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Which Linux Certification? 93

Posted by Cliff
from the more-letters-at-the-end-of-your-name dept.
dirvish asks: "I am trying to break into the Linux Server Administration field so I have been doing quite a bit of studying lately. I figured while I am studying the subject I might as well work towards a related certification. I am leaning towards the Linux Professional Institute Certification. Other certifications I am considering are CompTIAs Linux+ and Red Hats RHCE. So which Linux certification is the best? I would say Red Hat is the most reputable of these three but I am concerned that their certification might be too Red-Hat-centric, and I don't want to be locked into one distro. Which one is the easiest/cheapest to obtain? Which is the mostly highly regarded in the industry? Are there others that I missed?"
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Which Linux Certification?

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  • by xmas2003 (739875) * on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:18AM (#11964484) Homepage
    But don't know how "highly regarded" Karma=Excellent is in the industry ...
    • I tried for that cert, but didn't get very far.

      On the first post of the test, I clicked on the provided link and was immediately presented with a box that said:

      "Anti-RTFA Section Status: FAILED"

      It wouldn't even let me continue. Something about "learning the basics"
  • ..no one in management is really going to care. Just rack up as many as possible. The bobble-heads will probably never look into it.
  • Why Bother (Score:5, Interesting)

    by finkployd (12902) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:24AM (#11964539) Homepage
    Ok, I will freely admit to working for a University, and not the private sector. Are certifications really held in such high regard out there? I know here they mean squat (and rightfully so imho, all they show is that you could afford to take the certification test). Heck, some departments around here will automatically disregard your resume if you put MCSE on it :)

    Finkployd
    • Re:Why Bother (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dJCL (183345)
      On the other hand, my company states in it's contract with customers that an MCSE tech will be available to troubleshoot their issues 24/7. Seeming as I am not MCSE, when I go onsite they can in theory request another tech to work on the problem. It never happens, usually because I fix the problem.

      Just because I don't have an MCSE, doesn't mean I cannot solve your problems. But I do want to do the studying for them to get myself up to speed on some of the server components that I don't know too well yet.

      A
    • Re:Why Bother (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stop Error (823742)
      Odd, I have had different experience. I have consulted for and worked for many companies that give preference to certain certifications over CS degrees. The managers involved I talked to stated that while a CS degree does show theoretical knowledge their experience has been that Certified professionals have greater "working" or "practical" knowledge.

      I myself have no degree but a numer of certifications and have had more success finding and maintaining employment then many of my colleagues who do not.
    • Re:Why Bother (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shaitand (626655)
      Highly regarded compared to? Certs do not just show you could take the test, but also that you studied for an passed the test. That means at one time you at least had cursory knowledge of the full breadth of a real job related subject.

      They certainly are no substitute for job experience, but they are far more relevant than a degree.

      It does make a difference WHICH certs you have. MCSE's aren't worth the paper they are written on. Current CISCO certs are in style.
      • certs also carry a "cover you ass" clause. I once went to a customers house with a virrus ridden computer and a failing hardrive. After replacing the drive and infecting the new own, i decided it would be best to start from scratch and let him restore his backups (wich were virus laden too).

        After he discovered that all his information was gone and his programs needed t be reinstalled, he resotre some backups from several months ago along with a virus that was pretty harmless but consumed alot od cpu cycles
    • Do Bother (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lbmouse (473316)
      I've been working IT in the private sector for over 15 years now. In most cases, proper and current certification is more important than a college degree. Much of my college experience was done in FORTRAN 77 and does me little good now. Certification helps keep you current on new industry technology. A degree is a piece of paper that might help get you in the door.
    • In the private sector, yes certifications matter. They see them as a way of judging someones skills if their resume lacks the needed education or experience. I personally am working on having a good OS certification, SAN certifications, and hardware certifications to hopefully skip the bottom rung of the IT ladder if I move jobs, since I am not at the bottom at my current one.

      It all depends on the certification and company though. One military contractor place I am looking at also has a high amount of n
    • Ok, I will freely admit to working for a University, and not the private sector. Are certifications really held in such high regard out there? I know here they mean squat ...

