Linux Certifications: Definition, Examples, and FAQs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Certifications set you apart from the competition and improve your competitive edge. Linux powers a wide range of systems, such as smart cars, desktop computers, smartphones, and home appliances. Understanding Linux's certification opportunities can help you expand your career prospects. In this article, we explain what Linux certifications are, explore a list of certifications, examine how they can advance your career, and answer a few frequently asked questions.

What are Linux certifications?

Linux certifications show a user's proficiency with the Linux operating system. The Linux operating system helps your computer's software and hardware communicate. Linux can operate various types of systems, such as smartphones, home appliances, smart cars, and conventional computers. With the complexity of IT and workloads increasing, it becomes increasingly important for the underlying architecture and operating system to be reliable, scalable, and performance-focused. Linux has become the standard for running highly available, reliable, and critical workloads.

Common Linux certifications

Here is a list of various certifications you can pursue in Linux:

CompTIA Linux+

CompTIA Linux+ is a highly popular certification that professionals view as a basic credential for IT professionals. As an entry-level course, it covers and tests knowledge of basic operating system fundamentals, including how to install and configure Linux on workstations, perform maintenance, and set up networking. The certification process prepares you for handling firewalls, file management, troubleshooting, diagnostics, and scripting.

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Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE)

If you have three or five years of experience in IT, you may pursue a Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification. This certification is for people who have some knowledge but seek a greater level of expertise. The primary goal of obtaining an LFCE is to show that you can configure Linux at an enterprise level. The certification typically tests your Linux group management, service configuration, storage management, system design, and deployment.

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

Getting the RHCSA certification is a good first step in becoming a Red Hat Certified Associate. This certification can help you build the skills to operate within the Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment. RHCSA focuses on managing storage and file systems, managing users and groups, and identifying processes.

GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator (GCUX)

By achieving the GCUX certification, you can audit and secure both Unix and Linux systems against security risks. As your career progresses, GIAC can help you develop progressively more complex skills and job roles. With GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator certification, you're demonstrating that you can respond to problems, monitor systems, set up an Apache server, and use forensic concepts.

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Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator certification is a beginner's level for those who are just starting in Linux system administration. Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator's certification process puts you in front of real-world scenarios that help you stimulate tasks and develop the skills necessary to perform well in your job. The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator certification covers topics such as internet protocol (IP) routing, storage management, configuration and troubleshooting, networking, and RAID devices.

Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)

Oracle Certified Professional certification is a beginner's certification. OCP covers topics such as control groups, dynamic tracing, XFS filesystems, storage administration, virtualization with Linux, core dump analysis, and Linux containers (LXC). To become an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), you attend an instructor-led course, take an exam, and then complete a hands-on course.

Oracle Certified Specialist (OCS)

You may require more experience and knowledge of Oracle Linux to obtain the Oracle Certified Specialist certification than the Oracle Certified Professional. The certification focuses on the roles and responsibilities of Oracle Partners, including system logging, networking, security, process management, zero-downtime updates, and monitoring and troubleshooting. By completing this certification, you can call yourself an Oracle Partner Network certified specialist.

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Linux Professional Institute (LPI)

You can gain an immense amount of knowledge from the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certification because it's multi-level. The first part of the certification is the LPIC-1 Linux Administrator, which includes maintenance tasks, configuring a computer with Linux, basic networking, security, and shell scripting. An LPIC-3 300 certification level is for users at the enterprise level, and it includes topics like domain integration, name services, and share basics.

How certifications from Linux can advance your career

Getting Linux certified gives you the chance to take on additional roles and responsibilities for your career advancement, such as improving your skills as you learn new technologies. Linux certification also shows employers that you have an intense commitment to improving your knowledge and skills. Some companies reimburse employees for certification fees because of the benefits of having an employee with Linux expertise.

People with specialty certifications have a greater likelihood of working with high-end technology and hardware, which can boost an employer's confidence in the employee's abilities. The accreditation and reliability of a company's employees can boost productivity while reducing risk, which is a good marketing argument for the company. The more an employee can further a company's success, the more likely they are to earn the respect of management, which can increase their chances of promotion and recognition.

Linux certification FAQs

The following are a few frequently asked questions about gaining certification from Linux:

What opportunities can I pursue after getting Linux certified?

Here are a few jobs you can pursue after getting Linux certified:

  • Network analyst: A network analyst sets up and maintains a company's system. They are also responsible for monitoring and troubleshooting data networks.

  • Desktop support technician: Desktop support technicians install software, troubleshoot problems, and add new ancillary components like keyboards and printers to computers.

  • IT security specialist: IT security specialists monitor computer networks to prevent security threats, correct security violations, install security software, and test the system for vulnerability.

  • Linux engineer: Linux engineers install Linux operating systems on computers and monitor them for security threats. To prevent issues from occurring, Linux engineers also complete change management requests and implement proactive measures.

Related: How to Become a Software Engineer

What is open-source software?

A program that has an open-source license includes source code anyone can examine, change, and enhance. Source code is the part of a program that most people rarely see. Computer programmers can adjust the source code to change the way a program or application works. They may also alter the source code to fix a recurring problem within the software. The opposite of open source is closed source or proprietary software. With closed source software, only the software's original designer, team, or company can modify its code.

Why is Linux open source?

Linux is one of the largest open-source software projects in the world. Linux is a free and open-source operating system (OS), released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The Linux operating system is an open-source alternative to the mini-Unix (MINIX) operating system. Under Linux's open-source license, anyone may operate, study, change, redistribute, or sell copies of modified code, if they comply with the license.

What are the values of open source software?

Here are some common reasons people choose open source over proprietary software:

  • Peer review: The source code in open source software is freely accessible, and peer programmers are constantly reviewing and improving its functions and security.

  • Transparency: Open source makes it possible for you to check and track what types of data are moving and where, or what types of changes are occurring without relying on vendors.

  • Reliability: Community-built open source development organizations are consistently updating the source code in open-source software. Peer reviews ensure frequent testing and monitoring of open source code.

  • Flexibility: You can use open source code to address problems unique to the business or community because it emphasizes modification. There is no requirement to use the code in a particular way, and you can rely on community help and peer review for new developments.

  • Marketing time: As open source solutions are easy to explore, evaluating options and creating solutions becomes easier and quicker. Companies can market open-source software more rapidly than closed-source software because of this level of flexibility.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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