Passed Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator


It’s been a long time since the last blog’s post – weeks and months. I was and am extremely busy working on some projects and .. preparation to my first ever Linux exam – Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or just LFCS.

If you have ever looked at About section, you may already know that my main experience has always been associated to Microsoft products/hardware, however, I have been working with Linux for 2+ years so far since I had started as a DevOps engineer. Being a DevOps engineer is always about dealing with different environments, 3rd party tools, clouds and automation. So, after years of experience in Linux and it’s terminal, I had decided to prove and even broaden my knowledge by taking one of the highly valued and respected exam from the Linux Foundation.

About the exam

  1. Duration of Exam 2 hours . In fact, you won’t be able to read man pages, which is available during the exam, because of the lack of time. Really. I could read and complete all 24 questions, and I had nearly no time left. My advice – use grep , man search to save some time. If you spend more than 1-2 mins reading the man, you will probably fail 🙂
  2. 100% performance-based. The LFCS exam requires all work to be done on the command-line. I chose the Ubuntu 18.04, however, it will be updated to Ubuntu 20.04 and CentOS Stream 8 soon (at the end of April, as I know).
    I really enjoyed this format and would like to have the same provided by Microsoft. Reasons? Checks your real experience and skills, completely protects against the “dumpers” (LF exams don’t have any dumps available as far as I know – my respect to LF!), proctored exams and strict requirements (voice/video and screen sharing, I was asked to turn off even my speakers and then take them away of the table..), duration is also an additional challenge. Overall, I’d rate the exam 10/10.
Exam’s interface. You just have a terminal window, a few servers already prepared and 24 performance-based tasks (all should be done using CLI)

Requirements and preparation

  1. At least 1 year of a real experience with Ubuntu Server or CentOS
  2. Initially, I purchased a bundle (exam and the official companion course that costs about 500$). However, I’d recommend not wasting time on the official course ’cause it’s almost have much text and a bit of practice in fact (boring and not efficient). Instead, buy this course , read man/official docs and do A LOT of practice, learn CLI tips and tricks (key bindings and etc..)
  3. Read carefully each of questions, spend not more about 5-7 mins on one questions, note the weight of the question ( it can be 2, 3% or even 8%, so if you can’t do a question with 2% weight quickly, go ahead and try to do questions that have more weight). I did all 24 questions (partly or completely), so wasn’t worry about the grade result.
  4. If you like reading books, I’d recommend the latest edition of the Linux Bible by Christopher Negus, which actually is one of the best book available in the market. What makes the book unique? It’s structure – every chapter has a summary followed by practice tasks, and meets the exam’s domains and competences. Just start reading from the first page, do tasks and master your CLI skills. Although the book was initially written for CentOS, however, the author made some changes in the recent editions to fit Ubuntu as well. In short, a fundamental work that deserves to be assessed by making a purchase.
  5. Sleep well, don’t drink the day before the exam 🙂

I wish you good luck and don’t ever give up.

LFCS: Linux Foundation Certified Systems Administrator

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