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®).

The RHCSA 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, the Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) training resources will help you to prepare for the RHCSA exam. 

The Red Hat System Administration I training 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.

The Red Hat System Administration II 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.

The Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE®) certification offers Linux sysadmins the opportunity 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.

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 developers, 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

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.

Keep reading


What is Linux?

Linux is an open source operating system that is made up of the kernel, the base component of the OS, and the tools, apps, and services bundled along with it.


What is SELinux?

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a security architecture for Linux® systems that allows administrators to have more control over who can access the system.


What is the Linux kernel?

The Linux kernel is the main component of a Linux operating system (OS) and is the core interface between a computer’s hardware and its processes.

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A stable, proven foundation that’s versatile enough for rolling out new applications, virtualizing environments, and creating a more secure hybrid cloud.