October 21, 2014

What You'll Find in the Free Linux Foundation Certification Prep Guide

cert exam screen

In concert with growing demand for Linux talent, an increasing number of tech pros are taking advantage of training resources to improve their career prospects.

The Linux Foundation reports that more than 270,000 people from over 100 countries signed up for the online Intro to Linux course it launched on edX in August.

lft cert guideThe demand is out there. On any given day, there are more than 11,000 Linux jobs listed on IT job site Dice.com. And 77 percent of hiring managers in a Dice/Linux Foundation survey said that hiring Linux talent is one of their priorities for 2014.

In response, the Linux Foundation worked with industry experts to launch two new certifications: Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE), aimed at both early-career and engineer-level systems administrators.

The pass rate for the exams, which cost $300 each, so far stands below 60 percent. To help candidates, the Linux Foundation recently released a free exam prep guide highlighting what’s in store.

Prep Guide Checklists

The certification preparation guide provides a checklist to help candidates understand what they need to know for each exam.

For instance, for the Certified Sysadmin exam, candidates should know how to:

- manage file permissions

- restore backed-up data

- manipulate text files from the command line

- partition storage devices

-troubleshoot file system issues

- and more.

The Certified Engineer exam covers topics such as:

- routing IP traffic statically and dynamically

- installing and configuring SSL with Apache

-configuring the firewall with iptables

- and configuring an http client to automatically use a proxy server.

Exam Advice and Additional resources

The guide also lists resources such as the Intro to Linux course on edX to help candidates prepare. While the low completion rate has been one of the major criticisms of such massive open online courses, the guide advocates using only as much of it as you need to get the proper foundation in Linux.

It also lists other free resources, including Linux.com new user guides, tutorials on the Foundation’s YouTube channel and distribution-specific manuals and guides. Though paid training is available, it’s not required and no guarantee that you’ll pass, the guide points out.

The second portion of the guide offers advice on taking the two-hour exam, including the suggestion that you check the hardware and software requirements for the test to avoid losing time to technical difficulties; reduce distractions around you from children, pets, loud noises and the need for the restroom; and understand the exam interface and how to navigate through the exam. It includes an exam-day checklist to help things go smoothly.

In a recent blog post, Linux Foundation Chief Marketing Officer Amanda McPherson says that for now the review guide includes only basic information on what the exam covers, but it's a good place to start and more details will be coming soon.

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