Thoughts on the CompTIA Linux+ Exams

A couple of months ago, I successfully completed both of the required tests to obtain the CompTIA Linux+ certification:  the LX0-103 and  LX0-104 exams.  I made the decision to pursue the certification as recent job opportunities have moved me slightly away from the enterprise networking I had been embroiled in, to instead working with Linux servers far more than I previously did.

The exams are the standard CompTIA format 60 questions in multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank.  You have a generous 90 minutes to complete them, and I certainly wasn’t hard up against the clock when question 60 rolled around.  A 500 on a scale from 200-800 is required to pass, the scoring system remains as opaque as it always has been.

I’d say there was as great of a need to split the material into two separate exams as there was for A+, which is to say, there is no need at all.  Let’s not mince words here, it feels like a cash grab and it probably is.  $400 US is a lot of money for someone to pay for a CompTIA certification if the cost comes out of their own pocket.  Obtaining the LPIC certification afterwards, which I discuss more a bit later, carried no additional cost.

In terms of content, I feel like the Linux+ study guide I purchased (LPIC-1/CompTIA Linux+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide by Robb Tracyprepared me well enough for the exams.  I labbed with the OpenSUSE virtual machine image provided on the book’s included CD, a Ubuntu Server VM I have had for some time, and a CentOS Digital Ocean droplet I’ve been experimenting with.  As with any of these blogs, I won’t discuss any specific questions on the exam.  Overall, I’d say it was a mixed bag, it probably could have had more general admin best practice questions and less (or none) of the neckbeard-y interrogations about command minutiae.
The Linux+ certification does not currently expire.  I would expect, should that change in the future, that existing Linux+ holders will be permanently grandfathered while they likely add a minor “Continuing Education” designation to anyone who obtains the new, expiring version of the cert.   Additionally, I applied for the Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1 System Administrator certification, the Linux+ examinations are based on LPIC-1 content, and I would be curious to know how similar the exams were, had I the money and the time for such endeavours.  There is a simple form that one needs to fill out to link the Linux+ achievement on LPI’s site and the process was fairly painless.

More information about the Linux+ exams, and the process to obtain your LPIC-1 certification after achieving Linux+, can be found on CompTIA’s site here.