About CompTIA Linux+ Certification
The CompTIA Linux+ certification validates the IT practitioners’ competence in configuring, monitoring, and supporting servers running Linux OS. This certificate equips the entry-level professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary for starting a career in Linux support or administration. To obtain this certification, you need to pass a single exam known under the codename XK0-004.
Target Audience & Prerequisites
The CompTIA Linux+ certification is intended for the support specialists who possess fundamental knowledge of computer software, hardware, and operating systems. It is an ideal certificate for those professionals who are new to the industry and seeking to enhance their expertise in Linux concepts.
To get this Linux+ certification, the candidates are recommended to first earn CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+. It is also advised that they have at least 9-12 months of experience in configuring, monitoring, and supporting servers running Linux OS.
Exam Details & Topics
CompTIA XK0-004 is the new version of the exam for the CompTIA Linux+ certificate that came into force on April 9, 2019. It replaces two old tests referred to as LX0-103 and LX0-104. The XK0-004 exam lasts for 90 minutes and contains 90 questions. The question formats that may appear in the test include multiple response, performance-based, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. At the present moment, you can pass this certification exam in the English language only. Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese are currently in development and will soon be available for the students. The test is delivered through the Pearson VUE platform, the official partner of the CompTIA exams. You can take it either as an online proctored option from the comfort of your home/office or at one of the Pearson VUE centers located in every corner of the world. The test costs $329.
To pass this test successfully, you must score at least 720 marks on a scale of 100 to 900. You can only get this mark if you have a good comprehension of the exam topics. To develop the requisite skill set for CompTIA XK0-004, you can opt for various training tools offered on the official webpage. These include instructor-led courses, virtual labs, study guides, among others.
The qualifying exam for the CompTIA Linux+ certification embraces a wide range of technical tasks related to Linux, including Linux command line, general maintenance, installation and configuration of workstations, and networking. All the skills measured within the XK0-004 test are combined into five domains. See the details of each area as well as their weight in the exam content below:
- Hardware & System Configuration (21%)
This topic evaluates the candidates’ knowledge and skills in Linux boot procedure concepts, such as boot options, boot loaders, file locations, Kernel panic, boot files and modules; installing, customizing, and monitoring kernel modules; configuring network connectivity parameters; handling storage within a Linux environment; differentiating virtualization and Cloud concepts as well as technologies; customizing localization options.
- Systems Operation & Maintenance (26%)
Within this subject area, the test takers must demonstrate their competency in performing software installations, updates, removals, and configurations (package types; installation tools; Acquisition commands; build tools; repositories); managing groups and users (quotas; queries creation; modification; deletion; profiles; important files as well as file contents); developing, modifying, and redirecting files (text editors; output redirection; file readers; directory and file operations; text processing); handling services (Systemd management; SysVinit); summarizing and describing server roles (NTP; Web; SSH; DHCP; certificate authority; name server; file servers; authentication server; containers; proxy; VPN; logging; monitoring; database; mail server; print server; clustering; load balancer); automating and scheduling jobs (hot pluggable devices; device types; configuration & monitoring tools; file locations); explaining Linux devices usage and operation; differentiating Linux graphical user interfaces (servers; console redirection; remote desktop; GUI; accessibility).
- Security (19%)
In the framework of this objective, the applicants should prove that they are capable of applying the adequate user & group permissions as well as ownership (file & directory permissions; context-based permissions; privilege escalation; user types); customizing and executing adequate access & authentication methods (SSH; PAM; PKI; TTYs; PTYs; VPN as a client); summarizing security best techniques within a Linux environment (significance of deactivating root login through SSH; boot security; password-less login; extra authentication methods; no shared IDs; chrooting jail service; significance of denying hosts; changing default ports; significance of uninstalling/deactivating unused as well as unsecure services; separation of application data from OS data; significance of activating SSL/TLS; significance of activating auditd; CVE monitoring; disk encryption; discouraging USB devices utilization; MOTDR; restrict cron access; deactivating Ctrl+Alt+Del; adding banner); performing logging services (lastb; key file locations; log management); executing and customizing Linux firewalls (IP forwarding; access control lists; dynamic rule sets; general application firewall configurations); backing up, reconstructing, and compressing files (off-system/off-site storage compression; integrity checks; archive and restore utilities).
- Linux Diagnostics & Troubleshooting (20%)
Within this domain, the learners must prove their competency in analyzing system properties as well as remediate (this includes storage monitoring and configuration; network monitoring and configuration; memory monitoring and configuration; CPU monitoring and configuration; lost root password); analyzing system procedures to improve performance; analyzing and fixing user issues (access; permissions; authentication; inadequate privileges for authorization; file creation; shell and environment issues); analyzing and fixing hardware as well as application issue (permission; SELinux context violations; firewall; storage; dependencies; fixing extra hardware issues).
- Scripting & Automation (14%)
This topic checks the students’ skills in deploying and implementing fundamental BASH scripts (sourcing scripts; shell variables and environments; #!/bin/bash; file and directory permissions; extensions; commenting; file globbing; shell expansions; redirection and piping; exit codes; metacharacters; positional parameters; looping constructs; conditional statements; escaping characters); performing version control with the help of Git; summarizing orchestration concepts and procedures (automated configuration management; build automation; agent; agentless; procedures; attributes; infrastructure as code; infrastructure automation; inventory).
Employment & Salary Opportunities
CompTIA Linux+ is one of the most sought-after certifications among the IT professionals, especially those who are pursuing a career in network and Cloud technologies. Some of the job titles that you can apply for after getting certified include a Linux Administrator, a Web Administrator, a Network Administrator, a Technical Support Specialist, a Systems Administrator, and a Linux Systems Engineer. According to PayScale, the average salary for the certified specialists amounts to around $69,000 per year, although the actual remuneration will depend on their level of experience and the organization they work for.