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  1. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #1

    Default DoubleNNs RHCE Journey

    One of my certification goals for this year was to get the RHCSA. I've decided to not stop there and go for the RHCSA then the RHCE.

    I kept a loosely updated progress thread when I took my 3 AWS certs earlier this year, so I think I'll do the same for the RHCE. My goal wfor now will be to finish both by the end of October, so roughly 3 months.

    I don't have a study plan just yet, so picking wha materials to use will be my first goal. I'll probably start with CBT Nuggets, progress to Linux Academy, and then a book, while labbing the entire way thru.
    Goals for 2017:
    RHCSA, RHCE, LFCS: Ubuntu | Project+ | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer | Learn Docker, Kubernetes, Prometheus, Golang | Improve Python Programming
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  3. Objectives my friend! varelg's Avatar
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    #2
    I don't know what's the quality of CBT Nuggets videos in regards to Linux, but from my own experience the combination of LinuxAcademy + Sander Van Vugt's guide + CertDepot prepared me well enough to pass the RHCSA exam with confidence.
    Think of RHCSA as an exam on Linux as the client in the enterprise.
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    #3
    CBT Nuggets doesn't have an RHCSA or RHCE course. I suggest going with Safari Books Online so you can get Sander Van Vugt's RHCSA/RHCE book and his video series for both RHCSA/RHCE. 3 months to do RHCSA and RHCE is an impressive pace if you're able to pull them both off in that time. I ran into a number of issues studying for my RHCE using Linux Academy; their environment prevents certain labs from being completed due to restrictions in place. I labbed for RHCSA with 2 RHEL 7 VMs using Vagrant + Virtualbox. I've continue a bit with RHCE that way, but most of my work responsibilities fall into the RHCE objectives so I haven't really had to create new VM in Vbox.
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  5. California Kid JoJoCal19's Avatar
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    #4
    Good luck on your RHCE pursuit!
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, GCIA, GSEC, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, BSBA - University of Florida, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: MS Cybersecurity, Learning Python
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  6. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #5
    CBT Nuggets doesn't have a RHCSA course, but they do have "CentOS Admin" videos, which are supposed to mirror the RHCSA objectives. I guess Red Hat didn't allow them to use their brand in their training videos?
    I'm not sure how up-to-date it is. If it's for RHEL 7, I'll go thru them. If they're for RHEl 6 I'll skip.

    Both of you recommend Sander van Vugt's books. Is it better than Michael Jang's?
    Goals for 2017:
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleNNs View Post
    CBT Nuggets doesn't have a RHCSA course, but they do have "CentOS Admin" videos, which are supposed to mirror the RHCSA objectives. I guess Red Hat didn't allow them to use their brand in their training videos?
    I'm not sure how up-to-date it is. If it's for RHEL 7, I'll go thru them. If they're for RHEl 6 I'll skip.

    Both of you recommend Sander van Vugt's books. Is it better than Michael Jang's?
    Sander had the first book and full video series out for RHCSA/RHCE 7 so I've been using his materials ever since they've been available. High quality training that's been proven effective in certifying and in my opinion and better than Linux Academy training.

    I lost my faith in Michael Jang's author abilities when I heard the hype about his RHCSA/RHCE 6 guide a few years back (on this forum) and couldn't follow the labs because he jumped around a lot (I'm not the only one who had that issue with his previous book) so I didn't bother going in depth with his new book.
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  8. The whole Shebang! hiddenknight821's Avatar
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    #7
    Glad to see you join the RHC{SA,E} journey, Double! I'm actually due to sit the EX200 exam soon next month. I have both Jang's 6th and 7th editions. Was hoping to take the RHCSA on RHEL6 few years back, but never got around to it. I went through the whole RHCSA section on the 6th edition, and I agree with the others on how poorly written the first two chapters were. I had to sit down and write up a note to clear up the confusion so I can revisit it later rather than re-reading both chapters.

