Linux System Administration and Certification

5 Best Linux Certifications in 2020

Posted in Linux System Administration, Certification
5 Best Linux Certifications in 2020

Linux has currently been gaining global recognition. Used in almost all the devices that we use in our day-to-day lives. Modeled on UNIX, Linux enables your system hardware and software to communicate with each other. Linux OS powers android, it is one of the most reliable Operating Systems. Furthermore, it is free and easy to install and distributed under an open-source license. Linux versions are called distributions, and listed as:

  1. Mint
  2. Debian
  3. Ubuntu
  4. openSUSE
  5. Manjaro
  6. Fedora
  7. Elementary
  8. Zorin
  9. CentOS
  10. Arch

Best Linux Certifications

If you have a Linux certification, you always have excellent career opportunities. Organizations are more interested in hiring resources who are capable of managing servers, schedule batches, cron jobs, apply load balances, and work entirely on shell script. Certifications keep you ahead of the crowd and increase your competitive advantage.

Once certified in Linux, you have the following career opportunities:

  1. Systems Administrator/ System Engineer
  2. Software Programmer
  3. Linux Administrator/ Linux Engineer
  4. DevOps Engineer
  5. Python Developer
  6. Network Engineer

Here we have listed the best Linux certifications for you to boost your career.

1. GCUX – GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator

GCUX – GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator

This certification hardens the candidate’s knowledge of Linux/Unix systems, Linux/Unix Digital Forensics, and Linux Application Security. This certification renders a candidate with the necessary abilities to secure Linux and Unix systems, handle security issues with multiple tools such as SSH, AIDE, and more. Cybersecurity enthusiasts can also pursue this certification. This certification intendsSecurity professionals & Administrators, Auditors, Incident Responders, Technical Experts of the UNIX/Linux Systems, and Information Security Analysts. This certification needs to be renewed every 4 years to ensure ongoing competency in the field of Information Security.

You can signup here.

2. Linux+ CompTIA

Linux+ CompTIA

This certification covers the latest foundational skills and is a job-focused Linux Certification. It covers tasks performed in Linux distributions, Linux Command line, maintenance, installation, configuration, and networking. It provides hands-on experience in configuring, supporting, and monitoring servers that run the Linux Operating System. It focuses on security, storage, and visualization, kernel modules, enterprise-level device management, git & automation, server-side and command line, networking, and firewalls, troubleshooting, and SELinux.

You can signup here.

3. LPI (Linux Professional Institute)

It is a multi-level Linux Professional Certification Program. It has the following levels.

1. LPIC 1 – Linux Administrator

LPIC-1: Linux Administrator

This certification enables a candidate to perform command-line maintenance tasks, install and configure a Linux system, and its basic networking. It validates a candidate’s ability to manage a real-world system administration. This certification does not require any prerequisites. The validity of this certification is 5 years. A candidate is required to pass both 101 and 102 exams to qualify for the certification. The main topics covered by this certification are:

  1. System Architecture
  2. Linux Installation
  3. Package Management
  4. GNU and Unix Commands
  5. Linux Filesystems, Filesystem Hierarchy Standard and Devices
  6. Shell & Shell Scripting
  7. Desktops and Interfaces.
  8. Administration
  9. System Services
  10. Fundamentals of Networking
  11. Security

You can signup here.

2. LPIC 2 – Linux Engineer

LPIC-2: Linux Engineer

It is the second of LPI’s multilevel professional certification. It enables the candidate to administer small to medium-sized networks. To qualify for this certification, the candidate needs to have an active LPIC -1 Certification. However, the LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 exams can be taken in any order. The validity of this certification is 5 years. This certification covers the following topics:

  1. System StartUp
  2. Linux Kernel
  3. FileSystem and Devices
  4. Capacity Planning
  5. Advanced Storage Device Administration
  6. Network Configuration & System Maintenance
  7. File Sharing and Network Client Management
  8. Domain Name Server
  9. Web and Email
  10. System Security

You can signup here.

