Linux+ certification: Related training and courses [2022 update]
Many people use the Linux operating system (OS) at home and the office; it runs on personal computers, mobile devices and web server systems on-premise, hosted or in the cloud. Why so many Linux addicts? Free, open-source and with a community of enthusiastic supporters and experts, Linux is the choice of many for private and commercial purposes, as it allows total control and customization.
In the course of their career, most IT professionals will assume responsibilities that include installing, configuring and maintaining Linux servers and workstations in roles like administrator, security researcher or ethical hacker, just to name a few. So, obtaining the intermediate-level CompTIA Linux+ certification is a good option for enhancing a career. This infrastructure-specific credential helps prove an IT practitioner’s hands-on experience with Linux OS.
An overview of CompTIA Linux+
Linux+ covers foundational skills (from configuration to command lines and simple scripts) and tasks associated with all major distributions of the operating system. These foundational skills make Linux+ a good stepping stone towards more advanced or vendor-specific credentials.
On July 12, 2022, a new CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-005) was made available to align with evolving job roles with an increased focus on automation, cloud, scripting and virtualization. Concepts include cutting-edge technologies that can help automate and orchestrate business processes, including infrastructure as code and containers. In particular, according to CompTIA, the new version focuses on:
- Configuring and managing software, storage, processes and services
- Analyzing system properties and processes and troubleshooting user, application and hardware issues
- Understanding best practices for permissions and authentication, firewalls and file management
- Creating simple shell scripts and executing basic BASH scripts, version control using Git and orchestration processes
What is on the Linux+ exam?
Candidates will need to prove their knowledge across a variety of certification exam objectives, which are divided into four domains:
1. System Management (32%)
This domain covers Linux fundamentals, explores Linux command-line tools and delves into managing files, directories, configurations, storage, processes and services.
2. Security (21%)
This domain looks at best practices to ensure the greatest security of Linux systems through appropriate access controls. It touches upon additional layers of authentication, identity management, implementing and configuring firewalls and remote connectivity for system management.
3. Scripting, Containers, and Automation (19%)
This domain covers shell scripts to automate common tasks and basic container operations, Git for version control, common infrastructure as code technologies and the concepts of cloud, orchestration and containers.
4. Troubleshooting (28%)
This domain goes into troubleshooting Linux-related issues (e.g., network resources, CPUs, memory, user access and file permissions).
The Linux+ exam contains a maximum number of 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions to be answered in less than 90 minutes. CompTIA has a passing score of 720 (on a scale of 100 to 900).
Recommended experience for the Linux+ exam: CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, and 12 months of hands-on experience working with Linux servers in a junior Linux support engineer or junior cloud/DevOps support engineer role.
The CompTIA Linux+ exam is available only in English and costs $358.
This exam covers a wide variety of topics, including:
- Kernel modules
- Storage and visualization
- Device management at an enterprise level
- Git and automation
- Networking and firewalls
- Server side and command line
- Server (vs. client-based) coverage
- Automation and scripting
The new subject areas include:
- Containerization of systems running Linux systems
- Developers using Linux for IoT applications
- Automation and scripting
- Infrastructure as code using Ansible, Chef, Puppet
- Automation via SSH
- Docker vs. Kubernetes vs. Podman
How to sign up for the exam?
Professionals can head to the CompTIA Marketplace and purchase the exam voucher needed to sign up for the test. Once they have purchased the Linux+ voucher, they will need to find a testing location and schedule a session at a Pearson VUE test center which is the authorized provider of CompTIA exams. Testers must sign in to their certification account to make the appointment for the Linux+ exam.
Candidates will receive a confirmation email with registration details and additional info they will need to provide to the testing center. The voucher will be used to schedule and sit for the exam on or before the expiration date.
Proctored online options are also possible. Testers will need to sign a Candidate Agreement and ensure they can satisfy all the computer, internet connection and workplace requirements to take the test.
After completing the examination, testers who pass will receive a congratulatory email from CompTIA Certmetrics with instructions on accessing their record. Those who fail can access a score report that provides additional detail on which areas of the exam they performed well or need improvement. The report helps them focus their study on any additional certification exam attempts.