      That doesn't apply everywhere, son. I also work for a University (part of Big-10) in the enterprise support area, and I just recently hired a Linux Admin. RHCE was something we looked for in our candidates - we have already standardized on Red Hat Linux, so RHCE certainly applies. I won't say it's a deciding factor, but those who

    • Universities aren't considered the "real world". Academia will settle for a higher rate of failure than the stockholders will.
      • I've found the opposite to be true. Most people from the "real world" (especially vendors) cannot comprehend that we run a kerberos realm supporting 150,000 principals spread out over 23 locatations. Or run an email server that processes over 6 million emails a day. Or ended up writing most of our own central services (webmail, portal, business logic, finance logic, interfaces to these) because commercial offerings at the time did not scale to our size. And we support researchers who have billions in grants
  • by vasqzr (619165)

    RHCE...Does IBM or Novell offer anything yet?

    It's always best to certify for the job you have, or want to get.
    • Yeah, Novell has their version of the RHCE but I don't think anyones cares yet...
      • I been steering my head toward's Novell's certificates... they do know their *nix...
      • The Novell Certified Linux Engineer (and their other Linux certification options) are suprisingly well thought out.

        I'd see this as a good certificaion to get under your belt, although it does deal with SuSE a little more than just generic Linux and Unix, you could say the same about the RHCE

        My advice would be to go for the RHCE or Novell/SuSE option. But the one thing you have to remember is - certification is worth jack without real experience to back it up

        By real experience I mean dealing with crazy

  • UserActive (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wolfger (96957) <(wolfger) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:29AM (#11964575) Homepage
    UserActive [useractive.com] is an O'Reilly partner, and their cert was pretty darn easy. Also fairly cheap (but I got a good discount on their regular price). However, it hasn't so much as gotten me an interview yet, so I'm not sure as it has any value whatsoever (even though the cert is actually issued by University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne).
  • Back when the show was still reasonably cool (12-18 months ago maybe), somebody called in with a question on how to do something or other in Linux, so Leo segued to "our own CompTIA certified Kevin Rose", who responded with "That is the lamest cert ever" and quickly went on to answer the question.
    • Ive got the compTIA A+, but i only took it because it was free with my college course, i dont expect it to help me get anywhere though (unless im in the situation where there's somebody with the exact qualifications i have except the a+).

      Bah, it was free and didn't take too much thinking.
      • by tverbeek (457094)
        My previous job required everyone with my job classification to have CompTIA A+ certification. I didn't have it; I don't have any certs. Instead I have a decade and a half of professional experience and the ability to learn new tech as I use it. I managed to get hired without the cert, with the provision that I'd have to take and pass the test within six months, and they generously offered to pay for it.

        Another coworker who'd been hired at the same time studied hard for it, and was very pleased to pass

  • for what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by shaitand (626655) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:38AM (#11964657) Journal
    If you want to get a job you want your RHCE since that is what companies list.

    If you want to get a job with IBM/Novell then an LPIC will do just fine. These are the only companies I have ever seen an LPIC listed as preferred or required for.

    If you want to know which is a harder and more relevant cert it is the LPIC hands down. The LPIC actually certifies you know vendor neutral linux and how to do things the hard way. The RHCE can be passed without every touching linux, it is similar to the MCSE.
    • The RHCE can be passed without every touching linux That's funny when I passed my RHCE I could of sworn it was a practical hands-on exam using linux... what exam did I pass then?
      • Re:for what? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shaitand (626655)
        I have passed both. The LPIC-1 requires a stronger and more thorough knowledge of Linux than the RHCE, let alone the LPIC-2.
      • That's funny when I passed my RHCE I could of sworn it was a practical hands-on exam using linux... what exam did I pass then?

        The redhat-config-network and up2date pop quiz?
    • The RHCE can be passed without every touching linux, it is similar to the MCSE.

      IIARHCE, and the RHCE test is 5.5 hours, absolutely NO written material. You work on a machine, if you fix it you pass, if you don't you fail.

