Sunday, September 11, 2011

Path to RHCE

I do not have an official *nix certification. Back in 1998 I started playing with Linux using MKLinux DR3 on my 233MHz Beige G3 sporting 32MB of RAM. Unlike MacOS 8, Linux never crashed. I was hooked.

1999 I took a few classes based on Red Hat 5.2 (not RHEL 5.2, pre RHEL) and the company hired me as a Linux consultant. I made major bank the next few years, before the crash, but I never actually got my RHCE.

Now I mostly do PHP/PostgreSQL web programming, some sys admin work. Fixing bugs that other coders make, working for a lot less than I'm worth because there are smart intelligent capable people in other parts of the world (IE India) I have to compete with, and their cost of living is lower.

So, I'm in the process of starting a new company to market a DOMDocument based CMS I am working on. In addition to offering simple web hosting, I also would like to offer system administration of CentOS systems running my software, for companies that need more than just a CMS.

The that end, I thought it would be helpful if I actually work towards achieving a bona-fide RHCE. Took the assessment stuff. Some stuff I have forgotten, some stuff I do differently than the "Red Hat" way. But here's the results:

Configure Local Services: Substantial Knowledge
Manage Physical Storage I: Deep Understanding
Establish Network Connectivity: Deep Understanding
Administer Users and Groups: Some Understanding
Secure Linux File Access: Familiarity
Manage Files from the Command-line: Deep Understanding
Essential Command-Line Operations: Substantial Knowledge
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems: Some Understanding
Managing Flexible Storage with Logical Volumes: Substantial Knowledge
Controlling access to Files: Some Understanding
Installing and Managing Software: Some Understanding (Bull shit - I'm an RPM guru)
Tuning and Maintaining the Kernel: Deep Understanding
Enhance User Security: Substantial Knowledge
BASH Scripting and Tools: Familiarity
Network Configuration and Troubleshooting: Familiarity
Administering Users and Groups: Familiarity
Manage System Resources: Familiarity
Installing and Managing Software: Deep Understanding
Administer Remote Systems: Deep Understanding
Deploy and Secure File Sharing Services: Deep Understanding
Managing SELinux: Deep Understanding
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems: Familiarity
Logical Volume Management: Deep Understanding

I don't agree with all of it. Some of the questions were bull shit, IE questions about setting permissions in the GUI using Nautilus. Who the fuck uses the GUI to manage users and permissions? Windows admins maybe, but no UNIX guru does.

I'm not sure why it didn't rate me higher with package understanding. There are not many people who know more about proper RPM packaging than I do. Well, the test asked a lot of questions related to specific switches to the rpm and yum commands that no one ever uses, so I guess I may have missed some of those. They are needed so rarely, you look at the man page or use the help switch in the rare occasion you need them. But I digress.

BASH - I use to be a lot more fluent in BASH than I currently am, but BASH really isn't used for all that much anymore. Mostly simple crap. Anything with complexity is typically done with perl or python these days.

Anyway, it identified what I need to review. I'm going to try to review on my own, skip the RHCSA course, and just take the exam. Then I'll probably enroll in the additional courses needed for RHCE

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