Taking the LFCS certificate

My experience with the LFCS process

Taking the LFCS certificate
Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin

I was asked by my new job to get a Linux certificate, the Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin to be exact.

So for the past couple of months I have been preparing, and to do that I was gifted the LFS207 preparation course, which is a course on fundamentals. And fundamentals it is.

The exam should be distro-agnostic, but the preparation course does not seem like it is. There are some lessons on rpm, apt, dnf, SElinux and such, so it does seem to be guided to RHEL and Ubuntu based systems. Not a problem, I installed an Ubuntu system for this occasion. But as none of them are my preferred OS, I don't retain the package manager syntax that well. Hopefully the exam itself does not have any such distribution specific questions/tasks.


The preparation course is really fundamental. It seems to be created for users which have just started their Linux journey and not advanced users, which it seems I am. This results in the preparation course not having much new knowledge for me, but there has been a couple of golden nuggets. Like NBD, some more experience with dpkg and rpm and a couple of user administration things I have never really used. So that was great. But most of the course was basic. Like how to create users, what a filesystem is, how to format a disk with fdisk, how docker works and how to monitor stuff with free, df, iostat etc.

The real nuggets for me

The main golden nugget for me though was information of LVM. I've heard of LVM before, but I always thought it had something to do with encryption combined with LUKS. But I was pleased to know that you don't need LUKS or encryption to use LVM. LVM stands for "Logical Volume Management" and is a clever way to "merge" drive partitions, into groups that can then be sliced out in easily changed logical volumes. So you could have a VG (virtual group) that consists of 8 10 TB drives, giving you a total space of 80 TB, that you can split into volumes as you see fit. And you can switch out and add drives to this group very easily.


With the purchase of the LFCS exam you get 2 test exams on killer.sh. This is quite nice, because it's a couple of tests before the real deal and it's a little harder then the real exam (according to them). It's all done in a virtual environment, which you have for 36 hours, it has a 2 hour timer so you get a feeling of how quick you need to solve the problems to still be in exam time. This means when the 2 hours are over, you have 34 hours to see how you can improve your score and poke around in the environment.

This is a good indicator for how well your real exam is gonna go. Take advantage of it. It's all done inside your browser.


The exam itself is 2 hours long. So you have 2 hours to complete 17 main tasks, most with some sub-tasks, which all gives points towards the final score. It's all done in a special browser you get access to at exam time and you are being supervised via webcam by an instructor from the Linux Foundation. It requires a clean room with no other people present. For the final score you need a 67% correct score to pass the exam. I failed my first attempt by 1%...

So I went home, sobbed a little and started reading some help and man pages for the stuff I knew I didn't get correct. Ordered my retake and aced it.

So I now have the Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin certificate, which is valid for 2 years (since they recently changed it from 3 to 2 years).