How to pass RHCE/RHCT exam! – part 1

The Red Hat Certified Engineer title is one of the most relevant, desired and really hard to get certification in the IT field due to the methods of examination. Basically it is a “hands-on” test, meaning that there are no multiple question or true-false tests. It is intended to verify the skills of a GNU/Linux system administrator in real life tests. This also means that there is no way in trying to cheat by using test dumps or memorising answers to possible questions. The only thing I do recommend is to take Red Hat official classes, or at least read one of the following related publications:

  • Red Hat® Certified Technician & Engineer (RHCT and RHCE) Training Guide and Administrator’s Reference. – by Asghar Ghori
  • RHCE Red Hat Certified Engineer Linux – by Michael Jang

Any of the above shall be sufficient in order to successfully bypass your Red Hat Certified Engineer exam, because both of them cover in detail the required skills for RHCE and RHCT listed on the official Red Hat website.

I have also listed them below in order to have a better  way of understanding the topics and chapters of this HOW TO:

Prerequisite skills for RHCT and RHCE

Candidates should possess the following skills, as they may be necessary in order to fulfill requirements of the RHCT and RHCE exams:

  • use standard command line tools (e.g., ls, cp, mv, rm, tail, cat, etc.) to create, remove, view, and investigate files and directories
  • use grep, sed, and awk to process text streams and files
  • use a terminal-based text editor, such as vim or nano, to modify text files
  • use input/output redirection
  • understand basic principles of TCP/IP networking, including IP addresses, netmasks, and gateways for IPv4 and IPv6
  • use su to switch user accounts
  • use passwd to set passwords
  • use tar, gzip, and bzip2
  • configure an email client on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • use text and/or graphical browser to access HTTP/HTTPS URLs
  • use lftp to access FTP URLs

Red Hat Certified Technician skills

Troubleshooting and System Maintenance

RHCTs should be able to:

  • boot systems into different run levels for troubleshooting and system maintenance
  • diagnose and correct misconfigured networking
  • diagnose and correct host name resolution problems
  • configure the X Window System and a desktop environment
  • add new partitions, file systems, and swap to existing systems
  • use standard command-line tools to analyse problems and configure system

Installation and Configuration

RHCTs must be able to:

  • perform network OS installation
  • implement a custom partitioning scheme
  • configure printing
  • configure the scheduling of tasks using cron and at
  • attach system to a network directory service, such as NIS or LDAP
  • configure autofs
  • add and manage users, groups, quotas, and File Access Control Lists
  • configure file system permissions for collaboration
  • install and update packages using rpm
  • properly update the kernel package
  • configure the system to update/install packages from remote repositories using yum or pup
  • modify the system boot loader
  • implement software RAID at install-time and run-time
  • use /proc/sys and sysctl to modify and set kernel run-time parameters
  • use scripting to automate system maintenance tasks
  • configure NTP for time synchronisation with a higher-stratum server

Red Hat Certified Engineer skills

Troubleshooting and System Maintenance

RHCEs must demonstrate the RHCT skills listed above, and should be able to:

  • use the rescue environment provided by first installation CD
  • diagnose and correct boot failures arising from boot loader, module, and file system errors
  • diagnose and correct problems with network services (see Installation and Configuration below for a list of these services)
  • add, remove, and resize logical volumes
  • diagnose and correct networking services problems where SELinux contexts are interfering with proper operation.

Installation and Configuration

RHCEs must demonstrate the RHCT-level skills listed above, and they must be capable of configuring the following network services:

  • HTTP/HTTPS
  • SMB
  • NFS
  • FTP
  • Web proxy
  • SMTP
  • IMAP, IMAPS, and POP3
  • SSH
  • DNS (caching name server, slave name server)
  • NTP

For each of these services, RHCEs must be able to:

  • install the packages needed to provide the service
  • configure SELinux to support the service
  • configure the service to start when the system is booted
  • configure the service for basic operation
  • Configure host-based and user-based security for the service

RHCEs must also be able to:

  • configure hands-free installation using Kickstart
  • implement logical volumes at install-time
  • use iptables to implement packet filtering and/or NAT
  • use PAM to implement user-level restrictions

We will get our hands dirty configuring, troubleshooting and installing a Red Hat system the following days!

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