Who should earn the CompTIA Linux+ cert and why?
As CompTIA highlights, Linux skills are a key requisite to progress in a career as Network Administrator, Technical Support Specialist, Web Administrator/Developer and Engineer. Many other professionals can benefit from the knowledge acquired while preparing for such certification.
Being a certified professional in Linux can aid IT practitioners in advancing their careers, changing jobs (for example, taking the plunge into pentesting and ethical hacking) and increasing their ability to be well versed in various OS support skills.
Employers can use this certification to screen professionals in troubleshooting and supporting Linux operating systems. The exam tests for skills companies are now hoping to find in the staff they are hiring.
Someone just starting a Linux career can expect attractive salaries of up to $79,000 per year, according to PayScale.com. Linux Systems administrators’ income is between $54,000-$120,000 yearly. Of course, pay differs according to the certified holders’ experience, tenure or other special skills they may bring to the company; it is also often based on the assignment location. The Certification Magazine 2022 Salary Survey reports that the average base salary of a Linux+ certified professional is $105,140 in the U.S. and $101,080 worldwide.
Is the Linux+ certification worth it?
A CompTIA Linux+ certification is a great option to validate knowledge, refresh skills and prove competency in performing basic system administration tasks including executing common Linux commands and utilities; configuring the graphical user interface, managing user accounts and system logging; writing shell scripts; troubleshooting network infrastructure; and maintaining systems security that runs multi-container applications.
Linux Foundation’s 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report shows that most employers (93%) have difficulty finding sufficient talent with open-source skills. This is an issue, as 46% of employers reported planning to increase their open-source hiring in the following six months, and 86% of hiring managers consider hiring open-source talent a priority in 2022.
With 69% hiring managers more likely to hire certified open-source professionals and the number of positions available in continuous growth due to the increase in DevOps and DevSecOps roles and the growing use of cloud and container technologies, including Linux+ in your career development plans makes absolute sense.
What is the best way to train for the Linux+ exam?
CompTIA, of course, offers its own training for Linux+.
- CertMaster Learn™ for Linux+ includes instructional lessons with videos, practice questions, performance-based questions and a final assessment.
- CertMaster Labs™ for Linux+ prepares candidates for the hands-on aspects of the CompTIA Linux+ exam objectives through access to real equipment and software environments.
- CertMaster Practice™ for Linux+ helps candidates to close knowledge gaps through an assessment and training tool. It features question-first design, learning analytics and content refreshers.
In addition, the Official CompTIA Linux+ Student Guide (Exam XK0-005) eBook “teach[es] the knowledge and skills needed to configure, manage, operate, and troubleshoot Linux on-premises and cloud-based server environments, while using security best practices, scripting, containerization and automation.” This self-paced study guide can be bundled with other products including CertMaster Practice and Labs.
These are by far not the only options available, though. If you want to ensure you’re fully prepared for your exam and get certified on your first attempt, you might want to consider the many other online options through reputable training providers that offer Linux+-related courses which can provide theory and extensive hands-on experience. The availability of other providers ensures you can tailor your preparation to your learning style, availability and needs.
- Linux+, CompTIA
- CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA
- What is Linux?, Opensource.com
- Certification Vouchers, CompTIA
- Certification Guide: Linux+, CompTIA
- CompTIA Certification Testing, Pearson VUE
- Getting Started in a Linux Career, CompTIA
- How To Study for CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA
- CompTIA Linux+ Certification Training, CompTIA
- 5 Jobs You Could Get with CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA
- Salary for Certification: CompTIA Linux+, PayScale
- 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report, Linux Foundation
- The New CompTIA Linux+: Your Questions Answered, CompTIA
- Introducing the CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway, CompTIA
- Linux+ Certification Exam Objectives: XK0-005, CompTIA
- Linux+ XK0-005 vs XK0-004 Exam Objectives Comparison, CompTIA
- 2022 Annual Salary Survey, Certification Magazine