Best Linux Certifications


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Best Linux Certifications

Your IT career might take off with the help of these Linux certifications.
The Linux operating system is still a major player in the computer industry more than 20 years after Linus Torvalds created it. According to NetMarketShare, Linux only made up just over 2.4% of the total desktop operating system market share in January 2019. However, Linux is incredibly dominant on the web server side, where it holds a market share of about 54%.

IT specialists devote a lot of effort to studying about server computing, including installation, setup, upkeep, virtualization, application support, and security. This implies that a large number of IT professionals deal with and around Linux operating systems on a regular basis, frequently in conjunction with Windows and several UNIX OS brands as well.

The top Linux certifications compete for a lot of IT workers’ attention and offer a unique blend of vendor-specific certificates as well as distribution- or brand-neutral credentials. For people who are interested in learning, using, and mastering the Linux operating system environment and all the numerous bells and whistles it provides, there are numerous sophisticated certification ladders available.

The outcomes of a job search we carried out on numerous well-known job posting websites demonstrate which Linux certifications firms seek when employing new personnel. This table shows the Linux-related certificates that U.S. businesses were looking for, despite the fact that results fluctuate from day to day (and job board to job board).

Job Board Survey Results (in alphabetical order, by certification)




LinkedIn Jobs



GCUX (SANS GIAC) 30 30 55 12 127
Linux+ (CompTIA) 1,045 1,339 779 547 3,710
LPIC (LPI) 38 41 247 44 370
Oracle Linux OCA 27 31 33 12 103
Oracle Linux OCP 61 69 69 25 224
RHCA (Red Hat) 89 102 190 38 419
RHCE (Red Hat) 467 553 754 267 2,041
RHCSA (Red Hat) 417 504 667 241 1,829

We discovered that since we last studied the same employment sites a year ago, the number of national job posts referencing each of the qualification categories above has increased, in some cases noticeably. Depending on the job description, Linux system administrators and engineers might anticipate average salaries in the low $70s and upwards. Linux system administrators make an average compensation of $70,194 per year, with a range of $52,000 to $101,000, according to PayScale. Linux system administrators make an average salary of $68,884, followed by Linux system engineers at $99,348 and senior Linux system engineers at $122,071 according to Glassdoor.

GCUX: GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator

SANS, a renowned institution for training and research in the field of information security, is the parent organisation of the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) programme. SANS also offers breaking news, runs a security alert service, and participates in a variety of government, academic, and business task forces, working groups, and industry organisations related to information security.

The SANS GIAC programme offers 37 information security certificates in a variety of fields, including management, audit, legal, developers, and industrial control systems. These fields include cyber defence, penetration testing, incident response, and forensics. Its Cyber Defense area includes the GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator (GCUX), which is geared toward specialists who instal, configure, monitor, secure, and audit Linux and Unix systems.

Every four years, GIAC certificates must be renewed by accumulating 36 credits from continuing professional education (CPE). Additionally, every four years, credential holders must pay a $429 certification maintenance fee.

GCUX Facts & Figures

Certification Name

GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator (GCUX)

Prerequisites & Required Courses

None; SEC506: Securing Linux/Unix training recommended (classroom, on demand, self-study or private; $6,610)

Number of Exams

One exam (75 questions, two hours, minimum passing score 68%)

Cost per Exam

$1,899 without training (called a GIAC certification attempt; includes two free practice exams) $769 as part of a training course $769 retake fee $429 certification renewalExams administered by Pearson VUE.


Self-Study Materials

Practice tests available on the GIAC exam preparation page (two tests included in exam fee; additional practice tests are $159 each). No GCUX-specific study guides found; GIAC recommends searching for self-study materials based on the GCUX objectives’ knowledge areas and getting practical experience.

Linux+ (CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI)

In several IT specialties, CompTIA holds extraordinary certification sway at the entry level. This NGO has demonstrated a willingness to collaborate other IT groups, alliances, and consortia that are more narrowly focused in order to leverage their own market reach and visibility with specialised knowledge and subject matter expertise that is borrowed from multiple partners.

The organization’s collaboration with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), which gave rise to the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI credential, is a fantastic example. The same two examinations needed for LPIC-1 certification are used for this exclusive qualification, which took the place of the previous CompTIA Linux+ certification in 2010.

Because of this collaboration, IT professionals who are passionate about Linux can obtain both the LPIC-1 and the Linux+ credentials simultaneously. To achieve the LPIC-1 certification, candidates must first earn the Linux+ certificate and then submit a request to CompTIA requesting for their results to be submitted to LPI. Because CompTIA exam data are private, applicants who take the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI examinations must ask that LPI get their records.

Candidates must complete two tests in order to receive the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification. System architecture, installation, package management, GNU and Unix commands, devices, file systems, and common file system topologies are all covered in the first chapter. The second exam delves deeper into command shells, data management and scripting, desktops and user interfaces, administrative duties and responsibilities, essential system services, networking concepts, and security subjects. As of October 22, 2018, the CompTIA Linux+ Beta Exam (XK1-004) was no longer available. However, test takers who took the exam before that date can still retrieve their results and apply a passing score to their Linux+ certification. In April 2019, the public will be able to take the Linux+ 104 replacement exam, which is based on this beta exam.

CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI Facts & Figures

Certification Name

CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI

Prerequisites & Required Courses

None requiredRecommended: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and 12 months of Linux administration experience

Number of Exams

Two exams: LX0-103 and LX0-104 (60 multiple-choice questions each, 90 minutes, 500 required out of 200 to 800 scale to pass). Note that the LX0-104 Beta Exam is no longer offered as of October 22, 2018; the replacement 104 exam becomes publicly available in April of 2019.

