Exam objectives — RHCSA

This exam and the exam objectives provided here are based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 version of the exam. We are offering Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Exam (EX200) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 via onsite and Individual Exam Sessions. View the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 exam objectives.

This guide provides information candidates may use in preparing to take the Red Hat® Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam on Red Hat Enterprise Linux® 7. Red Hat is not responsible for the content or accuracy of other guides, books, online resources, or any other information provided by organizations or individuals other than Red Hat Training and Certification. Red Hat reserves the right to change this guide when appropriate. Candidates who have enrolled in forthcoming classes or exams are advised to check this guide periodically for changes.

Prospective employers of a candidate holding RHCSA certification should verify any and all claims by people claiming to hold this credential by requesting the certificate number and verifying it using the Red Hat certification verification tool.

Employers or candidates interested in understanding exam objectives for the Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) exam on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 should consult the past RHCT/RHCE exam objectives.

Performance-based exams

The RHCSA exam is a performance-based evaluation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administration skills and knowledge. Candidates perform a number of routine system administration tasks and are evaluated on whether they have met specific objective criteria. Performance-based testing means that candidates must perform tasks similar to what they must perform on the job.

Authorized Training Partners

Only Red Hat and Red Hat Certified Training Partners administer the RHCSA exam. Prospective candidates should exercise due diligence when purchasing a seat in an RHCSA exam from a provider other than Red Hat itself. They should verify that the provider is, in fact, an authorized training partner or reseller in good standing. Please notify training@redhat.com about organizations that purport to offer the RHCSA exam but are not Red Hat Certified Training Partners.

Scores and Reporting

Official scores for the RHCSA exams come exclusively from Red Hat Certification Central. Red Hat does not authorize examiners, training partners, or other departments or individuals within Red Hat to report results to candidates. Scores on the exam are reported within 3 US business days. Red Hat does not report performance on individual items, nor will it provide additional information upon request. This policy helps ensure impartiality and fairness for all candidates worldwide. Scores are used to establish whether certification should be issued and are reported for the benefit of candidates. Red Hat makes no representations regarding the use of scores for any other purpose, such as ranking or comparing candidates.

Format of the RHCSA exam

The RHCSA exam is a hands-on, practical exam that lasts 2.5 hours. Internet access is not provided during the exam. Outside materials are not permitted. Documentation that ships with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available during the exam. Red Hat reserves the right to make changes to format, including timing and the policies above. Such changes will be made public in advance through revisions to this document.

Preparation for the RHCSA exam

Red Hat encourages all candidates for RHCSA to consider taking one or more of its official training courses to help prepare. Attendance in these classes is not required, and one can choose to take just an exam. Many successful candidates who have come to class already possessing substantial skills and knowledge report that the class made a positive difference for them. To help you determine the best courses to take, Red Hat provides online skills assessment.

While attending Red Hat's classes can be an important part of one's preparation, attending class does not guarantee success on the exam. Previous experience, practice, and native aptitude are also important determinants of success. Many books and other resources on system administration for Red Hat's products are available. Red Hat does not endorse any as preparation guides for any exams. Nevertheless, candidates may find additional reading deepens understanding and can prove helpful.

Exam objectives

Red Hat reserves the right to add, modify, and remove objectives. Such changes will be made public in advance through revisions to this document. RHCSA exam candidates should be able to accomplish the tasks below without assistance. These have been grouped into several categories.

Understand and use essential tools

  • Access a shell prompt and issue commands with correct syntax.
  • Use input-output redirection (>, >>, |, 2>, etc.).
  • Use grep and regular expressions to analyze text.
  • Access remote systems using ssh and VNC.
  • Log in and switch users in multiuser targets.
  • Archive, compress, unpack, and uncompress files using tar, star, gzip, and bzip2.
  • Create and edit text files.
  • Create, delete, copy, and move files and directories.
  • Create hard and soft links.
  • List, set, and change standard ugo/rwx permissions.
  • Locate, read, and use system documentation including man, info, and files in /usr/share/doc.

NOTE: Red Hat may use applications during the exam that are not included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the purpose of evaluating candidate's abilities to meet this objective.

Operate running systems

  • Boot, reboot, and shut down a system normally.
  • Boot systems into different targets manually.
  • Interrupt the boot process in order to gain access to a system.
  • Identify CPU/memory intensive processes, adjust process priority with renice, and kill processes.
  • Locate and interpret system log files and journals.
  • Access a virtual machine's console.
  • Start and stop virtual machines.
  • Start, stop, and check the status of network services.
  • Securely transfer files between systems.

Configure local storage

  • List, create, delete partitions on MBR and GPT disks.
  • Create and remove physical volumes, assign physical volumes to volume groups, and create and delete logical Volumes.
  • Create and configure LUKS-encrypted partitions and logical volumes to prompt for password and mount a decrypted file system at boot.
  • Configure systems to mount file systems at boot by Universally Unique ID (UUID) or label.
  • Add new partitions and logical volumes, and swap to a system non-destructively.

Create and configure file systems

  • Create, mount, unmount, and use vfat, ext4 and xfs file systems.
  • Mount, unmount, and use LUKS-encrypted file systems.
  • Mount and unmount CIFS and NFS network file systems.
  • Configure systems to mount LUKS-encrypted, and network file systems automatically.
  • Extend existing unencrypted logical volumes.
  • Create and configure set-GID directories for collaboration.
  • Create and manage Access Control Lists (ACLs).
  • Diagnose and correct file permission problems.

Deploy, configure, and maintain systems

  • Configure networking and hostname resolution statically or dynamically.
  • Schedule tasks using at and cron.
  • Start and stop services and configure services to start automatically at boot.
  • Configure systems to boot into a specific target automatically.
  • Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux automatically using Kickstart.
  • Configure a physical machine to host virtual guests.
  • Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems as virtual guests.
  • Configure systems to launch virtual machines at boot.
  • Configure network services to start automatically at boot.
  • Configure a system to use time services.
  • Install and update software packages from Red Hat Network, a remote repository, or from the local file system.
  • Update the kernel package appropriately to ensure a bootable system.
  • Modify the system bootloader.

Manage users and groups

  • Create, delete, and modify local user accounts.
  • Change passwords and adjust password aging for local user accounts.
  • Create, delete, and modify local groups and group memberships.
  • Configure a system to use an existing LDAP directory service for user and group information.
  • Configure a system to use an existing authentication service for user and group information.

Manage security

  • Configure firewall settings using system-config-firewall or iptables.
  • Configure key-based authentication for SSH.
  • Set enforcing and permissive modes for SELinux.
  • List and identify SELinux file and process context.
  • Restore default file contexts.
  • Use boolean settings to modify system SELinux settings.
  • Diagnose and address routine SELinux policy violations