David Coulson on 11 Apr 2008 10:56:36 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] RHCE Course Questions

Mark Baker wrote:
> I am also interested in taking the RHCE exam.  I have been a sys admin 
> for 12 years and have used just about every version of Unix/Linux.  
> Could anyone give me some advice on how to prep for this exam?  What is 
> the hands on part of the exam like? Do they allow you to use man pages? 
> Do you need to install anything via up2date?  I am used to just going in 
> by the seat of my pants and installing whatever is needed and 
> configuring it from past experience.  There are times when I forget the 
> small differences between FC, Ubuntu, Centos, Solaris, knoppix, and use 
> the man pages for a quick reference, is that frowned upon?
You are allowed to use any and all resources available to you within the 
system you have - If it boots up and you can use it, you can read man 
pages, info pages, docs and everything else. That said, there may be 
requirements in the test where the system doesn't even boot right, so 
you have to be able to resolve that without documentation.

You prep for the test by using Linux for a long time. As far as I'm 
concerned, there isn't an easy way to cram for it. The vast majority of 
the people I know who've passed, did it with a decade of Linux experience.

My recommendation would be to do their online test to gauge your 
ability. At the very least do the rapid track course, get their 
documentation, and punt the test date out a few months (You can do this 
without paying extra). Then spend that time reading their documentation 
and make sure you know it all.
> What do they ask you to perform and what is the criterion that is used 
> to grade you? Is how quickly you perform a task, how many times it takes 
> to get the config file correct, if you configure the supporting apps 
> like opening a firewall port for ftp, whether or not your checking the 
> permissions on each file after you edit them?
The specifics of each test are performed under a strict NDA. It is 
frowned upon to discuss the details of the RHCE tests.

In general, the requirements are very functional - As long as the system 
behaves per their details, that's pretty much it. You don't lose points 
if permissions are wrong as long as it works (assuming permissions are 
not detailed in their specification), and you don't gain points if you 
beyond their specs (e.g. if they don't ask for firewall configuration, 
you don't get ahead by configuring iptables).

You basically get a check mark if it works, none if it doesn't. 
Different things have different value, then they add it up and convert 
it into a percentage. Greater than X you pass, less than X you fail. 
Depending what you fail on, you may still leave with a RHCT instead of a 
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