      I have no idea what test you are referring to, but you have your facts wrong.
    • You've obviously never taken the RHCE It is not easy and certainly not MCSE. LPI failure rate is 54% and RHCE failure rate is 57% This can easly be someone not getting a slackware/debian/mandrake/suse question right. The RHCE is vender neutral cert with the exception of a few one or two Kickstart and Anaconda questions. For instance when you go in to the test room you are pointed to a box that wont turn on, its your job to make it run hands on within a few hours. How you can say you can pass it without ever
  • LPIC (Score:4, Informative)

    by doodleboy (263186) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:43AM (#11964716)
    While not perfect, the LPI cert is the best imho. It's vendor neutral, inexpensive, and doesn't arbitrarily expire for the purpose of making money on re-certs.

    I actually have the LPIC-1 certification. The test itself was surprisingly hard for an entry level linux certification, but fair. I read somewhere that the failure rate is near 60%, so don't expect to just walk in and ace it.

    I wouldn't bother with the Linux+ exam. While it might bamboozle some HR departments, I wonder if it's hard enough to demonstrate any real competence with linux. The only CompTIA certification I have is the A+ (paid for by a former employer) and it was a *total* joke. A monkey could pass it.
    • by dJCL (183345)
      But I did walk in and Ace it...

      Cheap tests offered at the Ottawa open source weekend last year - I think $50CDN/test - I was able to take 3 tests in that time, and while dificult and wide ranged, they were passable with not studying if you are a sad pathetic looser with no life - ie me.

      Seriously, they are not bad, and deserve more recognition in the industry.
  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:48AM (#11964761) Homepage Journal
    Really, what you want, and works better than anything else, is a network of people who know you. Since you're just starting out, you don't have this network. The value of a certification is this: it might create a marginal increase in the probability that you will make it past the resume screening stage to a phone call, and thence to an interview. Period.

    It works like this, I'm looking for a linux system admin, and I have a stack of way more people than I want to even call back.

    A is fresh out of school with no particular qualifications, but he claims to know Linux. He goes in the "no" pile.

    B has ten years of Windows and Novell sys admin experience, but no professional Linux experience, although he claims to know SUSE. OK, he goes in the "maybe" pile.

    C has ten years of Unix system administration experience, including NIS, LDAP, and five years of professional experience with several Linux distros. He goes in the "call back" pile.

    D is fresh out of school with no with a certification in Linux administration. He goes in the "no" pile, after the briefest moment of delay.

    E has ten years of Windows and Novell sys admin experience, no professional Linux experience, but he has a certification from Red Hat. OK, so he goes in the "call back" pile.


    You see how this works? The certification doesn't make up for your lack of professional experience. If I want an experienced system administrator, I'm going to hire one. I'm going to prefer ones with knowledge of the platform, the best way is if its on their resume, but I'm more open to a guy who has the real world admin skills that could be transferred than I am to somebody whose certification only establishes a theoretical knowledge of Linux administration.

    In the end it doesn't matter much which one you get. None of these certifications are like getting a CPA, which carries weight because it implies a number of years of hands on experience plus a strong theoretical grounding in accounting. My advice would be to get the certification that you think has the greatest "brand name" recognition.

    Think of it like batting in baseball. The goal is to get to home, but even a tremendously talented hitter only gets to first base on his own skills less than one third of the time. Getting the job is coming to home; getting the interview is first base. At this stage, you're very lucky if you bat .200. A certification might raise a .200 to a .210 or a .215. Which is enough to be worth considering.

    But also work your network. You don't have one? Well, maybe. Don't you have friends working in the field? Suppose you have a friend working as an app developer. If he happens to drop your name to a supervisor looking for a sys admin, and follows up by hand delivering your resume, your batting average is going to go way up -- more like .800 or .900. Doesn't mean you'll get to home, but you'll almost certainly get to first base.

    Also consider non-standard ways of finding that job. So, that fortune 100 company that has the full page ad for linux admins in the Sunday paper? Unless you have a resume that's going to stand out, forget it. But that small non-profit that needs a "computer guy" that has a card up in the job placement at the university? Go for it. That's how I got started.

