re a free thinker – if you want to LEARN something… avoid the OU.


I’ll scan in the letter and add it to this in due course.

Linux experts – need your help!

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I completed the open university T155 entry level course – introduction to Linux.

For some reason I scored 45% for task 5, and try as I might I’ve not been able to determine why I scored so low for this task, that I’ve decided to reach out to the Linux community in an effort to see where I went wrong.

Here is the task in question, along with a screen shot of answer submitted.

If you have any ideas why my answer only scored 45% then leave a comment.



Here is the task :


Using the CLI, create three new users. The names of the users should be based on your Open University personal identifier (PI): if your PI is X1234567, the users will be:
x1234567x, x1234567y and x1234567z.

Each user must have a password of ‘linux’ and a full name which is the same as your own name.

Create a group called ‘t155’ and add the three new users to this group.

Include screenshots of the user and group creation processes.

Using appropriate commands, log in as user x1234567y and make a directory called ‘yourname’ where ‘yourname’ stands for your own name. For example, if your name is Jeremy Smith the directory should be called ‘jeremysmith’.

Create ten files called yourname0 through to yourname9 where ‘yourname’ is replaced by your own name. For example, if your name is Jeremy Smith the files should be called jeremysmith0, jeremysmith1 … jeremysmith9.

Change the permissions of all the files to ensure that ‘others’ have no read, write or execute permissions, but group members do have read, write and execute permissions.

Include screenshots of the directory creation; file creation and permission management processes.

The screenshots should be included in the word-processed document you submit as your EMA.


Here is my answer

Task 5 (20 marks)




To create the users required a temporary users file was created(See Appendix for file used). This allowed user details (such as user name, and password) to be copied identically for each user. The newuser application was used to add bulk users, as this simplified the operation, and removed the need to repeatedly type in passwords.

Creating a T155 group by issuing the command sudo addgroup t155

Adding the required users to the t155 group using the gpasswd application.

Logging in as b4696311y and creating a folder and 10 files.


As each user is set up with their own Home locations, switching users wouldn’t allow the switched to user acces to write in the main user’s home location.


Therefore a cd tk is issued to switch to that user’s home location..

Setting the required permissions using the command


chmod g=+r+w+x,o=-r-w-x



Here, confirmation from the GUI that others have no access.


Update : Alex Willmer  from Wolves LUG pointed out :

Assuming the requirements appear on your blog exactly as they did in
the course materials. One possibility:
- You didn't show the contents of step5Users, the examiner couldn't
verify you had created the users with the correct details using the
requested method.

The step5Users file is attached here - it was included as an appendix in my submission...

Here it is...

step5Users file content

b4696311x:linux:::Mike Hingley:/home/b4696311x:/bin/bash b4696311y:linux:::Mike Hingley:/home/b4696311y:/bin/bash b4696311z:linux:::Mike Hingley:/home/b4696311z:/bin/bash