Please read the following credit requirements and course rules carefully.

If in doubt, ask. If you disagree with any of the rules stated here, please talk to us.

Credit requirements

For the year 2023/2024, as an experiment, we got rid of most artificial credit requirements. The only strict requirement for passing the course is getting the homework done.

There are no in-class quizzes, no exams, no deadlines (read below), no points, no complicated grading scheme, no mandatory attendance. In return, we ask you to come to the classes prepared.


Classes are where we discuss principles: how things work, and why they work that way. We don’t want to talk and you to sit and listen, as that is boring for everybody. Instead, we want to make the lectures as interactive as possible.

This is why lectures require preparation and for each class, you will be assigned something to read. We ask you to read the materials and do the mental work necessary to fully grasp basic concepts. The rest will be discussed in class.

Please approach this task responsibly.

Class attendance is not required.


We believe in learning by doing, so there will be homework assignments. Each assignment asks you to solve some practical problem or set up some core Internet technology.

We do not enforce any deadlines. But please keep in mind that the faculty does enforce deadlines. We will be happy to award credit for the course in September 2024, but we might be otherwise occupied, and the Department of Academic Affairs might have something to say about that, too. To stay on the safe side, aim to get credit no later than second week of September 2024. If you plan any stunts, please let us know in advance.

We have split the homework assignments into three groups:

  • To get grade 3, you need all grade 3 assignments done.
  • To get grade 2, you need all grade 3 and all grade 2 assignments done.
  • To get grade 1, you need all grade 3 and all grade 2 and all grade 1 assignments done.

There is an automated system which runs checks against the infrastructure you have set up. A task is done when it passes all checks.

A good strategy is as follows:

  • Get the grade 3 tasks done during the semester, that gets you the course credit. This shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Work on the remaining tasks when you are safely on track to earn the course credit. We’ll keep the infrastructure running, you have time until end of September 2024.

  • Take advantage of there being no deadlines. You can work on the tasks in your spare time, at your own pace. That flexibility should make the workload much more manageable.


Labs are where we meet to work on the homework together. It is an opportunity to ask your teachers for help when you’re stuck, or to discuss more advanced topics.

Lab attendance is not required.

We also expect all of you to use Linux as your only operating system for the entire semester. This way, you will get the most of this course.

We’ll provide you with the server hardware to host your Linux infra, so the course can be done even on a Windows laptop or a Mac. This is discouraged.

Course rules

Encouraged behavior

  • Coming to the classes prepared
  • Asking a question whenever you have one
  • Providing constructive feedback to your teachers and other students
  • Keeping an open mind, discussing ideas with others
  • Leveraging any security vulnerabilities you can find

These are the things that build true knowledge. They are hard to do.

Discouraged behavior

  • Coming to the lectures unprepared
  • Using a config file from Stack Overflow which you do not understand in full
  • Mindless trial-and-error until your homework solution passes all tests
  • Providing unsolicited homework spoilers to others

These are the things that inhibit learning. They are dumb.

Unacceptable behavior

  • Copy-pasting a friend’s Unbound config file and just “tweaking it”
  • Sharing homework solutions with others
  • Having others do the work for you. If you need help, talk to your teacher!
  • Interfering with others’ work by being purposefully destructive or overconfident. You will be held responsible for all damage done on purpose or due to gross negligence.

These get everybody involved kicked out of the course and in front of the University’s ethical committee.

Getting credit

  • To get credit, please get in touch with your teachers (send us an e-mail or talk to us after class/labs).
  • Let us know the grade you expect. Your infra needs to pass all of the checks required for the grade you want (no exceptions). The checks must be stable.
  • We reserve the right to:
    • Request changes be made to the infrastructure if it’s insecure or it only works by accident, even if it passes the checks.
    • Inquire about your setup and insist on an explanation of any part of your infrastructure. It is a good idea to keep notes.
    • Should you prove unable to answer even very basic questions about how your setup works, we reserve the right to challenge your authorship of the work.

GPG sign this document

One of your tasks will be to sign these course rules with your GPG key. The submission system will be explained in detail during the first lecture.

By signing the rules, you certify that you have read, understood and agreed to these rules.

Happy hacking!