CompTIA Linux+, SUSE, and LPIC-1: Three certifications for the price of one – with a special deal on top!

December 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, CompTIA, LPI, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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When even Microsoft is getting into the Linux  game, you must know that Linux certification is one of those hot certs that all the cool admins and devs are getting. What you may not know is that a Linux certification is, hands down, the best value we know of in the certification sphere. Thanks to a partnership between three major certifying bodies – CompTIA, Linux Professional Institute (LPI), and SUSE – you can now pass one series of exams to earn three industry certifications from all three vendors at the same time.


CompTIA and LPI first partnered on the joint certification project in 2010, at which time passing the Linux+ exams from CompTIA also earned you LPIC-1 credentials. The 2015 revision loops SUSE into the game, so you now have the ability to earn THREE separate vendor certifications in one exam sitting. (In case you’re confused, SUSE and LPI previously shared a joint certification program, as did LPI and CompTIA – but not all three together.)

So what exactly do I get, and what’s the catch?

You’ll need to pass the two 2015 Linux+ exams offered by CompTIA, LX0-103 and LX0-104. (The 2010 versions were named LX0-101 and LX0-102.) When you do so,  you’ll be able to add these three certifications to your resume, LinkedIn account, and brag sheet:

There’s no catch, but you do have to arrange your ducks into a particular row, and you must take the CompTIA exams in particular – you cannot earn the LPIC-1 from LPI and then apply to retroactively earn the Linux+ certification. Here are the exact steps listed on CompTIA’s website as of this writing:

  1. Obtain an LPI ID.
  2. Once you have passed both Linux+ exams, log into your CompTIA certification account. Choose Demographics | Settings. On the Settings page check the box to have your information forwarded to LPI, then click Submit.
  3. Upon receipt of your LPIC-1 apply online for your SUSE CLA.

Being who we are, we tested these steps ourselves before blogging about it. Here’s the cheat sheet:

  1. Configure your CompTIA account settings so that they know to forward the results to LPI. It’s a dropdown box under the Settings tab of your CompTIA cert account.
  2. Wait a bit. (I got my email from LPI in about 48 hours.)
  3. Look through the email. You should get instructions and a link to verify your credentials with SUSE.
  4. Sit back and celebrate the holidays like a Linux pro!
Is there a difference in the cost?

If you went straight to each vendor and took their exams without the three-in-one deal, you’d pay $376 for EITHER the two-exam CompTIA series (LX0-103 and LX0-104) or the LPIC-1 series (Exam 1 and Exam 2). If you only wanted the SUSE certification, it’s a relative bargain to take their standard test ($125 in the US). Please note that these are US prices, and don’t include any special voucher deals, discounts, sales, or student bundles.

So if your budget extends to the two-exam series, then it makes no financial sense to leave the three-certification package on the table.

Okay, sold! Where do I start?

First, an unscheduled commercial break. (We have bills to pay around here.) If you’re in the market for training material, Transcender is offering a special discount on Linux practice tests, eLearning, and practice labs.

From now until December 31, 2015, you can pick your deal (or mix and match). We’re offering $25 off all practice tests (excluding 30-day and CD/voucher bundle), including LX0-103. And we’re offering a special 20% off discount on our newly released LX0-104/LPI 400-102 practice test (excluding 30-day and CD/voucher bundle). As of today that discount also extends to our eLearning and practice lab products for Linux.

To activate your discount, click through the shiny red button (or use promo code PRODUCT20). The deal expires at 10 PM CST.

Click here to activate your 20% discount

To add products to your page, choose either LPI or CompTIA / Linux+ from the main menu, then select the relevant product from the desired test.


We also offer eLearning packages for each exam, and a separate series of online practice labs that let you develop proficiency with hardware that you may not have available to practice with otherwise.

Whether or not you choose to take advantage of our study products, you should DEFINITELY take advantage of the three-in-one Linux certification partnership – a deal we’ve never seen replicated in the professional IT certification world.

We wish you best of luck with your Linux certifying!


Azure and Linux: A Powerful Pair

April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am | Posted in Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Microsoft recently announced that Azure HDInsight (Hadoop) will be one of the first cloud services to run on Linux. Previously, Azure was equipped to work with six different types of Linux distributions. Azure will now be able to deploy, host, and manage its services on Linux servers. This technical merge will increase the service capabilities of Azure by allowing it to run on Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machines in addition to offering Hadoop on Azure.  The powerhouse of Azure HDInsight’s cloud service leadership joined together with Linux will add the ability to expand the storage of big data while allowing an increase in organization’s ability to provide data streams that can be turned into intelligible information.

The Microsoft Learning map for HDInsight offers an emulator, tutorials, video instruction, and technical articles for this technology.

