Tag Archives: certification

Linux+, LPIC-1, and Novell CLA Achieved

I passed CompTIA’s LX0-101 and LX0-102 a few weeks ago. I am now CompTIA Linux+ and LPIC-1 certified. I can turn that in and be granted Novell’s Certified Linux Administrator as well. It was harder than I thought, and when I submitted the exam today I fully expected to have failed it. I used Roderick Smith’s Linux+ Complete book to study with, but either I didn’t read every page closely or there were some things left out. I’m pretty sure that IPv4 subnetting wasn’t covered in the book, but I was asked to tell how many addresses there were in a /26 subnet and couldn’t do it. Maybe that was one of those “unscored” questions they talk about in the introduction.

Oh, well. Passing is passing. I’m not a daily network guy so I don’t fault myself for not being able to calculate that number.  Now it’s on to CE|H and Microsoft products since I’m teaching Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure and Directory Services courses next semester.

On second thought, I may as well continue with LPI and go for the LPIC-2 certification, for which there is no definitive study guide.  The objectives are there at LPI’s site, and aside from the book written by Roderick Smith, there isn’t really a study guide.  Through LPI I did find some free sources, but they’re a bit dated.  Still useful, I’m sure.  Compiling a kernel and changing options can’t have changed that much since they were written.

I’m not going to commit to anything here, but as I continue my study over these objectives, I would like to say that I’ll write about what I find so I can help you study too.  First, though, let’s look at the objectives for exam 201, the first of two exams required for LPIC-2:

LPI Exam 201 covers the following main topics:

  • Linux Kernel
  • System Startup
  • Filesystem and Devices
  • Advanced Storage Device Administration
  • Networking Configuration
  • System Maintenance
  • Domain Name Server

It appears that the objectives will be updated on August 1 2012, and I’ll look at that when the time  comes.

Topic 201: Linux Kernel

201.1 – Kernel Components

I suppose this is all about the kernel, options, compiling, boot configuration (choosing a kernel to boot), hardware drivers, and knowing your way around.

201.2 – Compiling a Kernel

This deals with compiling (obviously) the kernel and switching options/features on and off, plus some.

201.3 – Patching a Kernel

This covers updating the kernel for additional hardware support (presumably when changing or upgrading system hardware).

201.4 – Customize, Build, and Install a Custom Kernel and Kernel Modules

Kernel 2.6 building for specific requirements by changing various options and adding/removing patches.  This also covers assessing the requirements for compiling the kernel.

201.5 – Manage/Query Kernel and Kernel Modules at Runtime

Just what that says.  Manage and query a 2.6 kernel and its loadable modules.

Topic 202: System Startup

202.1 – Customizing System Startup and Boot Processes

Look at and change the system services behavior at startup and at various run levels.  This requires “a thorough understanding of the init structure and boot process.”

202.2 – System Recovery

This tests your ability to work with a Linux system during the boot process and during recovery mode.

Topic 203: Filesystem and Devices

203.1 – Operating the Linux Filesystem

This will also include configuring and mounting different types of filesystems.

203.2 – Maintaining a Linux Filesystem

Use system utilities to properly maintain a Linux filesystem. fsck, xfs_repair, tune2fs, etc…

203.3 – Creating and Configuring Filesystem Options

Use AutoFS to configure automount filesystems.

203.4 – udev Device Management

Understand device detection and management under udev.  Troubleshooting udev rules.

Topic 204: Advanced Storage Device Administration

204.1 – Configuring RAID

Configure and implement software RAID.  Levels 0, 1, and 5.

204.2 – Adjusting Storage Device Access

Configure kernel options to support various drives.

204.3 – Logical Volume Manager

Create and remove LVs, VGs, and PVs.  Includes snapshots and resizing LVs.

Topic 205: Networking Configuration

 205.1 – Basic Networking Configuration

Configure a network device, wireless, WAN.  Also communicate between various subnets within a single network.

205.2 – Advanced Network Configuration and Troubleshooting

Configure network authentication.  VPN, multi-homed devices, communication problems.

205.3 – Troubleshooting Network Issues

Identify and correct common setup issues, must know location of all network config files.

205.4 – Notify Users on System-Related Issues

Automate communication with users through logon messages and inform inactive users of maintenance.

Topic 206: System Maintenance

206.1 – Make and Install Programs from Source

Build and install software packages from source code, including the ability to unpack a file of sources.

206.2 – Backup Operations

Use system tools to back up and restore critical system and application data.

Topic 207: Domain Name Server

207.1 – Basic DNS Server Configuration

Configure BIND as caching-only, convert older BIND config files to newer format, and manage a server to include logging configuration.

207.2 – Create and Maintain DNS Zones

Create a zone file for forward and reverse zones or a root level server.  Know all about DNS records and zone delegation.

207.3 – Securing a DNS Server

Configure DNS to run as a non-root user and in a chroot jail.  Secure communication between DNS servers.

 

Well, that’ s a doozy.  I understand most of that, but it likely will be some time before I schedule the exam.  There’s also another exam just as long with different objectives you must pass in order to get the LPIC-2 credential.  Let me know in the comments whether you’re interested in any of this or not!

