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Often regarded as the first certification for Linux professionals, CompTIA Linux+ certification is an entry level certification designed for individuals with at least 6 months of practical Linux experience. This is a vendor-neutral certification.
The Linux+ certification holder has the ability to explain:
- managing of Linux systems from the command line
- understanding of file permissions
- software configuration
- user administration
A more specific list of topics covered by the exam can be seen below, listed under the sections of the exam.
Because it is considered as an entry level Linux certification, it is not designed for an already established Linux system administrator. Rather, it offers credentials to the beginning Linux professional. This certification validates that you have the fundamental Linux knowledge within a vendor-neutral framework. Linux+ certification is recognized by many of the industry majors and is a good place to start with if you are just building your career as a Linux professional.
To achieve the CompTIA Linux+ certification you need to pass a single test (exam code: XK0-002), consisting of 98 questions. The exam duration is 90 minutes and the minimum passing score is 675 on a scale of 100-900. The exam is available in two languages, English and Japanese.
The following topics are covered in the Linux+ exam:
Installation and Configuration (22% of Examination)
This section requires you to know about various aspects of installing and configuring a Linux system.
You should be able to:
- compare and contrast installation sources
- implement partitioning schemes and file system layout
- understand the various file systems like EXT2, EXT3, FAT, NTFS
- explain the purpose of various special directories like /, /bin, /dev/etc., /mnt,. /proc, etc.
- configure a boot process
- perform install, remove and update with various package management tools like rpm, deb, source
- resolve dependencies
- troubleshoot boot issues
- mount and unmount file systems
- manage devices
System Maintenance & Operations (28% of Examination)
This section requires you to:
have knowledge of various fundamental Linux tools like:
- directory navigation
- file commands
- file editing with vi
- process management
- I/O redirection
- virtual consoles
- conduct basic tasks using BASH
- analyze system and application logs
- manage backup and restore operations
- understand various features and concepts of X11
- implement task scheduling
Application & Services (23% of Examination)
In this section you need to know:
- how to manage Linux system services
- implement interoperability with Windows
- configure and maintain Web and FTP services,
- explain the purpose of various web-related services
- troubleshoot common FTP problems
- perform basic MySQL administrative tasks
- explain the purpose of various mail services and protocols
- deploy and manage CUPS print services
- install, configure and maintain a BIND DNS server
- basic administration of the DHCP server
- troubleshoot NTP related issues
Networking (14% of Examination)
This section deals with networking tasks in Linux.
You should be able to:
- identify common networking ports and the associated services
- execute network interface configuration
- explain the different DNS record types
- troubleshoot connectivity issues using various tools
- troubleshoot name resolution issues
Security (13% of Examination)
This is the last section of the exam and requires you to know about using various security tools and have an understanding of security concepts.
You should be able to:
- manage user and group accounts
- select the appropriate file permissions and ownership
- understand the basics of SELinux
- implement privilege escalation
- understand the appropriate use of various security related utilities
- understand the methods of authentication
Cost and Test centers
The exam cost varies with countries; currently the exam costs $239.00 in the United States for a non member and $191.00 for CompTIA members.
The exam can be taken at Pearson VUE or Prometric test centers. You can search for a test center nearby here.
Where to get help?
If you are looking for some help with your Linux+ certification, there are plenty of online courses available which are designed specifically to prepare you for the Linux+ certification exam. Here’s a short list of such websites.
If you are looking for some free online courses, read this previous article, which discusses some free learning resources for Linux certifications.