3. LPIC 3 – 300 – Linux Enterprise Professional Certification

LPIC-3 300: Mixed Environment

Mixed Environment: also named as LPIC – 3 300. It provides for an enterprise-level professional certification program that represents the highest level of proficiency in distribution-neural Linux. It requires a candidate to have an active LPIC – 2 certification. The validity of this certification is 5 years. It covers the following areas of interest:

  1. OpenLDAP Configuration and Authentication Backend
  2. Samba – Basics, Share Basics, User & Group Management
  3. Samba – Name Services and Domain Integration
  4. Working with Windows and Linux Clients.

You can signup here.

Apart from LPIC – 3 300, there are two more specialization certifications at this level. Passing any one of the three grants the certification for that specialty. Its prerequisites and validity periods are the same as that for LPIC 3. The other two certifications are:

2.1. LPIC-3 303 – Linux Enterprise Professional – Security

LPIC-3 303: Security

As the name suggests, the certification emphasis the security of the enterprise-wide Linux administration. Its areas of coverage span across Cryptography, Access Control, Operations Security, Applications Security, and Network Security.

You can signup here.

2.2. LPIC-3 304 – Linux Enterprise Professional – Virtualization & High Availability

LPIC-3 304 – Linux Enterprise Professional – Virtualization & High Availability

This certification focuses on virtualization and high availability of the enterprise-wide Linux administration. It covers Virtualization and High Availability of Cluster Management and Cluster Storage.

You can signup here.

4. LFCS (Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator)

LFCS (Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator)

This certification is ideal for beginners in Linux System Administration. It evaluates candidates based on on-the-job task simulations and real-world scenarios. It equates to hands-on experience for prospective employers. This certification is conducted online and has a validity of 3 years. This certification needs no prior knowledge of the subject matter. Its prime areas of focus are:

  1. Essential Commands, File Systems, and Features.
  2. User and Group Management and System-wide environments
  3. Operation of Running Systems, Boot, Reboot, Install, Configure, and Troubleshoot.
  4. Service Configuration, DNS, SSH, HTTP and Virtual Machine Maintenance.
  5. Networking, IP Routing, and synchronization
  6. Storage Management, LVM Storage, RAID Devices, and configure File Systems.

You can signup here.

5. LFCE (Linux Foundation Certified Engineer)

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE)

This certification is for candidates with 3-5 years of Linux experience. It enables candidates to develop higher levels of expertise for more advanced job roles. It is a performance-based examination and focuses more on on-the-job scenarios. However, there are no prerequisites for this certification. This certification is valid for 3 years. The core domains of this certification are:

  1. Essential Commands, File Systems, and Features.
  2. User and Group Management and System-wide environments
  3. Operation of Running Systems, Boot, Reboot, Install, Configure, and Troubleshoot.
  4. Service Configuration, DNS, SSH, HTTP and Virtual Machine Maintenance.
  5. Networking, IP Routing, and synchronization
  6. Storage Management, LVM Storage, RAID Devices, and configure File Systems.

You can signup here.

6. Oracle Linux Administration Certification Paths

This certification path provides you with the necessary to the advanced foundation for the Oracle Linux Operating System. It is the only Linux distribution, optimized for Linux Operating System, which also includes Oracle Database Appliance, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle Exadata Database Machine, and Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine. They differ in their subject matters. We have listed them as per the certification below.

6.1. Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) | Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administrator

Oracle Certified Associate, Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administrator

This certification covers the following areas of expertise:

  1. Linux Essentials
  2. Installing Oracle Linux
  3. Understanding System Configuration Options
  4. Managing Ksplice
  5. Managing System Logging
  6. Managing Users and Groups
  7. Managing Storage Devices
  8. Managing File Sharing
  9. Managing Pluggable Authentication Modules
  10. Monitoring and Troubleshooting Oracle Linux
  11. Describing Oracle Linux Concepts
  12. Understanding and Configuring the Linux Boot Process and Service Administration
  13. Installing and Maintaining Packages
  14. Automating Tasks
  15. Managing Kernel Modules
  16. Managing Filesystems and Swap on Oracle Linux
  17. Managing the Network Configuration
  18. Using Open SSH
  19. Managing Linux Security
  20. Managing Oracle on Oracle.