Cost per Exam

$200 per exam; prices vary by geography


Self-Study Materials

CompTIA maintains a list of training materials and additional study options, including links to study guides, exam crams, practice tests, online and classroom training, CertMaster, and more. Additional third-party reference and review materials can be found on Amazon.

LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Certifications

Nearly ten years after Linus Torvalds began his innovative work on the Linux kernel, the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) was founded. Since that time, LPI has grown to become one of the top suppliers of certifications for Linux-related subjects and technologies. Given the organization’s approach to Linux, which is independent of distribution, it provides good coverage of a technology currently sold in various shapes and flavors.

There are three unique levels available for the LPI Certification (LPIC) program:

A junior-level Linux certification with no prerequisites is LPIC-1: Linux Administrator. Two exams covering fundamental Linux abilities are required for candidates. These include installing and configuring Linux on a workstation, using the command line, carrying out simple maintenance chores, and creating LAN or internet connections. Although candidates should first consider earning the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certificate, which qualifies them for both the Linux+ and LPIC-1 credentials, before pursuing the LPIC-1 credential straight from LPI.

A current LPIC-1 certification is required for the LPIC-2: Linux Engineer certification, which is an advanced-level Linux credential. Two tests that cover important Linux skills and subjects must be passed by candidates. The kernel, system startup, file system, and devices, advanced storage administration, network configuration, system maintenance, and capacity planning are all covered in the first exam. The second exam covers domain name servers, email services, file sharing, network client management, web services, and system security.

Linux Enterprise Professional Certification, version 3. a senior-level Linux certification that can be obtained by completing any test in the 300 series and maintaining an active LPIC-2. Exam IDs 300: Mixed Environment, 303: Security, and 304: Virtualization and High Availability are currently valid. The Mixed Environment exam covers Samba, along with OpenLDAP and working with Linux and Windows clients, as well as domain integration, user and group management, name services, share configuration, and other topics. The Security exam covers access controls, cryptography, network, operations, and application security. The Virtualization and High Availability exam cover virtualization as well as high availability cluster storage and administration.

The Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate is a lower-level credential that LPI offers in addition to the LPIC-1, 2, and 3 credentials (PDC). The core competencies covered in Linux Essentials include working with the command line, creating and executing straightforward scripts, restoring compressed backups and archives, learning the fundamentals of the Linux operating system, FOSS, users/groups, and file permissions for public and private directories. Starting with Linux Essentials is an excellent method to develop the abilities and expertise required for the more difficult LPIC certificates.

The LPIC-OT DevOps Technologies Engineer certification from LPI was just released, and it honors the efficient use of tools for collaboration during system and software development. There are no prerequisites, and there are 60 questions in one 90-minute exam.

For IT professionals whose preferred Linux distributions do not call for their certification programs and those desiring comprehensive, vendor- and distribution-neutral coverage of Linux subjects, tools, and technologies, LPIC certificates are valuable. They are well-liked by IT professionals and sought-after by IT organizations.

LPIC-1, LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 Facts & Figures

Certification Name

LPIC-1: Linux AdministratorLPIC-2: Linux Engineer

LPIC-3: Linux Enterprise Professional

Prerequisites & Required Courses

LPIC-1: None, Linux Essentials recommendedLPIC-2: Active LPIC-1 certification

LPIC-3: Active LPIC-2 certification plus completion of one of the 300 series specialty exams

Training is recommended but not required

Number of Exams

LPIC-1: Exam 101-500 and Exam 102-500LPIC-2: Exam 201-450 and Exam 202-450

LPIC-3: One of the 300 series exams: Mixed Environment (Exam 300-100)

Security (Exam 303-200)

Virtualization and High Availability (Exam 304-200)

Cost per Exam

$200 per exam. Exams administered by Pearson VUE. Linux ID is required to register.


Self-Study Materials

Study guides, courseware knowledge packs, eLearning courses, exam crams, practice tests, online and classroom training, Linux Academy subscriptions, and more are available at LPI Exam Preparation, LPI Marketplace, and Amazon.

Oracle Linux OCA & OCP

Oracle gained a long and extensive history with UNIX when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010. Soon after the Sun acquisition was completed, Oracle began to phase out Solaris.

Instead of referring to any form of UNIX roots, Oracle now offers associate- and professional-level certifications based on Linux. However, these certificates still have enough Sun roots that completing the two Oracle Linux certification tests does not require studying prerequisite courses.

Oracle’s certifications, like those from other Linux vendors, are most desirable to people who work with or around that distribution or who want to work for companies that utilize it.

OCA and OCP Facts & Figures

Certification Name

Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System AdministratorOracle Certified Professional (OCP), Oracle Linux 6 System Administrator

Prerequisites & Required Courses

OCA: No prerequisites. Recommended training: Oracle Linux S­­ystem Administration OCP: OCA Linux 5 and 6 System Administrator or Linux Administrator Certified Associate (now retired). Recommended training: Oracle Linux System Administration

Number of Exams

OCA: One exam, 1Z0-100 Oracle Linux 5 and 6 System Administration (150 minutes, 80 questions, 61% to pass) OCP: One exam, 1Z0-105 Oracle Linux 6 Advanced System Administrator (150 minutes, 97 questions, 61% to pass)

Cost per Exam

OCA: $245OCP: $245


Self-Study Materials

Oracle offers online and in-class training for its credentials, with hit-or-miss coverage for them on the aftermarket. Start with Amazon searches — check exam IDs 1Z0-100 and 1Z0-105 to get a sense of what’s available.

Although there is now an OCA and OCP exam for Oracle Linux 7 System Administrator, Oracle has not yet made any announcements about this new certification or provided information on new tests for OCA and OCP candidates that are based on Linux 7.

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