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New O'Reilly Book Helps Linux Administrators Prepare for Certification Exams

Press release: June 8, 2001

Sebastopol, CA--As the use of Linux by large corporations and the general public increases, so has the demand for qualified Linux administrators and technicians. Consequently, there has also emerged a need for a means by which to objectively measure these administrators' skills. Understandably, there is some controversy surrounding certification of Linux professionals; some fear that certification will give an edge in the job market to less experienced candidates who hold the appropriate certification over more experienced candidates who lack certification. While these fears are not unfounded, the benefits of a certification program would seem to far outweigh them if Linux is to continue to expand into the mainstream.

"Over the last few years the status of Linux has changed significantly in the press and popular opinion," says Jeffrey Dean, author of LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, US $39.95). "Once a niche solution at best, it's now a strategic technology for major corporations like IBM and Dell. It has also popularized Open Source and Free Software, and has the attention of Microsoft. I don't see this trend slowing anytime soon, so the need for qualified Linux administrators is likely to rise. The LPI program serves this growing market with an affordable, objective certification. This book prepares candidates with detailed information and examples."

The LPI (Linux Professional Institute) certification program is one of a number of programs formed over the last few years to provide certification for Linux administrators. As Dean explains, each of the existing programs approaches the problem of certifying Linux administrators in a different way. While Dean's book covers the range of topics that will be useful to all system administrators who use Linux, his focus is on preparing for the LPI certification examination. Deans says, "The LPI is vendor-neutral and a not-for-profit organization, which make it unique in the Linux certification market. As for the future, as a certified professional myself, I hope the market fully embraces these skill sets."

Dean's book is divided into two parts, one for each of the LPI Level 1 Exams (Level 1 is aimed at junior to mid-level Linux administrators). Each part features a summary of the exam, a highlighter's index, labs, suggested exercises, and practice exams.

Part 1 covers the General Linux Exam 101, which mainly tests knowledge of facts, including commands and their common options, important file locations, configuration syntax, and common procedures. Part 1 includes the following:

  • GNU and Unix commands
  • Devices, Linux file systems, and the file system hierarchy standard
  • Boot, initialization, shutdown and run levels
  • Documentation
  • Administrative tasks
  • Hardware and architecture

Part II of the book covers General Linux Exam 102, which tests a slightly broader range of administration skills, including basics such as PC architecture and Linux installation, GUI (X Windows) customization, and networking. Part II includes the following:

  • Linux installation and package management
  • The Linux kernel
  • Text editing, processing, and printing
  • Shells, scripting, programming, and compiling
  • X-Windows
  • Networking fundamentals
  • Network services
  • Security

LPI Linux Certification In a Nutshell is designed to help system administrators prepare for the LPI certification exams, but even experienced Linux administrators can benefit from a full review of this material. The tutorial-style approach will help newbies learn more about their Linux systems. Dean adds, "This book makes no assumptions about Linux experience, and will be very effective for those coming from other computer systems such as Windows or mainframes."

Jeffrey Dean is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), freelance author, editor, and consultant with professional experience in IT management, training delivery, and system administration of the VMS, Unix, AS/400, and Windows NT operating systems.

Online Resources:

LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell
By Jeffrey Dean
June 2001
ISBN 1-565-92748-6, 550 pages, $39.95 (US)

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