Friday, 25 January 2013

CompTIA Linux+ certification - the after math...

So, I decided a while ago to get some official recognition for the Linux skills I used for years. I have researched the market and apparently it all boils down to only two choices:

  • RedHat certification - powerful brandname but really expensive certification; about $7000.
  • Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certification - vendor independent and about $400 per certification level, see below.
So, after I have consulted my budget, the decision was simple: I have chosen the LPI Certification. (To make it look more like an educated choice and not money based, I should reveal that I am a Debian/Ubuntu fan since Redhat decided to go commercial, about a decade ago. No, really!)

Now, there are 3 Linux certification levels available from LPI: Junior, Advanced and Senior (see here) and the first one was available also through CompTIA that is offering it under the name: "CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI".

I have chosen the CompTIA one, but it seems it is completely equivalent to the LPI one (and even more; see Greg Porter's very instructive blog).

The overall impression is that this is not a Junior exam at all, in my view.
You can take probably any Senior Linux professional and test him (unprepared) for this exam and he'll probably fail.
Is not the depth of the exam but the diversity of topics and the fact that one can work 24x7 in Linux for 10 years in a row and never encounter some topics covered by this exam. Probably the most obvious one: why did they include SQL in a linux certification at all?

In the same idea, the exam covers the two main distributions on the market (Debian and RedHat and their derivatives) and if you're specialized for years on one side there is a slim chance you know or even care about the other side.

Finally, the exam takes into consideration different versions of the same applications (e.g. XFree86 3.3.6, XFree86 4.x and and one should remember their quirks, and their similar & different options. In real life this not quite happening and is not very useful; the trend is to unify your systems as much as possible. Then, once upgraded, the system administrator embraces the new set of parameters and throws the old set into gradual oblivion. Some companies even have different admins for different Linux distros, if they were unable to migrate to one system or another.

Anyway, there was a lot of interesting information and enjoyed it a lot. However I have encountered some annoyances and they are all here. Also I have to bark about Pearson Vue mega-corporation. But this, in its own space, i.e. here. M-ha-ha. M-ha-ha-ha!


  1. I just passed the second Linux+ exam Sat. I agree with you about the obscure stuff. I even got asked a subnetting question ( how many usable hosts are there with a /27 subnet). Also, which "o" (uppercase open a line above cursor, lowercase below) and be found on google pretty quickly....

  2. Hi, I'm taking the Linux plus exams and have already written one and had not read on creating an LPI ID. Wondering if I will need to create an LPI ID or is one created the moment I pass both exams? It'd be pointless to have written this without receiving the LPI certificate in the end...