I’d love to write articles on each objective, and if you want to write one too I’ll publish it here with your permission.  There’s no reason that a community can’t be built to gain more knowledge.

 

Exam 1 (LX0-101) Objectives

This comes directly from the PDF available at CompTIA.org and is obviously subject to change there without notice.  As I have said before, there are 60 questions on the first test and you have 90 minutes to complete it.  You can read more about those exam details here. There are four domains covered in the first exam:

  1. System Architecture
  2. Linux Installation and Package Management
  3. GNU and UNIX commands, and
  4. Devices, Linux Filesystems, Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

This will not be an exhaustive list of the items that could be covered in the exam.

101: System Architecture

  • 101.1: Determine and Configure Hardware Settings
    • Enable and disable integrated peripherals
    • Configure systems with or without external peripherals such as keyboards
    • Differentiate between the various types of mass storage devices
    • Set the correct hardware ID for different devices, especially the boot device
    • Know the differences between coldplug and hotplug devices
    • Determine hardware resources for devices
    • Tools and utilities to list various hardware information (e.g. lsusb, lspci, etc.)
    • Tools and utilities to manipulate USB devices
    • Conceptual understanding of sysfs, udev, hald, dbus
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /sys
      • /proc
      • /dev
      • modprobe
      • lsmod
      • lspci
      • lsusb
  • 101.2: Boot the System
    • Provide common commands to the boot loader and options to the kernel at boot time
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the boot sequence from BIOS to boot completion
    • Check boot events in the log file
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /var/log/messages
      • dmesg
      • BIOS
      • bootloader
      • kernel
      • init
  • 101.3: Change Runlevels and Shutdown or Reboot the System
    • Set the default runlevel
    • Change between runlevels including single user mode
    • Shutdown and reboot from the command line
    • Alert users before switching runlevels or other major system events
    • Properly terminate processes
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /etc/inittab
      • shutdown
      • init
      • /etc/init.d
      • telinit

102: Linux Installation and Package Management

  • 102.1: Design Hard Disk Layout
    • Allocate filesystems and swap space to separate partitions or disks
    • Tailor the design to the intended use of the system
    • Ensure the /boot partition conforms to the hardware architecture requirements for booting
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • / (root) filesystem
      • /var filesystem
      • /home filesystem
      • swap space
      • mount points
      • partitions
  • 102.2: Install a Boot Manager
    • Provide alternative boot locations and backup boot options
    • Install and configure a boot loader such as GRUB
    • Interact with the boot loader
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /boot/grub/menu.lst
      • grub-install
      • MBR
      • superblock
      • /etc/lilo.conf
      • lilo
  • 102.3: Managed Shared Libraries
    • Identify shared libraries
    • Identify the typical locations of system libraries
    • Load shared libraries
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • ldd
      • ldconfig
      • /etc/ld.so.conf
      • LD_LIBRARY_PATH
  • 102.4: Use Debian Package Management
    • Install, upgrade, and uninstall Debian binary packages
    • Find packages containing specific files or libraries which may or may not be installed
    • Obtain package information like version, content, dependencies, package integrity, and installation status (whether or not the package is installed)
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /etc/apt/sources.list
      • dpkg
      • dpkg-reconfigure
      • apt-get
      • apt-cache
      • aptitude
  • 102.5: Use RPM and YUM Package Management
    • Install, re-install, upgrade, and remove packages using RPM and YUM
    • Obtain information on RPM packages such as version, status, dependencies, integrity, and signatures
    • Determine what files a package provides, as well as find which package a specific file comes from
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • rpm
      • rpm2cpio
      • /etc/yum.conf
      • /etc/yum.repos.d
      • yum
      • yumdownloader

103: GNU and UNIX Commands

  • 103.1: Work on the Command Line
    • Use single shell commands and one line command sequences to perform basic tasks on the command line
    • Use and modify the shell environment including defining, referencing, and exporting environment variables
    • Use and edit command history
    • Invoke commands inside and outside the defined path
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • .
      • bash
      • echo
      • env
      • exec
      • export
      • pwd
      • set
      • unset
      • man
      • uname
      • history
  • 103.2: Process Text Streams Using Filters
    • Send text files and output streams through text utility filters to modify the output using standard UNIX commands found in the GNU textutils package
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • cat
      • cut
      • expand
      • fmt
      • head
      • od
      • join
      • nl
      • paste
      • pr
      • sed
      • sort
      • split
      • tail
      • tr
      • unexpand
      • uniq
      • wc
  • 103.3: Perform Basic File Management
    • Copy, move, and remove files and directories individually
    • Copy multiple files and directories recursively
    • Remove files and directories recursively
    • Use simple and advanced wildcard specifications in commands
    • Use find to locate and act on files based on type, size, or time
    • Usage of tar, cpio, and dd
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • cp
      • find
      • mkdir
      • mv
      • ls
      • rm
      • rmdir
      • touch
      • tar
      • cpio
      • dd
      • file
      • gzip
      • gunzip
      • bzip2
      • file globbing
  • 103.4: Use Streams, Pipes, and Redirects
    • Redirect standard input, standard output, and standard error
    • Pipe the output of one command to the input of another command
    • Use the output of one command as arguments to another command
    • Send output to both stdout and a file
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • tee
      • xargs
  • 103.5: Create, Monitor, and Kill Processes
    • Run jobs in the foreground and the background
    • Signal a program to continue running after logout
    • Monitor active processes
    • Select and sort processes for display
    • Send signals to processes
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • &
      • bg
      • fg
      • jobs
      • kill
      • nohup
      • ps
      • top
      • free
      • uptime
      • killall
  • 103.6: Modify Process Execution Priorities
    • Know the default priority of a job that is created
    • Run a program with higher or lower priority than the default
    • Change the priority of a running process
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • nice
      • ps
      • renice
      • top
  • 103.7: Search Text Files Using Regular Expressions
    • Create simple regular expressions containing several notational elements
    • Use regular expression tools to perform searches through a filesystem or file content
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • grep
      • egrep
      • fgrep
      • sed
      • regex(7)
  • 103.8: Perform Basic File Editing Operations Using vi
    • Navigate a document using vi
    • Use basic vi modes
    • Insert, edit, delete, copy, and find text
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • vi
      • /, ?
      • h,j,k,l
      • i,o,a
      • c,d,p,y,dd,yy
      • ZZ, :w!, :q!, :e!

