What is the best way to get Linux certified? I know it is a little more complicated than buying a system with Linux installed and putting the penguin stuffed critter up on the shelf.
The Linux Professional Institute has several levels of certification. Their website is LPI dot org.
I’ve never heard of it, but even respiratory therapists have a certification and membership organization.
The Linux Professional Institute level one certification is for basic maintenance and installation, while level 2 requires the ability to handle medium mixed networks, while level 3 is for enterprise level support, plus LDAP and Active Directory.
Does that count toward Red Hat certification?
RHCT and RHCE are the Red Hat Linux certifications.
How do you get those certifications?
A number of community colleges offer the Red Hat Linux courses. You have to take five to seven courses to earn the RHCT certificate and prepare for the RHCT Certification Exam.
That’s the basic level. I’m sure there are others.
Red Hat has training courses for RHCSA, their certified system administrator, Jboss development and administration, RHCE or Engineer certification, CDS or datacenter curriculum and RHCA or architect curriculum.
More levels than LPI, but the credentials provide a better definition of the skills I would have. How do I get the Red Hat training?
Redhat’s website has a course finder where you can search by curriculum and by location. They have venues from California to New York to Texas, and virtual classrooms in some areas.
Of course they have virtual classes. The only concern I have is finding a course that fits my schedule and budget.
Unix Academy has DVDs to give you training at your own pace. Their courses are intended to train you in around five months.
Online training for Linux tends to ask questions that you should know well before you’re ready to take a Linux certification exam. And it does not count toward actual certification.
Get experience setting up Linux servers, setting up virtual machines, upgrading Linux versions, configuring networks, reading logs and configuring software. You’ll need to know this stuff anyway for the exams.
Aside from installing Linux on a PC at home and tinkering with it, I do not know how to get real world experience.
You could volunteer with non-profits that cannot afford contract Linux help at $100 an hour. Or even work for some charities restoring Windows XP boxes with low resource usage Linux OS so that they can be given to kids to have their own computer.
The side benefit of that being a long list of professional references along with a strong dose of good karma.
And there’s a good chance they’d hire you after certification on a per project basis, while you work toward the higher level Red Hat and LPI certifications that qualify you for the 80K jobs Linux admins brag about.
Or I could take courses at local community colleges and then take the Linux exams at local testing centers.
You can find the basic level certification classes at community colleges, but data center engineers and database management are harder to find, than the “hey, I can install Linux, here’s my certificate” classes.
There are worse classes at the junior college, trust me, from underwater basket weaving to comparative folk dancing.