RHCE: Learning the Linux Essentials

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So you know a lot about computers. You’ve been around them for most of your career, and hardly anything can surprise you anymore. Now you want to prove it. One sure way to prove you’ve got what it takes is to get a certification.

One cert that can help prove what you can do is the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). It’s a certification that doesn’t have tricks, games and multiple-choice. It’s just you and the box you’ve got to make work. Just like real life — you either do it, or you don’t. When the test is over, there is only one thing that counts, and that’s, “Does it work?” And when it does work and you receive your scores, you’ll know that your hard-earned certificate is not just a cool-sounding title. It also tells the world that you know what you’re doing.

What Will You Learn?
RHCE is a performance-based test that measures actual competency on live systems. RHCE proves an individual’s ability to configure networking services and security on servers running a Red Hat operating system. The RHCE program provides performance-based certification at two critical job-role levels: Technician (RHCT) and Engineer (RHCE).

There are two RHCE program curriculum tracks: rapid and standard. The RH300 RHCE Rapid Track course is aimed at those who already possess significant systems administration experience and knowledge in a UNIX or Linux environment and who desire to become certified at the level indicated above.

Good candidates for RHCE are experienced UNIX systems administrators and UNIX system engineers, experienced UNIX or Linux network engineers, NOC and ISP technical staffers, experienced Linux systems administrators and engineers, and other UNIX and/or Linux power-users who might want focused training and certification on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The standard track consists of three courses — RH033, RH133, RH253 — and is aimed at those who need more review of key concepts or who are new to both UNIX and Linux.

There is also a fourth course, RH035 Red Hat Linux Essentials for Windows Professionals, which is an extended version of RH033 intended for those experienced in managing Windows OS servers using a graphic user interface.

RH033 targets IT professionals with no prior UNIX or Linux experience and covers skills to prepare for RH133, including shell and command-line essentials, while RH035 is an extended version of RH033 intended for Windows system administrators, technicians and power users with no prior UNIX or Linux experience.

RH133 prepares students for professional responsibilities as a Linux systems administrator at the technician level. You’ll learn all the skills required to manage a Linux workstation and attach it to a corporate network, including configuration of client-side network services. Prerequisites include networking fundamentals and internetworking with TCP/IP, which are widely available from reputable training vendors or through self-study.

RH133 now includes the four-hour RHCT exam on the fifth day. RHCT certification indicates candidates have passed a realistic performance-based lab exam that tests their ability in professional responsibilities such as installing, configuring, attaching and supporting Red Hat Linux systems on an existing production network.

The final part of the RHCE track, RH253, is designed for those who desire to build skills at configuring and administering a Red Hat Linux server running key enterprise network services and security. Prerequisites include RH133 or equivalent skills.

RHCE certification indicates that the person has passed a realistic performance-based lab exam that tests their readiness for professional responsibilities in setting up, configuring and managing a Red Hat Linux server running common enterprise networking services and security.

For all certified professionals, Red Hat provides complete verification of their RHCE certification, including version numbers, on the Red Hat Training page (www.redhat.com/training), so that employers and customers can make their own informed decisions based on what version they are actually running and how critical re-certification is for their own requirements.

The validity period for all RHCEs and RHCTs is pegged to the release of the Enterprise Linux product commercially available at the time certification was earned, and certification will remain current until after one major release of the Enterprise product. As an example, all RHCEs earned on Red Hat Linux 4 will be considered current until the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Validity and current status of an RHCE certificate will continue to be verified at Certification Central, described in detail below.

Red Hat Online Perks
One cool place for Red Hat certified professional to visit is Certification Central, or Cert Central for short. Linked from www.redhat.com/training, this password-protected site provides course updates as well as additional benefits, such as an editable online profile listed under your certificate number, which always comes in handy during job searches.

The Web site also features an RHCE employment area powered by Dice.com, displaying all jobs currently listed on Dice.com requiring a Red Hat certified professional. Users will need a valid RHCE certificate number to log in, but they can check out the full list of benefits at https://www.redhat.com/training/certification today.

Next Steps
So what do you need to do next? The first step should be Red Hat’s pre-assessment tests, designed to match your level of skill and experience with the right Red Hat course. The tests are completely free and fully automated, so you can try your hand at any time and get instant results and class recommendations. You can find the tests at https://www.redhat.com/apps/training/assess.

Once you’ve decided which class to take, look it up in the Red Hat Course Finder (https://www.redhat.com/apps/training/?saba_search:restart_cb), or in the Training and Certification catalog (https://www.redhat.com/training/training_catalog.html). With more than 50 training facilities in North America, you can be sure to find a location close to where you live.

Alex Maier is a senior marketing specialist at Red Hat. She can be reached at amaier@certmag.com.

Overview of the RHCE curriculum



  • RH033 Red Hat Linux Essentials (https://www.redhat.com/training/rhce/courses/rh033.html): For individuals with no command-line experience in Linux or UNIX who want to develop skills for using and customizing Red Hat Linux workstations.
  • RH035 Red Hat Linux Essentials for Windows Professionals (https://www.redhat.com/training/rhce/courses/rh035.html): Designed for Windows professionals with no prior UNIX or Linux experience, this course teaches fundamental Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administration skills.
  • RH133 System Administration (https://www.redhat.com/training/rhce/courses/rh133.html): For users of Linux/UNIX who want to start building skills in systems administration on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a level where they can attach and configure a workstation on an existing network. Includes the RH202 RHCT Certification Lab Exam on the last day.
  • RH253 Red Hat Linux Networking & Security Administration (
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