    • by Goeland86 (741690) <goeland_86@yahoo3.1415926.fr minus pi> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @12:32PM (#11965736)
      Wait, so what you're basically saying, in the first part of your comment, is that any kid out of school that doesn't have professional linux admin skills is automatically in the "no" pile? This sucks! How the hell are college grads supposed to find a job if they all require previous professional experience? You seem to have a fairly good knowledge of the business, so what would a college grad with a CS/math degree do to get a job in linux admin, when none of the CS classes he took lead to administration? I've installed gentoo on a few boxes, repaired mandrake, used redhat 9 and SuSE, but nothing professionally. Are you saying I should start by joining in a non-profit organization and work my way up? But are non-profit orgs professional experience? And how do we make money in the meantime? I'm really curious as to the answer to those questions, because they're most likely the ones I'll be facing in 3 years.
      • To get professional experience, get a good internship. Companies who are looking for interns are looking for people with no experience they can pay sub-par wage to, which is fair, since they're taking a risk. Technical skill is only a small part, almost a side consideration, to being a professional. If you do well, the company that gave you an internship may offer you a real job when you graduate.
      • He's trying to hire a skilled Linux Admin in his example. If he were trying to hire an unskilled person who he could turn into a skilled admin, that's what he would do. And companies do occasionally do this; provided you have the luxury of not needing them to be productive immediately, hiring an unskilled can have advantages (basically, you can pay them peanuts, and you get to make them in your own image - they have no bad habits to unlearn)

        I started by becoming a very low level SA for my university the ye
      • by hey! (33014) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @02:23PM (#11967102) Homepage Journal
        How the hell are college grads supposed to find a job if they all require previous professional experience?

        Yup, it sucks, but imagine how much more it will suck on the other end of your career, when you're too senior for most of the jobs that are out there. The point is that job searching is about rejection. You get rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected. Unlike you're mom and girlfiend, they don't know how wonderful you are, which is why getting a friend to put in a good word is so valuable.

        I may have painted too bleak a picture. I've hired guys right out of school -- when I'm looking for somebody cheap to fil a junior position. What I'm saying is don't expect anybody to be impressed with your "certification".

        I've installed gentoo on a few boxes, repaired mandrake, used redhat 9 and SuSE, but nothing professionally. Are you saying I should start by joining in a non-profit organization and work my way up?

        Not necessarily. Work your way up, yes; be aware of different avenues for finding jobs, yes. But don't expect me to count any of that mucking around as system administration experience. I think it speaks well of yoru curiosity, but it's not experience. You might get a job in a large data center, but it definitely won't be running it. Don't be to offended if you are asked to make coffee. In fact if you're wise you get that phase out of the way by getting an internship. Interns are easy shoe ins for real live jobs.

        WRT the non-profit, that's just an example of the fact you can take different strategies. It's not for everyone. Another strategy is get in on the ground floor of a big outfit and climb through a Darwinian process to the top of the heap over everyone else. It's a good strategy, but every strategy has its disadvantages too. You aren't going to have a lot of autonomy to do things the way you like, until you have risen to become master of the universe. Getting to the interview stage is going to be tougher.

        But are non-profit orgs professional experience? And how do we make money in the meantime?

        Yes: a job is a job. If you had one or two years of professional experience in a small company (a non-profit was just an example), you're well positioned to get into the rat race. Another advantage is that in a smaller company you get more decision making power right from the get go. However I wouldn't stay in that area too long unless you want to track your career that way. For one thing, you'll miss out on having colleagues (your future employment network).

        Don't let a job become a career track unless that's what you really want.

        In many ways, the sweet spot for hiring a junior person is somebody with a year or two of real world experience. Somebody with an internship in exactly the kind of situation I'm hiring would be ideal, but somebody with 1-2 years of professional experience looking to change industries is definitely ahead of somebody fresh out of school.

        I'm really curious as to the answer to those questions, because they're most likely the ones I'll be facing in 3 years.

        You've got lots of time, but don't waste it. Go for a summer internship. Be cheerful, useful, and a pleasure to work with. Cultivate people. I you have a summer internship, keep in touch with the people you've cultivated through the year, see if you can't get odd jobs during winter break for example. Once upon a time, there were two classes of people: entrepreneurs, who worried about getting ahead, selling, networking and all that stuff.
      • How the hell are college grads supposed to find a job if they all require previous professional experience?

        The same way those people with experience got their first jobs: they took jobs that didn't require it. I didn't take off my cap and gown and walk into a room with raised floors and too much air conditioning. I took a job doing entry level support work. There I learned new real-world skills and gained the kind of professional experience that started to make me qualified for something with more res

      • Do internships while in school. Also, you can work for larger employers when you graduate. They won't pay as well, but they are more willing to hire and train someone. A small organization will have one sysadmin, if any. No way they'll take a chance on you. Also, work in your school's UNIX lab. They'll train you, and you'll have some experience you can point to.

