Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Exam (EX200) Objectives

Red Hat’s RHCSA EX200 is a hands-on exam that verifies real skills for Linux administrators who want to work with Red Hat servers. It is Red Hat’s entry-level exam, preparing Linux professionals for the Red Hat Certified Administrator (RHCSA) exam. There is no prerequisite for this exam, but it is the prerequisite to taking the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) exam, as well as other Red Hat certifications. This exam profile provides an overview of what to expect on the exam, and also some exam preparation strategies.

Exam Details

Types of Questions: The EX200 consists of hands-on assignments. These assignments mimic real tasks that administrators of Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers deal with on a daily basis in their professional environments. The candidate works on a real Red Hat system. To pass the exam a sufficient percentage of assignments needs to be completed successfully.

Number of Questions: There are between 10 and 15 hands-on assignments.

Passing Score: 210 out of 300.

Time Limit: 2 hours 30 minutes.

How to Register: Registration goes through http://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/individual-exam-sessions. Click on Explore Locations to find a testing center near you. Notice that in some geographic areas, registration for the exam only goes through Red Hat authorized training centers.

  • Troubleshooting: RHCSA includes troubleshooting, and the candidate has to be prepared for a number of different scenarios.
  • Software Management: The RPM Package Manager and the yum repository manager play an essential role in the exam. Without active repositories, no software can be installed, and the candidate will fail the exam for sure.
  • Storage Management: The candidate must be able to create partitions as well as logical volumes. For many candidates these are tasks that are not accomplished on a daily basis. Also, by making mistakes in configuring storage, the candidate can make his server unbootable, which leads to exam failure.
  • Networking: In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat has introduced a redesigned networking stack, which is based on the NetworkManager and associated tools. Working with this environment is not intuitive and needs a lot of preparation.
  • User and Permission Management: On the RHCSA exam, the candidate has to be able to master any issues that deal with permissions on Linux systems. Not just the commonly known Read, Write and Execute permissions need to be mastered, but also the more advanced Access Control Lists.
  • Automount: the autofs service can be used to mount a file system only when it is accessed by a process or a user. Configuring this is not intuitive and therefore problematic for many candidates.
  • SELinux: Red Hat uses SELinux to implement an advanced and sophisticated mandatory security mechanism. SELinux is complicated, but the RHCSA candidate is expected to know how to deal with it to make sure that services can keep on running in an environment where SELinux is enabled.
  • Remote File System Access: Accessing a remote file system by itself is not that difficult. The challenge is in accessing remote file systems using a context where autofs, SELinux and firewalling have to be combined. Because many different items have to be combined to mount remote file systems successfully, many candidates consider this challenging.
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