Ready to learn more about open-source Azure solutions? Microsoft Virtual Academy has several free training sessions on Azure and Linux as well, including the following:

Happy developing,

Shahara Ruth

The Year of the Developer

February 17, 2012 at 11:39 am | Posted in Technical Tips, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Did I get your attention? I hope so, but let’s be honest: it’s been the Year of the Developer since 1954. As wonderful as it is to have the latest gadget goodness in your hand, without developers, that gadget does a whole lot of nothing. Arguably, the adoption of shiny devices and powerful operating systems is directly proportional to the software that runs on it.

IBM 704 mainframe that uses FORTRAN

IBM 704 mainframe that uses FORTRAN

But I do have a more salient point beyond giving the developer community a pat on the back.

Development in 2012

What does the future look like? Better yet, which skills should you focus on in the upcoming year? Justin at TechRepublic actually beat me to the punch on this one, so rather than rehash the whole article, I’ll just throw in my two cents.

Mobile Development

This one should be fairly obvious. What isn’t so obvious is how fragmented the mobile field really is. An iPhone, Android, and Blackberry device all do very similar things and contain very similar components and UIs, but the back-end development for these platforms is entirely different.  Let’s not even discuss the form factor differences between these smartphones and their tablet cousins.

I predict the ascendance of uniform development kits like Red Foundry and  PhoneGap/PhoneGapBuild to level the playing field. PhoneGap, in particular, leverages Web development skills such as jQuery and HTML5.

NoSQL Continue Reading The Year of the Developer…

Doing it for the LULZ?

June 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Cisco, CompTIA, Technical Tips | 2 Comments
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Recently, Citibank announced that hackers stole personal information from about 200,000 credit card customers. Over the past year, a number of high profile companies have been attacked, including Sony being hacked for the sixth time. As cyberattacks are reportedly on the rise, the FBI, Commerce Department, and Attorney General are calling for increased cyber-security actions in the U.S.

This frenetic response may seem overwhelming to some outside observers, but to security experts in the IT industry who have decried “lax security policies at high-profile organizations,” this situation comes as no surprise. The sheer frustration that many in the security community have felt for years seems to be  finding its outlet at last.

Case in point: LulzSec – the now-infamous hacker group responsible for breaching Sony, Nintendo, PBS, Fox, and the FBI. They targeted Fox because they didn’t like them, PBS because of a FRONTLINE story, the FBI because of their attitude on hacking, and Nintendo and Sony just for fun. When a small security firm out of Nebraska posted a hacking contest for $10,000, LulzSec altered the home page and added this text:


Continue Reading Doing it for the LULZ?…

Linux+ Insights & References

July 2, 2010 at 11:02 am | Posted in CompTIA, LPI | 4 Comments

As most of you probably know, the new Linux+ format includes two tests, LX0-101 and LX0-102. Because this format is so new to many CompTIA certification holders out there, I want to take a little time to explain the two tests and to let you know what references are currently available.

You can download the new Exam Guides from CompTIA by going to and entering the required information. You will need to download both the LX0-101 and LX0-102 Exam Guides.

The four main objectives for the LX0-101 exam are:

  • System Architecture – configuring hardware, booting the system, and configuring runlevels
  • Linux Installation and Package Management – designing hard disk layout, installing boot manager, managing shared libraries, and using Debian, YUM, and RPM package management
  • GNU and Linux Commands – using command-line tools, using text filters, performing basic file management, using streams, pipes, and redirects, managing processes, managing process execution priorities, searching text files, and using vi editor
  • Devices, Linux Filesystems, Filesystem Hierarchy Standard – creating partitions and filesystems, maintaining filesystem integrity, mounting and unmounting filesystems, managing disk quotas, managing file permissions and ownership, managing hard and symbolic links, and finding system files and placing them in the right location

The six  main objectives for the LX0-102 exam are:

  • Shells, Scripting, and Data Management – customizing shell environment, customizing and writing simple scripts, and managing SQL data
  • User Interfaces and Desktops – configuring X11, setting up a display manager, and configuring accessibility
  • Administrative Tasks – managing user and group accounts, scheduling jobs, and configuring localization and internationalization
  • Essential System Services – maintaining system time, managing system logs, configuring MTA basics, and managing printing
  • Networking Fundamentals – understanding Internet protocols, configuring basic networks, troubleshooting basic networks, and configuring DNS clients
  • Security – administering security, configuring host security, and configuring encryption

Remember that these objectives are exactly the same as those for the Linux Professional Institute’s  LPIC-1 certification (Junior Level Linux Professional). So any study materials that you find for the LPIC-1 certification would work for the new CompTIA Linux+ certification.