        But seriously, put yourself in an employer's shoes. Would you rather have someone with professional experience in a position similar to your

    • Really, what you want, and works better than anything else, is a network of people who know you.
      And in a perfect world, that would be the only way people would hire each other. The kind of networking you describe certainly helps. But the sad fact is that you need paper credentials just to get past the HR gatekeepers.
  • New RHCE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mckeowbc (513776) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:50AM (#11964782) Homepage
    I just got my RHCE last week. I've been using Debian for years, but since my office uses Red Hat I got certified so that I'd know better how to support the boxes in my office. Without violating the NDA, I would say that it is a mix of Red Hat specific material and general linux knowledge. My previous experience with Debian still put me ahead of my other co-workers who didn't have as much experience in general with Linux. However, they do go through all the RH specific tools for doing things, but in the end a lot of the time I still come back to using a text editor and hacking the config file by hand.
    • Re:New RHCE (Score:2, Funny)

      by hey! (33014)
      However, they do go through all the RH specific tools for doing things, but in the end a lot of the time I still come back to using a text editor and hacking the config file by hand.

      Right-o, and who's the guy who doesn't have to panic when X shits the bed? Who's the guy who can get control of that server remotely when the network is hosed by DDOS?

      That'd be you.

      The certification is the wrong career move. You need to do three things:
      1. Grow a beard and a paunch
      2. Develop a fashion sense built around weird
  • Linux+ is not hard. LPI-1 is rather hard. Dont know about RH*, because they are just to exspensive right now and it is all hands on now, so it should be hard. Dont forget the network+, security+ which is the ones I am after now. If you actually study and pass, well the cert will not guarantee a job, but they will guaranttee that you learn something. I look at them more as goals, because face Computer Science books are more or less boring as hell. I got Bachleor in Math and CS, let me tell you there is noth
  • RHCE... (Score:3, Informative)

    by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @10:59AM (#11964850) Homepage
    While the RHCE is distro-centric, it is certainly one of the more highly regarded. Unlike some certs (MCSE), the RHCE exam is not a (and now no longer even includes) multiple choice test - a test for which one can easily obtain brain-dumps and/or cram for. Instead, the RHCE is lab based. In a lab based exam, you must demonstrate actual knowledge and/or experience with the topics at hand - or at least the intuition and ability to use the tools w/ the provided docs.

    I've got an RHCE from Red Hat 7.3 which is now "non-current". I do plan to re-certify under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 even though my present company doesn't use Red Hat (erm, sorry, PNAEL), but its CentOS clone. I find most of the information garnered from the courses and/or exam can still apply to other distros with some modification, though some topics are still somewhat Red Hat technology centric (Kickstart/Anaconda, various GUI tools).

    Overall, I think if you can pass the RHCE, you've indirectly demonstrated a general working knowledge of Linux administration as well. Some of the topics I've learned in the RHCE process have helped me settle into other distros as well (i.e. Gentoo, SuSE)

    If you're ambitious, and have lots of money to spend, by all means go for the LPI and other certs as well.
    • a test for which one can easily obtain brain-dumps

      I've never really understood this. The high school ACT and SAT tests have different questions on the Saturday and Sunday administrations, and often two or three different tests at one testing site. Why can't Microsoft write a new test occasionally? Can they not afford it?
  • by gondarlinux (740575) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @11:01AM (#11964873)
    In answer to "which Linux certification is the best?", I would answer, it depends on the position you desire. Some shops standardize on a particular distro, others use the flavor of the month or whatever the previous/current SA uses.

    In response to "Which one is the easiest/cheapest to obtain?", I would say Linux+. I have it and obtained it with minimal study, but much hands-on experience. Is it too easy, no, I am just saying that if you are a regular power user, you should be able to peruse the objectives and take the test. A note of caution: Linux+ is not and end, it is a beginning. After obtaining it, I went to RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) then RHCE (both significantly more challenging, but not impossible with a lot of hands-on experience).

