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[vox] LPI certification - 101
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[vox] LPI certification - 101

hi all,

a couple of weeks ago i passed the linux+ test, which was a big joke.
i'd say most people here could *easily* pass.  the hardest part of the
test was learning things that weren't correct but were correct for the
sake of the test, like the fact that ext3 filesystems can't be resized.
the linux+ test is $200.

the LPI certification level 1 is made up of 2 tests: 101 and 102.  they
claim the 101 cert is geared to junior level system administrators.  i
used the o'reilly book to study for the test.  i just took the 101 test.
the 101 and 102 tests are $100 each.

unlike linux+, i wouldn't call LPI 101 a joke.  furthermore, i thought
the test was very well thought out, although there were some questions
that fall under "judgement call" catagory (i've forgotten the example i
was going to use, sorry).  the LPI test has "fill in the blank" and
questions that you have to pick all the correct answers, in addition to
standard multiple choice.  that made the test a bit harder, but the test
wasn't difficult by any stretch of the imagination.  in fact, it was
alot of fun to take.

i'd venture to say that anybody who is relatively comfortable with linux
from a user viewpoint and has a bit of x86 knowledge could pass the

a few comments about the o'reilly book.  i imagine that the distribution
of catagories between 101 and 102 were shuffled since the book was
published.  according to the book, there were no rpm/deb questions on
101.  and no hardware questions.  i sat down for the test and the first
question was "would you like to be tested on rpm or deb package
managers?"   i blinked twice and wondered if i was taking the correct
test.  figured "what the hey" and continued.  the first question asked
about the standard IRQ assignment for a device (not allowed to say
which; signed an NDA).  according to o'reilly, that stuff shouldn't be
on the test either.  i was getting a bit nervous about whether i was
taking somone else's test, but continued.  after awhile, there were
questions that o'reilly did claim were on 101.

took the test, passed by a very large margin, and found out that i
indeed did take the right test, LPI 101.  opened up the o'reilly book
and found deb/rpm and hardware questions were supposed to be on the 102
test.  so the topics got shuffled.  going over the topics again, i'd say
the majority of 101 and 102 got "switched".  i essentially came in half
unprepared, and still killed the test.

one topic that i read about that i had really no prior knowledge of was
user and group quotas.  since i "administrate" home machines or beowulf
machines that are shared between friends, i never really had to know
anything about quotas.  even if i hadn't read the book and didn't know a
single thing about quotas, i still would've passed the test easily
though.  it just made the final score more impressive.  :-)

i donated the linux+ book to lugod, since there's nothing in that book i
don't know.  after i take the LPI 102 test, i also plan on donating the
o'reilly LPI book to lugod (or whatever LUG i join in new jersey).  the
book is well written, but still on such a basic level that it doesn't
really benefit me.  there are better books on general linux like
o'reilly's nutshell.

in conclusion, the LPI test was well designed.  each test individually
(101 and 102) covers less material than linux+ (which was NOT well
designed) but that allows LPI to test more detailed items than linux+.
for example, whereas linux+ wants to know what /etc/fstab does, LPI 101
wants to know what option you have to list in /etc/fstab to turn on
group quotas.  and you should be prepared to type in the answer as
opposed to selecting a multiple choice answer.  i'm fairly sure that
anybody who feels comfortable with the linux command line, knows a bit
about X (there was a question about dual monitor displaying) and the x86
architecture would be able to pass.

i took the test at NTI in sacramento, which is very easy to get to from
davis.  i recommend that location.  my only complaint is that i really
wish they'd raise the refresh rate on their monitors.  after 30 minutes,
it feels like someone is slapping you on the face.


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