You can signup here.

6.2. Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) | Oracle Linux 6 System Administrator

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) | Oracle Linux 6 System Administrator

The main areas of focus in this certification are:

  1. Btrfs Filesystem
  2. Linux Containers (LXC)
  3. Oracle Cluster File System 2
  4. Core Dump Analysis
  5. Managing Storage
  6. Configuring and maintaining BIND
  7. Virtualization with Linux
  8. Control Groups
  9. Advanced Storage Administration
  10. Advanced Software Package Management
  11. Dynamic Tracing with Dtrace
  12. Configuring Networks and Network Services
  13. Managing SELinux
  14. XFS Filesystem
  15. Managing Web and Email Services

You can signup here.

6.3. Oracle Certified Specialist (OCS) | Oracle Linux 6 Certified Implementation Specialist

Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle 6 Linux Implementation Specialist

This certification is for those with a strong foundation in the implementation of Oracle Linux solutions. An up-to-date and proven work experience is required to pursue this training. This certification is more focused on members of the Oracle Partner Network who, on its completion, would be recognized as OPN Certified Specialists. This certification covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Oracle Linux
  2. Linux Boot Process
  3. Oracle Linux Package Management
  4. Automate Tasks and System Logging
  5. Oracle Linux File Systems and Storage Administration
  6. Basic Security Administration
  7. Installing Oracle Linux 6
  8. Oracle Linux System Configuration and Process Management
  9. Ksplice Zero Downtime Updates
  10. User and Group Administration
  11. Network Administration
  12. Oracle Linux System Monitoring and Troubleshooting

You can signup here.

Red Hat provides a whole lot of certifications, segregated as per expertise and specialization level. The certifications need to be qualified in a particular order.

7. Red Hat Level Linux Certification

Out of the many, we have listed 3 main certifications to begin your journey. The rest of the certifications depend on your area of expertise and work experience.

7.1. RHCSA (Red Hat Certified System Administrator)

Red Hat Certified System Administrator

This certification enables you to perform the core system administration tasks in Red Hat Linux Environments. An RHCSA certification enables you to:

  1. Handle files and directories, command-line environments, and documentation.
  2. Operate running systems, identify processes, run Virtual Machines and Control Services
  3. Storage Configuration
  4. File System Configuration
  5. Manage Core Services
  6. Manage Users and Groups.
  7. Manage Security and SELinux Configuration

You can signup here.

7.2. RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer)

Red Hat Certified Engineer

A candidate needs to be a qualified RHCSA to earn this certification. An RHCE can automate Red Hat Enterprise Linux tasks, integrate and automate emerging Red Hat technologies. The new RHCE certification, based on Linux 8, focuses on Linux System Administration Task Automation using Ansible and Shell Scripting. This certification needs renewal every 3 years.

You can signup here.

7.3. RHCA (Red Hat Certified Architect)

Red Hat Certified Architect

This program can adapt to a variety of requirements. It refers to RHCE, RHCEMD (Red Hat Certified Enterprise Microservices Developer), or RHCJD (Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer). Two RHCA certifications can be acquired. They are RHCA – Infrastructure and RHCA – Enterprise Applications. Candidates can choose to follow any or both of the learning paths.

You can signup here.

As there many certifications and learning paths associated concerning diverse expertise and subject matters, for more clarity, visit Red Hat Linux Certifications.

Conclusion

Linux is perfect for programmers as it supports most of the major programming languages such as C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, and more. With the emergence of open cloud platforms, there has been an increasing demand for Linux professionals. Hence Linux Certifications are highly valued by organizations. Getting certified in Linux gives you access to real-world scenarios and simulated tasks that get treated as hands-on experience by recruitment firms. Before you dive into a certification, assess all your options, and sketch your learning path as per your areas of interest and make sure that it sets you into your targeted career goal.

If you want to level-up your Linux knowledge before attempting the certification then Linux for Developers course by Coursera would give you a boost for sure.

