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The Linux Professional

Linux Professional Institute Certification


Welcome to the third article of The Linux Professional. In last month's column I detailed my experience with the Red Hat Certified Engineer program. This month I'd like to explore the Linux Professional Institute's first exam, No. 101, which I took in January 2000 (and described briefly in the first article in this series). LPI is a nonprofit, vendor-neutral organization set up with the goal of creating an international standard for certifying Linux professionals.

Exam 101 is currently available at Virtual University Enterprises affiliated testing centers. You'll need to establish an account prior to registering for exams.

LPI Exams

To attain the LPI's first level of Linux certification (LPIC Level 1), candidates must pass two General Linux exams:

The Institute released exam 101 in January 2000. Exam 102 will be released in mid-April 2000.

The LPI also defines two higher certification levels, Level 2 and Level 3. Level 2 certification will require two exams:

  • 201, Advanced Administration, and
  • 202, Linux Optimization.

Level 2 exams are currently under development, but availability dates are not yet available. Level 3 will require two specialized exams from an array of offerings, to be created after Level 2 is complete.

In my first article I labeled LPI's offerings community testing because exam content is largely contributed by volunteers from the Linux community. While it is unclear how industry will react the the various Linux certifications available, LPI's approach should yield a well rounded set of exams which represent the interests of Linux administrators in the field.

While the LPI could field a single exam for their LPIC Level I certification, testing centers could find that a long, involved test is too difficult to schedule and deploy. Also, examinees may be put off by sitting for hours taking the tests or by the sizable lump-sum cost that would be necessary. Instead, LPI is creating multiple exams of managable duration and cost, along the lines of other established exam programs. With this goal in mind LPI divided its Level 1 topics into two parts, yielding exams 101 and 102. Together, these exams are intended to represent a Linux administrator's basic responsibilities. Because both exams are required, there's no point to taking only one, so plan on registering for both exam 101 and 102 to complete your first level of LPI certification. Exam 101 consists of 60 questions to be answered in 90 minutes, and costs USD $100. Specifics on exam 102 aren't yet available.

In the discussion that follows, you'll note that the numbers assigned to exam topics aren't sequential. For example, exam 101 begins with topic 1.3, and continues with topic 2.4. This is due to organizational changes made by the LPI as their program developed. The numbering from their original setup remains to avoid a confusing migration. For examinees, use the topic numbers only as references. They do not relate to exam numbers or certification levels.

Pages: 1, 2, 3

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