RHEL6 RHCSA & RHCE FAQ

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Is there any prerequisite for RHCSA & RHCE?

There is no formal training required to get RHCSA & RHCE certifications (this is not the case for the VMware VCP 5 exam). You only need to pass the RHCSA exam before attempting the RHCE exam.

Which certification do I take, RHCSA & RHCE for RHEL 6 or RHEL 7?

The RHCSA & RHCE exam validity lasts 3 years (each exam passed restarts the 3-year delay). You can take both exams until the end of 2014 at least.
Although RHEL 7 should be released before the end of 2014, RHEL 7 exam details shouldn’t be known before some time and good material (books, etc) shouldn’t be available before mid-2015. You have the choice, either to take RHEL 6 exams before the end of 2014 or wait mid-, end of 2015 to take the RHEL 7 version.
Lots of big companies have only started to deploy RHEL 6 and have tons of servers with older versions (RHEL 5, …), this is not in favor of the second option.

Do I need to invest in hardware?

Some have reported passing RHCE with only the Oracle VirtualBox application installed on a PC, which means it is possible. Except if you want to increase the difficulty, I don’t advise you to do so. With this option, you will be in trouble to simulate some scenarios when good virtualization doesn’t cost much. A modern PC x86 64bits with virtualization capability (Intel VT-x or AMD-V) and 4GB of memory should be enough. If you’ve got nothing and don’t know what to purchase, search for HP N54L (or HP N40L) on Google (<$200), add 4GB of memory (<$50) and you will be able to test ALL the scenarios! I’ve got no agreement with HP but this server is the best current opportunity in term of ratio price/quality.
In addition, when your certification cycle ends, you will be able to reuse this server as a NAS (4 to 6 disks with decent performance).
Finally, a successful RHCE candidate without any virtualization background (KVM, VMware, etc) should seem odd to a recruiter and could get some difficulty to find a job.

May I disable SELinux at the beginning of the exam?

SELinux is at the heart of the current versions of RHEL, disabling it would mean disqualification. Furthermore, SELinux is a real progress, learn it and you will like it!

May I disable iptables at the beginning of the exam?

Contrary to SELinux, you can consider this option. Although it is better to know all the firewall settings required by each protocol, if the exam doesn’t explicitly mention it, you can disable the firewall but it’s your decision at your own risk!

May I use the CentOS or the Scientific Linux distributions instead of RHEL to prepare the exams?

The answer is clearly yes. I personally used the CentOS distribution all the time and I was very pleased with the experience.

Why don’t you provide me all the official exam questions and answers?

Official exam questions are controlled by a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). I would break this agreement if I were giving you the questions and answers. In a group of candidates, everybody gets slightly different questions, which means it’s not useful to know the exact wording. Understand each domain, perform exercises and troubleshoot any problem is much better for the exam and for your future!
Even if a limited number of candidates cheat, the certification doesn’t worth anything any more!

What is the main mistake to avoid during the exams?

You should keep in mind that all the changes you make must remain after a reboot.
Use the setsebool command with -P (in case of SELinux relabel), save the firewall configuration, put your mounting points in /etc/fstab, etc.

Which exam is the most difficult?

The RHCSA exam requires you to know your stuff. The RHCE exam additionally requires you to be quick.

Why did you create this website?

When preparing the RHCSA exam, I spent long hours to build an openLDAP server without any success: the OpenLDAP configuration had recently changed and no instructions were available at this time.
I took the RHCSA exam, passed it but wasn’t successful in the LDAP/Automounter configuration. I decided to spend the time needed to create a tutorial on this subject. I thought Red Hat was outrageously promoting its training program with this kind of trap. Training should be a way to trade money for time and nothing else.

Why isn’t there any forum in this website?

Managing a forum takes a lot of time and I can’t get enough time, right now.
About forum, please make me a favor: never answer any question on the techexams.net forum. I did it twice leaving my website as a signature and each time, I got banned and my answers were never displayed. This also happened to me on certcollection.org but people at techexams.net did worse: each time, they put my email address into the spam email blacklist!

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RHCSA7: Task of the day

Allowed time: 10 minutes.
Archive and compress the content of the /opt directory (create files if none exists).
Uncompress and unarchive the resulting file in /root

RHCE7: Task of the day

Allowed time: 8 minutes.
Set up an iScsi target based on a fileio backstore of 100MB called /opt/shareddata with CHAP authentication (username=usr/password=pwd), xfs filesystem and standard firewall configuration.

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