Exam Info and Objectives
The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) and the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification exams are performance-based hands-on exams designed for IT professionals. These exams are presented in electronic format on a live desktop computer running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. There is one RHEL7-based virtual machine running on the desktop computer for the RHCSA exam and two for the RHCE exam. During the exams, the candidates do not have access to the Internet, or printed or electronic documentation except for what comes standard with RHEL7. The official exam objectives are listed at http://www.redhat.com/training/courses/ex200/examobjective for RHCSA and that for RHCE at http://www.redhat.com/training/courses/ex300/examobjective. Visit the URLs for up-to-date and more in-depth information about the exams. The exam objectives are covered in sufficient detail in the chapters throughout this book. An enumerated list of exam objectives is presented below along with a chapter number where the objective is found.

RHCSA™ Specific Skills:

Understand and Use Essential Tools:

  1. Access a shell prompt and issue commands with correct syntax (chapter 2)

  2. Use input-output redirection (>, >>, |, 2>, etc) (chapter 4)

  3. Use grep and regular expressions to analyze text (chapter 4)

  4. Access remote systems using ssh (chapter 13)

  5. Log in and switch users in multiuser targets (chapter 8)

  6. Archive, compress, unpack, and uncompress files using tar, star, gzip, and bzip2 (chapter 2)

  7. Create and edit text files (chapter 2)

  8. Create, delete, copy, and move files and directories (chapter 3)

  9. Create hard and soft links (chapter 3)

  10. List, set, and change standard ugo/rwx permissions (chapter 3)

  11. Locate, read, and use system documentation including man, info, and files in /usr/share/doc (chapter 2)

Operate Running Systems

  1. Boot, reboot, and shut down a system normally (chapter 7)

  2. Boot systems into different targets manually (chapter 7)

  3. Interrupt the boot process in order to gain access to a system (chapter 7)

  4. Identify CPU/memory intensive processes, adjust process priority with renice, and kill processes (chapter 4)

  5. Locate and interpret system log files and journals (chapter 7)

  6. Access a virtual machine's console (chapter 6)

  7. Start and stop virtual machines (chapter 6)

  8. Start, stop, and check the status of network services (chapter 7)

  9. Securely transfer files between systems (chapter 13)

Configure Local Storage

  1. List, create, and delete partitions on MBR and GPT disks (chapter 9)

  2. Create and remove physical volumes, assign physical volumes to volume groups, and create and delete logical volumes (chapter 9)

  3. Configure systems to mount file systems at boot by Universally Unique ID (UUID) or label (chapter 10)

  4. Add new partitions and logical volumes, and swap to a system non-destructively (chapters 9 and 10)

Create and Configure File Systems

  1. Create, mount, unmount, and use vfat, ext4, and xfs file systems (chapter 10)

  2. Mount and unmount CIFS and NFS network file systems (chapters 10, 20, and 21)

  3. Extend existing logical volumes (chapter 9)

  4. Create and configure set-GID directories for collaboration (chapter 3)

  5. Create and manage Access Control Lists (ACLs) (chapter 10)

  6. Diagnose and correct file permission problems (chapter 3)

Deploy, Configure, and Maintain Systems

  1. Configure networking and hostname resolution statically or dynamically (chapter 12 and 15)

  2. Schedule tasks using at and cron (chapter 4)

  3. Start and stop services and configure services to start automatically at boot (chapter 7)

  4. Configure systems to boot into a specific target automatically (chapter 7)

  5. Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux automatically using Kickstart (chapter 6)

  6. Configure a physical machine to host virtual guests (chapter 6)

  7. Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems as virtual guests (chapter 6)

  8. Configure systems to launch virtual machines at boot (chapter 6)

  9. Configure network services to start automatically at boot (chapter 7)

  10. Configure a system to use time services (chapter 12 and 16)

  11. Install and update software packages from Red Hat Network, a remote repository, or from the local file system (chapter 5)

  12. Update the kernel package appropriately to ensure a bootable system (chapter 7)

  13. Modify the system bootloader (chapter 7)

Manage Users and Groups

  1. Create, delete, and modify local user accounts (chapter 8)

  2. Change passwords and adjust password aging for local user accounts (chapter 8)

  3. Create, delete, and modify local groups and group memberships (chapter 8)

  4. Configure a system to use an existing authentication service for user and group information (chapter 12)

Manage Security

  1. Configure firewall settings using firewall-config, firewall-cmd, or iptables (chapter 11)

  2. Configure key-based authentication for SSH (chapter 13)

  3. Set enforcing and permissive modes for SELinux (chapter 11)

  4. List and identify SELinux file and process context (chapter 11)

  5. Restore default file contexts (chapter 11)

  6. Use boolean settings to modify system SELinux settings (chapter 11)

  7. Diagnose and address routine SELinux policy violations (chapter 11)

RHCE™ Specific Skills:

System Configuration and Management

  1. Use network teaming or bonding to configure aggregate network links between two Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems (chapter 15)

  2. Configure IPv6 addresses and perform basic IPv6 troubleshooting (chapter 15)

  3. Route IP traffic and create static routes (chapter 15)

  4. Use firewallD and associated mechanisms such as rich rules, zones and custom rules, to implement packet filtering and configure network address translation (NAT) (chapter 17)

  5. Use /proc/sys and sysctl to modify and set kernel runtime parameters (chapter 18)

  6. Configure a system to authenticate using Kerberos (chapter 17)

  7. Configure a system as either an iSCSI target or initiator that persistently mounts an iSCSI target (chapter 19)

  8. Produce and deliver reports on system utilization (processor, memory, disk, and network) (chapter 18)

  9. Use shell scripting to automate system maintenance tasks (chapter 14)

  10. Configure a system to log to a remote system (chapter 18) [Removed from the official exam objectives list]

  11. Configure a system to accept logging from a remote system (chapter 18) [Removed from the official exam objectives list]

Network Services

Network services are an important subset of the exam objectives. RHCE candidates should be capable of meeting the following objectives for each of the network services listed below:

  • Install the packages needed to provide the service

  • Configure SELinux to support the service

  • Use SELinux port labelling to allow services to use non-standard ports

  • 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

HTTP/HTTPS (chapter 22)

  1. Configure a virtual host

  2. Configure private directories

  3. Deploy a basic CGI application

  4. Configure group-managed content

  5. Configure TLS security

DNS (chapter 24)

  1. Configure a caching-only name server

  2. Troubleshoot DNS client issues

NFS (chapter 20)

  1. Provide network shares to specific clients

  2. Provide network shares suitable for group collaboration

  3. Use Kerberos to control access to NFS network shares

SMB (chapter 21)

  1. Provide network shares to specific clients

  2. Provide network shares suitable for group collaboration

  3. Use Kerberos to authenticate access to shared directories [Removed from the official exam objectives list]

SMTP (chapter 23)

  1. Configure a system to forward all email to a central mail server

SSH (chapter 13) [This chapter is in the RHCSA section]

  1. Configure key-based authentication

  2. Configure additional options described in documentation

NTP (chapter 16)

  1. Synchronize time using other NTP peers

Database Services (chapter 25)

  1. Install and configure MariaDB

  2. Backup and restore a database

  3. Create a simple database schema

  4. Perform simple SQL queries against a database
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