There are four programs which offer certification for Linux Systems Administrators. These programs are offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association, the Linux Professional Institute, the Novell Corporation, and Red Hat, Inc. The first two are professional industry associations whose certification programs do not depend on any specific Linux distribution.
Novell and Red Hat Linux certifications are closely associated with their popular Linux distributions. If you want to prepare for these two certifications you will definitely need access to their Linux version. What do you have to do for Linux Certification? You must pass one or more extensive tests that demonstrate your prowess in dealing with both typical and atypical problems faced by Linux systems administrators. We'll take a closer look at the CompTIA Linux+™ Certification, the one usually recommended as the first certification for people new to Linux. This certification does not apply to any specific Linux version. The test is designed to validate the knowledge of individuals with a minimum of six to twelve months of practical Linux experience.
According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, professionals achieving the CompTIA Linux+ certification can explain fundamental management of Linux systems from the command line, demonstrate knowledge of user administration, understand file permissions, software configurations, and management of Linux-based clients, server systems, and security. Many of these functions are accessible via Damn Small Linux. The Linux+ certification is a basic, entry-level certification for Linux system administrators. It is intended for people with six-months experience installing, operating and maintaining Linux operating systems. To achieve Linux+ certification, candidates must pass the 98 question Linux+ exam which covers seven areas: Planning and Implementation; Installation; Configuration; Administration; System Maintenance; Troubleshooting; and Identify, Install and Maintain System Hardware. This multiple-choice exam costs about $232.
It is a good starting point for people who want to continue with other Linux certifications including those from Novell and Red Hat. Why would people start preparing Linux certification on a limited version of Linux? The answer is simple - certification is lengthy and somewhat difficult. Don't make a major financial and time investment unless you know that you really want to be certified and that you possess the required skill set.
You can easily find schools that promise you success in Linux certification and in any of their course offerings. Perhaps Linux certification is not be for you. Don't invest heavily in certification only to find that it wasn't what you had in mind. Work your way through my tutorials including the suggestions for going further.
Get your hands on several Linux books. I would start with books designed for learning Linux and for running Linux systems before working with Linux certification books. Don't be satisfied with running computer exercises in your mind, and nodding your head at the appropriate times. To succeed you must do the exercises on a computer running Linux.
Because system installation is a component of all Linux Certification exams you should install several versions of Linux on your computer. An external USB hard drive is quite inexpensive. Try to make friends with someone who knows better than you how to do things.
Ask a lot of questions. And good luck! And while you're working on your certifications take a look at some of Damn Small Linux's other advantages in our final article in this series.
Over the years Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet. As you can tell from his wine websites including www.theitalianwineconnection.com he is quite a fan of fine wine, but always in moderation. He teaches various and sundry computer courses including Linux and Windows operating systems at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his new website http://www.linux4windows.com teaching you how to download and run Damn Small Linux even on that outdated Windows computer which has been gathering dust in the basement.