This week the session was run by 2 year 13 students in CADS. We were tasked at the end of last year to plan a session to teach everyone about a topic of our choice. We decided on teaching the Linux command line as it was a pretty interesting thing that might become useful later on in a Cyber Security career.

We began planning by deciding what commands we wanted to teach and then designed challenges around those commands. We then split the commands into levels of increasing difficulty. For example, our first level was:

Farmer Joe uses this computer keep track of all of the animals on his farm.

Unfortunately, he’s forgotten the commands for reading the names inside his animal files.

There is a folder called animals in your home folder. What are the names of the two animals inside that folder?

(hint: you will need to use cd, ls and cat for this level)

We then decided upon a way to actually have everyone using Linux systems. After a lot of deliberation, we decided to roll our own solution and rented a server to put 25 instances of a Linux VM so that each person could connect into their own VM and do whatever they wanted without effecting anyone else. There are more details about the technical bits and our reasoning for using some of the things we did here.

We didn’t really know how well this would work because teaching the command line is very difficult as not many people have used a computer without a graphical interface. To get around this we started the session with a brief introduction and history to Linux and then went quickly over how to run commands through the command line.

We did throw everyone in at the deep end and got them connected into a Linux computer 10 minutes into the session. Surprisingly, people picked up commands very quickly and at the end everyone seemed very engaged and it became a competition to complete as many levels as possible.

At the end we managed to get most people navigating around files and folders on Linux, manipulating (creating, removing, renaming) files and some getting to creating new users.