When taking the exams, you will see a mixture of multiple choice and free response (or fill-in-the-blank) questions. The free response questions are very specific in telling you what you need to enter, as in entering the command name only or entering just the command’s appropriate parameter.

When we started the development of our practice tests, there were no references released specifically for these exams. We decided to purchase the LPIC-1 Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide 2nd Edition from Sybex (ISBN 978-0-470-40483-6).  Recently, Sybex released the CompTIA Linux+ Complete Study Guide (ISBN 978-0-470-88845-2). A cursory examination comparing the contents of the two shows that the books are identical (or so close to it that I cannot see the differences yet).  So in my opinion, either book could be  used as a study resource for these two exams. There is even a handy guide at the beginning that breaks down the two exams’ objectives and points you to the appropriate chapter for studying.

I also want to mention AGAIN that passing the new Linux+ certification qualifies you to also obtain the LPIC-1 certification. To do so,  you will need to watch those questions that you receive when you are actually sitting the live exam. One question that pops up on the screen specifically asks if you want your results to be forwarded to the Linux Professional Institute. You definitely want to answer YES to that one!

We are rapidly approaching the release of our practice test for the LX0-101 exam, and will start the development of our LX0-102 practice test soon. I hope to hear that you used our practice test to study – and pass – the exam. Feel free to ask any questions that may pop up!


CompTIA Linux+ and LPIC-1: Two certifications for the price of one

May 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, CompTIA, LPI | 6 Comments
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Editor’s note: The benefits of the Linux+ certification were changed with the 2015 release. Please read our 2015 update to get the most current information.

This post is a followup to our last update on the revamped CompTIA Linux+ certification path.

As many of you may know, CompTIA’s newest version of the Linux+ certification was produced through a partnership with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), a leading provider of Linux certifications. The CompTIA version of the certification has transitioned to a two-test structure (LX0-101 and LX0-102) similar to the A+ certification, but now with one added benefit: the possibility of achieving TWO certifications, one from each vendor.

Here is what I found on the CompTIA Web site regarding this possibility:

A new benefit for CompTIA Linux+ candidates is that they may choose, at the time they take the exams, to have their exam record forwarded to the Linux Professional Institute. Certification in CompTIA Linux+, Powered by LPI, enables candidates to become certified in LPIC-1 as well, enabling further participation in the LPI program if the candidate chooses.

By choosing the “Yes” option on the opening screen of your exam, your passing score will grant you both the CompTIA “Linux+ Powered by LPI” certification AND the LPIC-1 certification. Passing both of CompTIA’s Linux+ exams will also qualify candidates for participation in the LPIC level 2 program.  Details for this process are coming soon.

So to take advantage of this 2-for-1 deal, make sure to choose the “Yes” option on the opening screen of the CompTIA exam to have your results forwarded to LPI. Otherwise, you will only receive the Linux+ designation, and we hate to see a great deal go to waste! I don’t know about you, but I personally love collecting those little certification designations after my name. Grabbing the opportunity to add the LPIC-1 designation that easily is a no-brainer.


Linux+ certification: Navigating the changes

May 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, CompTIA, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Late Thursday, April 29th, CompTIA announced the release of the new Linux+ certification. In the weeks preceding this announcement, CompTIA had announced their partnership with Linux Professional Institute (LPI). Like you, we at Transcender had a moment of panic followed by a lot of questions. But, just like you, we waited until the dust settled to understand what this change brings to the future of Linux+ certification. And our patience paid off, because our friends at CompTIA have offered the latest & greatest information to help us navigate the change.

Some background – In 2009, CompTIA announced that they would be upgrading the Linux+ certification and released a beta test (XK1-003), which I took (along with many of you). Around that same time, CompTIA released betas for revisions of their Project+ and Server+ exams. While we saw the new Server+ and Project+ exams release, we started to wonder if our beta results for Linux+ got lost in the mail.

Finally, last week, we got some answers. The Linux+ certification is totally revamped! The new Linux+ follows the Linux certification format used by LPI. Instead of taking a single exam, the new Linux+ certification requires that candidates take two 60-item exams, numbered LX0-101 and LX0-102. The good news? When I compared the Exam Guide for the two new CompTIA exams to the Exam Guide for the existing LPIC-1 exams, I discovered that they are identical. So while the new Linux+ exams may not map to the previously released Exam Guide for XK0-003, the LPIC-1 page offers some great insight into the new exam format. The bonus? Drum roll please…if you pass these two exams, LPI recognizes your certification! In fact, if you choose to “opt in” when you take the new Linux+ Powered by LPI exams, you can have your certification information forwarded to LPI, and you will receive an LPIC-1 certificate in addition to your CompTIA certificate. It’s a classic 2-for-1 deal, and we love a deal! And yes, if you hold other certifications from CompTIA, your Linux+ results will be included in the CompTIA database for consolidated access to your certification information.

