The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification from The Linux Foundation is a full Linux certification for verifying and validating your Linux Operating System skills. Linux is the #1 operating system for web servers, cloud computing, smartphones and consumer electronics. It’s been growing very rapidly over the years, and even Microsoft has fully embraced Linux for running workloads in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The IT industry is increasingly seeking out IT Professionals who have Linux Operating System management and administration skills. This certification will help you validate those skills to help advance your career.

Exam Target Audience

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification exam is targeted towards IT Professionals who work with the Linux Operating System, specifically CentOS, Ubuntu and SUSE. This exam will test and validate your skills in administering and managing Linux machines.

The exam does not test your skills in a fashion that generalizes to cover all Linux distributions. Instead, the LFCS exam allows you to choose from the following Linux distributions when registering for the exam:

  • CentOS
  • openSUSE
  • Ubuntu

Exam Information

Duration: 2 hours

Price: $300

Passing Score: A score of at least 74% is required to pass the exam.

Exam Format:
This is a performance-based exam. This means that the candidate will perform tasks and solve problems using the Command-Line Interface of their chosen Linux distribution.

Skills Measured

Here’s a high level overview of the exam objectives covered on the LFCS exam. The percentages represent how much of the exam will be cased in that particular objective area.

  • Essential Commands (25%)
    • Log into graphical & text mode consoles
    • Search for files
    • Evaluate & compare the basic file system features & options
    • Compare, create & edit text files
    • Compare binary files
    • Use input-output redirection (e.g. >, >>, |, 2>)
    • Analyze text using basic regular expressions
    • Archive, backup, compress, unpack, & uncompress files
    • Create, delete, copy, & move files & directories
    • Create hard & soft links
    • List, set & change standard file permissions
    • Read & use system documentation
    • Manage access to the root account
  • User and Group Management (15%)
    • Create, delete & modify local user accounts
    • Create, delete & modify local groups & group memberships
    • Manage system-wide environment profiles
    • Manage template user environment
    • Configure user resource limits
    • Manage user processes
    • Configure PAM
  • Operation of Running Systems (20%)
    • Boot, reboot, & shut down a system safely
    • Boot systems into different run levels manually
    • Instal, configure & troubleshoot the bootloader
    • Change the priority of a process
    • Identify resource utilization by process
    • Locate & analyze system log files
    • Schedule tasks to run at a set date & time
    • Verify completion of scheduled jobs
    • Update software to provide required functionality & security
    • Verify the integrity & availability of resources
    • Verify the integrity & availability of key processes
    • Change kernel runtime parameters, persistent & non-persistent
    • Use scripting to automate system maintenance tasks
    • Manage the startup process & services
    • List & identify SELinux/AppArmor file & process contexts
    • Configure & modify SELinux/AppArmor policies
    • Instal software form source
  • Networking (15%)
    • Configure networking & hostname resolution statically or dynamically
    • Configure network services to start automatically at boot
    • Implement packet filtering
    • Configure firewall settings
    • Start, stop, & check the status of network services
    • Statically route IP traffic
    • Dynamically route IP traffic
    • Synchronize time using other network peers
  • Service Configuration (10%)
    • Configure a basic DNS server
    • Maintain a DNS zone
    • Configure an FTP server
    • Configure anonymous-only download on FTP servers
    • Provide/configure network shares via NFS
    • Provide/configure network shares via CIFS
    • Configure email aliases
    • Configure SSH servers & clients
    • Configure SSH-based remote access using public/private key pairs
    • Restrict access to the HTTP proxy server
    • Configure an IMAP & IMAPS service
    • Query & modify the behavior of system services at various run levels
    • Configure an HTTP server
    • Configure HTTP server log files
    • Restrict access to a web page
    • Diagnose routine SELinux/AppArmor policy violations
    • Configure database server
  • Virtualization (5%)
    • Configure a hypervisor to host virtual guests
    • Access a VM console
    • Configure systems to launch virtual machines at boot
    • Evaluate memory usage of virtual machines
    • Resize RAM or storage of VMs
  • Storage Management (10%)
    • List, create, delete, & modify storage partitions
    • Create, modify & delete Logical Volumes
    • Extend existing Logical Volumes & filesystems
    • Create & configure encrypted partitions
    • Configure systems to mount file systems at or during boot
    • Configure & manage swap space
    • Add new partitions & logical volumes
    • Assemble partitions as RAID devices
    • Configure systems to mount standard, encrypted, & network file systems on demand
    • Create & manage filesystem Access Control Lists (ACLs)
    • Diagnose & correct file permission problems
    • Setup user & group disk quotas for filesystems

This is just a partial list of the overall exam objectives in each area. You want to reference the official Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam information when studying for this exam. It is also recommended that you read and get familiar with the Linux Foundation Certification Candidate Handbook.

Studying & Training Resources

There are a number of study resources available to learn Linux management and administration. Below is a list of some of the most notable resources available:

Free Courseware

Paid Courseware

Books

Happy Studying!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a trainer, and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

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