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Barnali Chanda

Barnali Chanda

Barnali is a software developer, who eventually transformed into a technical documentation writer with her continuous research and development skills. She is an expert in C, C++, PHP, Python and RDBMS. She makes sure to evolve with technology. Thus, trained in BI, she is a Data Science enthusiast and is on the verge to pursue a career in Data Science. View all posts by the Author

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Patricia Sharp
Patricia Sharp

Which is better: Red Hat or Microsoft Server certification?

Gilbert Potter
Gilbert Potter

Windows and Linux servers are suited for (somewhat) different sets of tasks, so by choosing one or the other, you're selecting a type of working environment as well. Linux is best for public-facing stuff; Windows is best for internal-facing stuff. Windows favor a very integrated approach: Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, file sharing, and printing, Linux takes more of a "pick the tool that's right for you" approach. This means you'll be able to work with a wider variety of programming languages, web servers, database servers, etc., and that you'll get more performance out of a Linux server of the same physical specs.

Jan Gregory
Jan Gregory

Linux Foundation or LPIC? How to become a Red Hat Certified Engineer?

Isaac Griffith
Isaac Griffith

Linux Foundation or LPIC are two different organizations and so have different exams and levels. Each is distinct and hard to draw a direct parallel. LPI exams are question/answer based, but cover a very broad range of topics and require you to have a lot of knowledge memorized. Linux Foundation exams are practical and hands-on so less memorization is required, but you need to know what to do with minimal time spent on references to meet the time contstraints.To achieve the credential of Red Hat Certified Engineer, one needs to get the Red Hat Certified Engineer credential. To become a Red Hat Certified Engineer, the candidate requires to pass two certification exams, which are, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA - EX200) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE - EX300). You will get the Red Hat Certified Engineer certification only when you have passed both the certification exams.

Timothy Frazier
Timothy Frazier

What is the best Linux certificate? Which Linux certification is better?

Priscilla Clarke
Priscilla Clarke

In the IT world, Linux certifications are the determining factor on how far your career goes seeing that more than half of the world’s servers run on Linux Operating Systems and virtually every IT expert is expected to have certain certificates to bank a job placement. Linux+ CompTIA certification has been on top of the list for the past two decades. For anyone wanting to boost their career opportunities, attaining the Linux+ CompTIA certification is an utter need to enter and thrive in this area of IT.

Paulette Baker
Paulette Baker

Which certification is best for the system administrator?

Katrina King
Katrina King

When it comes to managing computer systems, whether in an office environment, on a campus or in an enterprise data center, there's a long list of tools and technologies SysAdmins need to master. There are numerous certifications that can help validate knowledge and skills in those areas. Some of the top certifications that you can pick are Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Red Hat: RHCSA and RHCE, Linux Professional Institute (LPI): LPIC System Administrator, CompTIA Server+, VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV), ServiceNow Certified System Administrator.

Jennifer Arnold
Jennifer Arnold

Does Linux certification expire?

Melinda Gibson
Melinda Gibson

In the past, most Linux certifications had no expiration date or continuing certification requirements, but that has been changing of late. While some certificates are good for whole life, some of them expire in 3-5 years of time.

Taylor Cole
Taylor Cole

How long does it take to get Linux certified?

Mark Padilla
Mark Padilla

The amount of time you have to complete a task is often the amount of time the task takes to complete. If you give yourself a month to study for an exam, then that’s how much time you have, whether you’re ready or not. While most of the certifications are attainable in a span of four months, there are few which are covered in a time of 1 year. These include Certifications by Cisco.

Tomas Warner
Tomas Warner

How much does Linux certification cost?

Beatrice Duncan
Beatrice Duncan

Besides being highly recommended by many companies as Linux gaining recognition by global platforms, these certification programs are gaining popularity among data administrators, system admins, DevOps engineers, these days. While some cost for $200 per exam, others go for upto $1800 per exam. You can join any suitable Linux Certification program that allows you to access to the official training material that helps you to prepare for the exam.

christine
christine

would love to see the cost for the certifications.