    In response to "Which is the mostly highly regarded in the industry?", it depends on your industry. Red Hat and LPI are both highly "recognized" along with Novell's Certified Linux Professional and Certified Linux Engineer (http://www.novell.com/training/certinfo/#cert/ [novell.com]).

    To sum, it depends is lame, agreed, but when I began down this path, I earned Linux+, obtained an entry level Linux SA position, then went to training (paid for by employer) and now sit in a mid to senior level SA position.

    I believe the path I took was worth it, but the important thing is to take the plunge, do somethinhg and then move around.

    ...gondarlinux

  • by wonkavader (605434) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @11:40AM (#11965214)
    Certs may get you nothing in step two, three, etc of the hiring process, but (in many companies) they help you in step ONE.

    Here at my company, I get resumes and check them out and say, this person, yes, that person, no, and the others in my group do the same, and whoever someone REALLY wants to meet, or who most in the group kinda want to bring in get brought in.

    We're smart, know the field, know what certs show and don't, etc.

    But we're not stage one. We're stage TWO. Where did those resumes come from in the first place? Who went out on Monster and other places and pulled resumes to show us? Who screened the resumes he/she got sent due to a posting?

    Screening/First Selection is stage one. Certs are searchable as key terms. They get you placed above another person with equivilent qualifications in the mind of HR.

    That's where you want them. If you have experience, and have a lot of buzzwords on your resume which can be searched for, you don't need certs for stage one. But they won't hurt.

    And that gets you to stage two. Now, you might not make it past stage two. But your chance of making it past stage two are ZERO if you don't get grabbed in stage one.

    Hence certs.

    That said, I believe that certs can HURT you in stage two. Some of us think some certs are crap, and will actually diminsh you in our estimation. So for THAT reason, get good certs, if you go that route.

    Read _Sweaty Palms_ by H. Anthony Medley. It's a great book on interviewing and the job application process.
    • That said, I believe that certs can HURT you in stage two.

      So what do I do? I'm 15 and I'm pretty sure I can pass the MCSE exams if I study a little; it'd be a fun challenge. But would it help me or hurt me to say that I passed the MCSE as a teenager? I'd prefer not to lose a chance for a job in a non-MS area, but I know that a lot of people are pro-MS. What about a phrase like, "For those of you who like the MCSE, I have one. For those of you who hate it, I passed it at 16 just for the challenge."
      • Honestly, I don't think that having any particular certification could hurt more than the insecurity you displayed in this comment. Honestly, if you ever end up interviewing at a place where they burn people at the stake for mentioning the word "microsoft" like that, you have bigger problems anyway.

        Just make sure you have what it takes to convince the person in step two that you are actually worth something, and are not just a standardized test takign monkey.

      • Put it on your resume. You passed the tests, you earned the title. It deserves 1 line in the education section of your resume.

        Anyone looking for an MCSE will spot it, anyone who doesn't care about it won't hold it against you.

        The ones I laugh at use the big official MCSE logo clipart to show how PROUD they are of their cert.
        • anyone who doesn't care about it won't hold it against you

          I've heard horror stories of rabidly anti-MS shops turning away people at stage 1 simply because they listed their MCSE.

          Then again, that's not really the kind of place I'd want to work for, anyway...but if I'm desparate for employmend I'd take anything from rabidly anti-MS to rabidly yay-MCSEs.
  • Remember.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by schon (31600) on Thursday March 17, 2005 @11:47AM (#11965287)
    ... when you send money to CompTIA, you're sending money to further software patents [slashdot.org]
  • by bergeron76 (176351) * on Thursday March 17, 2005 @01:14PM (#11966193)
    I achieved mine (legitimately), only to find them go bankrupt as a pyramid scheme a few weeks later.

    To I am a Linux Certified Administrator (LCA) - Level 1.

  • I took the RHCE course back in the 7.0 days, several years ago. My knowledge isn't current, obviously, but I doubt that a one-week course could have changed amount of content all that substantially.

    The way I summed it up at the time is this: An RHCE has a pretty good knowledge of how to run one (Redhat) Linux box. Without other experience, he or she would probably be a perfectly adequate junior admin... not someone you want to give the keys to the server room, but definitely worth having around.

