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Linux certification training videos earn extra credit

RHCE and RHCSA are the most sought-after certifications in the Linux world, and those looking to pass their exams now have a cheaper interactive Linux certification training option.

Linux expert Sander van Vugt created two video training courses, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Complete Video Course and The Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) Complete Video Course (out in December 2014) with Pearson IT Certification to help professionals and beginners get Linux credentials on the most widely used commercial distribution. Each video provides hours of detailed lessons to prepare for the RHCE and RHCSA exams.

This clip, "Understanding Memory Usage," is from Lesson 10 of The Red Hat Certified System Administrator RHCSA complete video course, in which van Vugt provides an overview of Linux memory usage. For an overview, he starts with [root@rhelserver /]# free –m. He explains cache memory, total, used and free memory, buffers and swap.

The version 7 update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) brought a lot of changes in the distribution's context.

"Linux 7 is just so different," said van Vugt. For example, systemd, the way in which the system starts, is new to RHEL 7, replacing Upstart. Systemd put RHEL system administration on a new course, and the exams reflect that.

The RHCE exam was two hours long with RHEL 6. For RHEL 7, it is a four-hour test.

"[Red Hat] wanted to provide more value by making it more difficult, and introduce new topics," he said.

The operating system isn't the only place you see change, said van Vugt; you see completely new topics, like Internet small computer interface

The RHCE certification is the most highly sought-after credential for working Linux administrators, and most people fail the exam on their first try, said van Vugt.

"You need formal training and preparation, not just job skills. You need to know about all topics that administrators don't do in practice in the data center," van Vugt said.

Red Hat's Linux certification training courses involve a classroom, a professor and a lecture. Sander van Vugt's video training courses give certification seekers the flexibility to replay videos as much as needed to understand the material, wherever they happen to be. The courses also provide an outlet for questions and interaction with other Linux-cert hopefuls.

"The website is a platform to get in touch with people who also watched the video. It's interactive through the site," van Vugt said, so "you get the real classroom experience."

Sander van Vugt recommends gaining real Linux admin skills as well before attempting to take the test. It takes about six months of experience with a Linux operating system to pass the RHCSA. For the RHCE, you need to be a Linux pro for about two years. Thoroughly go through the tasks in different ways, and in different situations, he advised.

"You can't just become certified because you memorized some questions -- you have to do the real job," van Vugt said. Linux-cert hopefuls should practice for about one or two months, for about eight to 10 hours a week, before taking the exam.

Editor's note: This excerpt is from The Red Hat Certified System Administrator RHCSA Complete Video Course, Lesson 10, by Sander van Vugt.

About the presenter:
Sander van Vugt is an independent trainer and consultant based in the Netherlands. He is an expert in Linux high availability, virtualization and performance. He has authored many books on Linux topics, including Beginning the Linux Command LineBeginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration and Pro Ubuntu Server Administration.

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What Linux certifications do you have? Which are the most important?
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Unfortunately, I do not have any Linux certifications. However, I work with clients who are serious about this and so most of their team members are indeed certified. The most common ones are RedHat certifications (RHCE / RHCSA / RHCA). The other popular certifications are CompTIA Linux+. and LPIC.
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