So for those serious about Linux certification, this is a great opportunity to get Linux certified.

As for reference materials and courseware, we’ll begin practice test development just as soon as we’re comfortable with the two-exam structure and content. But if you, like me and my colleagues here at Transcender, are an early adopter, there are several titles available for the LPI versions of these exams. The current Sybex LPIC-1 reference is a good start. This title is expected to be edited soon to reflect the new exam structure. We also expect to see a Sybex release of Linux+ Powered by LPI soon, so keep an eye out for that on the shelves.

Finally, what happens if you passed XK0-003 in beta? The transcript of your certification history from the CompTIA database will in fact state that you are Linux+ certified, and the date on which you took the exam. Same goes for those of you who have passed or plan to pass the XK0-002 exam before the October 31, 2010 expiration date (that is, the old exam expires in October, not your certification).

Hope you’re finding certification success with our products! Now I am off to start that Linux+ practice test blueprint.

If you want to chat about this or other certification news, I’ll be at TechEd in June. Stop by our booth to meet me! I am not nearly as scary as the rest of the Product Development team would have you believe.


CompTIA Certifications: What’s New in 2010 for A+, Network+, Linux+, Server+, Security+, and Project+ Exam Tracks

February 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, CompTIA | 5 Comments
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CompTIA has been really busy over the last year or so updating their exams. In addition, they have published a new certification policy for the A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications (but not other CompTIA certs). (For more information on the new certification policy, see this previous blog post and

I wanted to take a bit of time to discuss just what CompTIA has done, and what we expect from them over the next year  with regards to their major certifications.

A+ Certification

There are currently two versions of the A+ certification: the 600 series and the 700 series.

  • To obtain the 600 series A+ certification, a candidate must take 220-601 (Essentials) and then choose from 220-602, 220-603, or 220-604 to complete the certification. Each of the application exams are based on specific skill sets (IT Technician, Remote Support Technician, Depot Technician).
  • To obtain the 700 series A+ certification, a candidate must take 220-701 (Essentials) and 220-702 (Practical Application).
  • For individuals who already have a previous A+ certification, there is an A+ Bridge exam to upgrade their certification to the 700 series. Candidates would simply take one exam (BR0-003).

Just last week, CompTIA issued an invitation to subject matter experts (SMEs) to update the A+ exams. I expect that this is a just a reseed of the 700 series content and will not result in any real changes to the exam guide. The 600 series started in 2005, and the 700 series in 2009. In my opinion, since we got an entirely new exam last year, we won’t see a complete revamp until 2012, which would tie in nicely with the new recertification policies.

Network+ Certification

The Network+ exam was rewritten in 2009. The old version of the Network+ exam has been retired. Currently, there are two options for the Network+ 2009 certification:

  • For individuals who do not hold the Network+ certification, the candidate must take the N10-004 exam.
  • For individuals who already have a previous Network+ certification, there is a Bridge exam to upgrade their certification to the 2009 version. Candidates would simply take the Network+ Bridge exam (BR0-002).
Security+ Certification

The Security+ exam was rewritten in 2009. The old version of the Security+ exam has been retired. As with Network+, there are currently two options for the Security+ 2009 certification:

  • For individuals who do not hold the Security+ certification, the candidate must take the SY0-201 exam.
  • For individuals who already have a previous Security+ certification, there is a Bridge exam to upgrade their certification to the 2009 version (BR0-001).
Linux+, Server+, and Project+ Certifications

Recently, CompTIA also released the beta exams for the new versions of three other certifications:

  • Linux+ Candidates who took the beta version have received their score reports. We expect the new version to be released sometime this quarter;  CompTIA has announced a date of January 2010. Once the new version is released, candidates will be able to certify using the old Linux+ exam (XK0-002) or the new Linux+ exam (XK0-003).
  • Server+ Candidates who took the beta version have received their score reports. We expect the new version to be released sometime this quarter, but there’s been no official announcement yet. Once the new version is released, candidates will be able to certify using the old Server+ exam (SK0-002) or the new Server+ exam (SK0-003).
  • Project+ Candidates who took the beta version have NOT received their score reports. We expect the new version to be released sometime this quarter — CompTIA says February 2010.  Once the new version is released, candidates will be able to certify using the old Project+ exam (PK0-002) or the new Project+ exam (PK0-003).

We’ve begun pre-development on these three practice tests, and the real writing will start after the betas are released.

Keep watching for updates on the new releases, and happy testing!

– Robin

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