    Note tha
  • by Drakino (10965) <d_slashdot@NospAM.miniinfo.net> on Thursday March 17, 2005 @03:41PM (#11968264) Journal
    I just took the RCHE two weeks ago (and passed with a high score). The current RCHE exam is on RHEL3. Basicially the test goes as follows:

    First part is 2.5 hours. You have that much time in front of a box to fix 10 problems. 5 of them are mandatory to fix. They cover many things, and when I took this part, I had no need to really ever use RedHat specific tools.

    Second part is 3 hours, and is a network install and configuration of RHEL3. Here you need to know about the installer (duh), and package managment, but that pretty much ends the Red Hat specific part once again. If you admin Linux, and sit down for a few hours with RHEL 3 and the checklist [redhat.com]. and you can pass it.

    Honestly, it is one of the better certificaiton exams I have taken, due to it being practical. If they throw you a mail server setup situation, you can use your choice of server if it is in RedHat. You have to be aware of security, but they don't demand a specific method. The end result is you pass if you get the job done, it doesn't matter how.

    Now, RCHE is a good first step, however as someone said, it isn't specificially a certificate to prove someone can hand full data center control to you. And let me explain:

    RCHT: This is their lowest certification. It means "Hi, I can install Linux and configure some things, but not really do much on the network side". The test for this is embedded in the RCHE test now. Basicially if you don't pass the RCHE, you may still walk away with an RCHT

    RCHE: This is the median certification. It means "Hi, I can install Linux, and get basic networking services up and secure. I can also integrate the box into the directory if it is simple".

    RCHA: This is the highest level one Red Hat takes, and I would advise to get RCHE first. It is "Hi, I can install Linux, configure network services, design the directory services, secure and tune the box, and expand the box when the time comes. I can layout plans for an entire data center."

    Or in Red Hat's words:

    RHCEs provide the technical leadership for managing Linux servers and network services, as well as escalation of issues from the larger group of RHCTs. A smaller number of RHCAs provide leadership for technical planning, design and integration of an organization's worldwide open source architecture.
  • Linux+ Beta was having a online seminar where the recipients would receive a free voucher to take the test a couple months ago (November I believe). I signed up for the seminar, scheduled an hour off of work to watch it, and was scheduling off time to redeem it. 3 days before the seminar happened, another letter was sent saying they had chosen a webcast provider who would be capable with most modern browsers. Being a Linux+ webcast, I assume I am ok running 3-4 browsers on my GUI.

    The day of, they send a sy
  • Outside of pure Linux is there any certification for just Apache or good training? We are switching from IIS and our server admin barely knows Apache or Linux. We will be using Apache on a Netware box.
    • Not AFAIK, but apache is really easy to pick up. I learned enough to deploy Apache from the o'reilley book [oreilly.com] in about 4 or 5 working days - including trickier stuff like virtual hosting, getting mod_perl working, et al.

      More generally, I guess all this cert stuff is mainly to do with motivation. Sometimes it helps you to focus if you've got some sort of framework to fit your learning into. Personally, I don't find I need that framework for techie learning, but I find it extremely useful when pursuing more a

  • I looked into RHCE recently and even signed up for one of their online classes to fill in my gaps and see what the material was. I am still fairly new to linux. I have played with RedHat and Suse at home and worked on a RH ES3 web server for a few months in my last job but there were a lot of basic things I had never had to learn before.

    The online material for the beginnner bundle was $900 and I asked for a refund after going through about half of it in a week and realizing there was not even a full book's
  • Be interested to know how many of the 'MCSE is easy' crowd actually have one. NT4 doesn't count BTW. Too expensive? Work'll pay for it - it's one of the few certs PHBs recognise and/or understand. Hey, you'll ace them all first time anyway, right?
  • For many certifications, there's a week or multi-week training process. This training can be incredibly valuable, or useless. The reputation for quality of the training should be a critical consideration in your decision.
  • What I have seen in SE Michigan, most of the companies looking for IT personnel are going through staffing agencies, headhunters, etc. I got my A+ a couple of months ago, just so my resume looks a little more appealing to the headhunters out there doing searches for local companies. It does matter, and I'm no way embarassed (sp?) I got it, and I put it on my resume. I haven't quite finished off my degree yet, and I got a fair amount of professional experience (4 years or so), and the A+ certification doe

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