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Certification Options for Linux Administrators

By  Oct 28, 2008

Topics: Certification

What's up? Let's discuss certification options for Linux administrators, shall we? For those who aren't sure what Linux is, Wikipedia defines Linux (pronounced phonetically as LIH-nuhks) as "is a Unix-like computer operating system family which uses the Linux kernel. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development."

As of this writing in late October 2008, there exist four certifications for Linux. Two of these programs are vendor-neutral, and two of these program are vendor-specific:

Vendor-Neutral Linux Certifications

Vendor-Specific Linux Certifications

CompTIA Linux+

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Linux+ program was launched in September 2001 as a vendor-neutral method for validating candidates' skill sets with administering Linux in real-world enterprise environments.

To earn your Linux+, you must pass exam XK0-002, which is a conventional, 98-question, computer-based multiple-choice exam. The passing score is 675 on a scale of 100-900.

Linux Professional Institute

The non-profit Linux Professional Institute (LPI) launched the Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC) program in January 2000. Their credentialing consists of three titles that are arranged in ascending order of skill:

Interestingly, LPI is now developing and offering a certification title called Ubuntu Certified Professional to validate the skills of those who specialize in Ubuntu Linux administration. Cool!

Red Hat

One reason why some companies purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux instead of simply downloading an installing a free, fully open-source Linux distribution is the support that Red Hat offers its paid customers.

Red Hat launched its well-respected certification program in January 1999. Its Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) program is considered especially rigorous due to its practical aspect; that is, candidates are required to pass a lab practical exam with live gear in addition to passing a standard computer-based exam.

Here is the list of Red Hat certification titles that are available as of this writing:

Novell Corporation

When Novell acquired SuSE in 2003, we Novell CNEs realized that it wasn't going to be too long before Novell began migrating the Novell operating system to a Linux kernel. Well, that happened, of course, and now Novell offers Linux certifications. They are:

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