104: Devices, Linux Filesystems, Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

  • 104.1: Create Partitions and Filesystems
    • Use various mkfs commands to set up partitions and create various fileystems such as:
      • ext2
      • ext3
      • xfs
      • reiserfs v3
      • vfat
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • fdisk
      • mkfs
      • mkswap
  • 104.2: Maintain the Integrity of Filesystems
    • Verify the integrity of filesystems
    • Monitor free space and inodes
    • Repair simple filesystem problems
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • du
      • df
      • fsck
      • e2fsck
      • mke2fs
      • debugfs
      • dumpe2fs
      • tune2fs
      • xfs tools such as xfs_metadump and xfs_info
  • 104.3: Control Mounting and Unmounting of Filesystems
    • Manually mount and unmount filesystems
    • Configure filesystem mounting at boot
    • Configure user-mountable removable filesystems
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • /etc/fstab
      • /media
      • mount
      • umount
  • 104.4: Manage Disk Quotas
    • Set up a disk quota for a filesystem
    • Edit, check, and generate user quota reports
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • quota
      • edquota
      • repquota
      • quotaon
  • 104.5: Manage File Permissions and Ownership
    • Manage access permissions on regular and special files as well as directories
    • Use access modes such as suid, sgid, and the sticky bit to maintain security
    • Know how to change the file creation mask
    • Use the group field to grant file access to group members
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • chmod
      • umask
      • chown
      • chgrp
  • 104.6: Create and Change Hard and Symbolic Links
    • Create links
    • Identify hard and/or softlinks
    • Copying versus linking files
    • Use links to support system administration tasks
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • ln
  • 104.7: Find System Files and Place Files in the Correct Location
    • Understand the correct locations of files under the FHS (File Hierarchy Standard)
    • Find files and commands on a Linux system
    • Know the location and purpose of important file and directories as defined in the FHS
    • The following is a partial list of the used files, terms, and utilities:
      • find
      • locate
      • updatedb
      • whereis
      • which
      • type
      • /etc/updatedb.conf

The Time is Now…

Studying for an IT industry certification is not as fun as it may seem.  Many of my friends have certifications (and some don’t but should) and they always talk about it like it was cake.

I picked up my first certification manual for CompTIA A+ in 2000.  I will take the tests for this certification next Monday, about 7 years after I began studying.  Since the beginning of this journey, CompTIA has changed the objectives twice.  Once in 2003, and last year.  It’s time I bit the bullet and got certified, don’t you think?

That’s the reason I haven’t been blogging lately.  I scheduled these exams last Friday and put my brain to work in a 600-page book that covers the following exam objectives:

A+ Essentials (Exam 640-201):

  1. Personal Computer Components
  2. Laptops and Portable Devices
  3. Operating Systems
  4. Printers and Scanners
  5. Networks
  6. Security
  7. Safety and Environmental Issues
  8. Professionalism and Communication

A+ IT Technician (Exam 640-202):

  1. Personal Computer Components
  2. Laptops and Portable Devices
  3. Operating Systems
  4. Printers and Scanners
  5. Networks
  6. Security
  7. Safety and Environmental Issues
  8. Professionalism and Communication

The overall objectives of both exams are the same, but I’m sure the IT Technician exam is a bit more technically in-depth and focused on actual field support than the Essentials exam.  For instance, the IT Technician exam objectives include performing preventive maintenance on printers and scanners while the Essentials exam stops short of that.

After one certification with CompTIA (they have many, including Network+, Security+, Linux+ and more) I can use the CompTIA logo on my business card and resume.  In college I learned that it sometimes helps to just put a logo on there.  Same for Microsoft, Cisco, and Novell certifications.  Catches their eye.  Although now most large corporations run your resume through a computer to find matches.  Logos don’t help when you’re being selected by an Intel Processor and a Perl script.

I’ll be busy until Monday afternoon.