What is a Linux certification?

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A Linux® certification demonstrates a proficiency with a Linux operating system. Many organizations in the open source community offer Linux certifications to prepare IT professionals with knowledge relevant in a real-world environment.

As IT systems and workloads get more complex, the underlying architecture and operating system must be reliable, scalable, and performance driven. Linux has grown over the years to be the de facto standard for running highly available, reliable, and critical workloads—whether traditional or innovative—from bare metal to virtualization, cloud, and containers.

You may want to validate your skills, or maybe you must verify your Linux experience based on either your company’s requirements or mandate. Either way, professional certifications can be determined by performance-based exams, practical exams, or a combination of these. These methods are designed to test your capabilities with the tasks that Linux administrators should be able to perform.

There are many options out there to prepare you for a certification exam, but training courses are popular, as they can introduce you to realistic Linux-based enterprise environments, and common issues and tasks you may be expected to know. Red Hat® has Linux certification training allowing you to learn as you perform tasks in a virtual Linux environment—so you can experience real-world relevance in a classroom setting.

Certifications can be distribution-agnostic, or they can align with specific Linux distributions and products.  Red Hat, Linux Professional Institute, and CompTIA Linux+, for example, all offer popular and widely-accepted Linux certification programs. 

Red Hat has 2 Linux certifications: Red Hat® Certified System Administrator (RHCSA®) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE®).

Red Hat Certified System Administrator

The Red Hat Certified System Administrator has demonstrated core knowledge and system administration skills within Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. 

This certification is designed for experienced Linux sysadmins seeking validation of their skills, DevOps professionals who wish to demonstrate their expertise with the fundamentals of container technology, or students working to become a Red Hat Certified System Administrator. 

In order to obtain your RHCSA, you’ll need to pass the Red Hat Certified System Administrator Exam (EX200)

Although not prerequisites, these training resources will help you to prepare for the RHCSA exam. 

Red Hat System Administration I (RH124)

Red Hat System Administration II (RH134)

Red Hat System Administration I 

This course covers the core system administration tasks needed to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. This course equips you with Linux essentials by focusing on foundational Linux concepts and core tasks. You will learn how to apply command-line concepts and enterprise-level tools, starting you on your journey toward becoming a full-time Linux sysadmin.

After completing this course you will be able to:

Access the Linux command line

Manage files from Linux command line

Create, view, and edit text files

Manage local users and groups

Monitor and manage Linux processes

Control services and daemons

Control access to files with file system permissions

Analyze and store log files

Configure and secure the OpenSSH service

Install and update software packages

Access Linux file systems

Manage Linux networking

Red Hat System Administration II 

This training course focuses on the key tasks needed to become a full-time Linux administrator. The course goes deeper into core Linux system administration skills in storage configuration and management, installation and deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, management of security features such as SELinux, control of recurring system tasks, management of the boot process and troubleshooting, basic system tuning, and command line automation and productivity.

After completing this course you will be able to:

Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux using Kickstart

Manage file systems and logical volumes

Manage scheduled jobs

Access network file systems

Manage SELinux and system security

Control firewalls

Perform troubleshooting tasks

Explore the course

Red Hat Certified Engineer

The Red Hat Certified Engineer wants to take their expertise further, adding automation skills to their proficiency with Linux deployment and configuration.

With IT organizations facing challenges related to scaling infrastructure efficiently, system administrators need to understand more than how to deploy, configure, and manage an operating system—they need to know how to automate functions and how to make the automation itself scalable.

Becoming a Red Hat Certified Engineer will demonstrate that you are a Red Hat Certified System Administrator who can automate Red Hat Enterprise Linux administration tasks using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and shell scripting.

Learn more about the RHCE track

Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to the Linux kernel, and our performance-based training and exams make our certifications some of the most respected among industry professionals. Employers can easily verify Red Hat credentials, so organizations can build innovative teams with the skill sets they need. Becoming a Linux certified professional can also be an important part of career development and advancement for sysadmins and engineers.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the open source foundation to the hybrid cloud, and businesses around the world trust Red Hat as the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT solutions

Learn more about Linux.

Red Hat certification exams are performance-based, so you can demonstrate your skills in real-world situations. If you want to see where you stand, you can try a skills assessment, or take a preliminary exam. Preliminary exams can be taken anywhere, with internet access and a personal computer or laptop.

Configuration and management

Learn to create and access files from the command line, and monitor network services for issues

Rapid deployment

Install and update software, manage users, and maintain systems on Linux servers


Manage security with basic firewall and SELinux configuration, to respond to system issues and vulnerabilities faster


Install and configure Ansible control nodes, and use modules for administrative tasks

See more training options around Linux.

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