    All of that has changed in the 7th edition. They've heard numerous complaints and fixed it up in the 7th edition. Even people over at linuxadmin subreddit wrote positively about the major improvement. I've skimmed over Vugt's book on the RHCSA part. The chapters are very short and easy to consume daily. The only cons I have with his book is the massive amount of typos, and how he'd not give enough depth on the topics. The way I see it, his book helps those who just need to know enough to pass the exam. He'd get straight to the point on the commands we need know to meet the exam objectives. I really appreciate the LDAP server configuration he provided in his book, so that we can test the client side for the exam. His instruction is probably dated now, and like the others said, I'd highly recommend complementing the study guide of your choosing with CertDepot for server configuration to test NFS, Samba, LDAP, and IPA clients.
    Last edited by hiddenknight821; 07-22-2016 at 12:06 AM.
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  9. Objectives my friend! varelg's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenknight821 View Post
    ... The only cons I have with his book is the massive amount of typos, and how he'd not give enough depth on the topics. The way I see it, his book helps those who just need to know enough to pass the exam. He'd get straight to the point on the commands we need know to meet the exam objectives. I really appreciate the LDAP server configuration he provided in his book, so that we can test the client side for the exam. His instruction is probably dated now, and like the others said, I'd highly recommend complementing the study guide of your choosing with CertDepot for server configuration to test NFS, Samba, LDAP, and IPA clients.
    I just finished reading up the IPv6 part of Sander's guide, somehow the resulting link-local address had "x" in it. An x in a hexadecimal string...
    I wouldn't say the amount of typos is massive, nor that instructions are dated. And it definitely offers much bigger scope of preparing you just enough to cross the finish line. Unlike the LinuxAcademy's RHCSA course, speaking of limited explanations. For me, the biggest value of his guide, beside instructions, is in the pre- and post- exercises. Every chapter starts with "do I know this already" section which really helps engage the student and keep his/her attention through the chapter. And then you have post- chapter exercises, labs, multiple-choice questions all of which helps reinforce what you already learned and remembered. I don't know what's in Jang's book and I hope they went out of their way to match that level of attention to knowledge/memory retention.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    @Varelg, I concur.

    @HiddenKnight, you should be getting your "depth" from man pages and/or reading about each technology on their respective website (NFS, SMB, MariaDB, etc). The RHCSA and RHCE exams don't cover in depth material and you can see that if you look at the course objectives. The idea of these certifications is to validate your abilities, so you are correct, Sander gives you enough to pass the exam which is exactly the purpose of his book/videos.
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  11. The whole Shebang! hiddenknight821's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by varelg View Post
    I wouldn't say the amount of typos is massive, nor that instructions are dated.
    IMHO, the amount of typo is negligible for those who are very familiar with linux, but it'd be a nuisance for most linux newcomers. Even most of the positive reviews on Amazon mentioned having too many typos. Nevertheless, it's still a good book for those who want to study and pass the exam as quickly as possible.

    To clarify on the "dated instruction", I was specifically speaking about the LDAP server configuration he provided, which is probably based on 7.0. Even CertDepot pointed out that configurations are slightly different on each major release.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verities View Post
    @HiddenKnight, you should be getting your "depth" from man pages and/or reading about each technology on their respective website (NFS, SMB, MariaDB, etc).
    I concur with that point, but it'd be easier for those who are just getting into system administration. I sure didn't understand the manpages when I started out, and I appreciate the depth introduction on the topics.
    Last edited by hiddenknight821; 07-22-2016 at 06:49 PM.
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  12. Objectives my friend! varelg's Avatar
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    #11
    >>>but it'd be a nuisance for most linux newcomers<<<
    Wait... what?! RHCSA is for newcomers?
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  13. The whole Shebang! hiddenknight821's Avatar
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    #12
    Sorry if I didn't define a linux newcomer clearly enough. I'd like to believe that the gap between Linux+ and RHCSA is probably wide. I'd consider anyone recently passing Linux+ without experience a newcomer since they're not really practicing system administration, but they're just getting their feet wet. RHCSA is like the CCNA of Linux.

    Certification is just a mean to an end. Promotion, raise, a foot-in-the-door. You name it. I see this can quickly turn into an age-old debate as we've several threads here where experienced folks would frown upon certifications. Yet, we'd argue that one would need experience to truly meet the certification objectives. That's a chicken-and-egg problem here. Here's what Red Hat said about the intended audience and prerequisites for the RHCSA:

    Audience for this exam

    -Experienced Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators seeking validation of their skills

    -Students who have attended Red Hat System Administration I and II and are on the path to earn RHCSA certification

    -Experienced Linux system administrators who require a certification either by their organization or based on a mandate (DOD 8570 directive)

    -IT professionals who are on the path to earn RHCE certification

    -An RHCE who is noncurrent or who is about to become noncurrent and wants to recertify as an RHCE

    Prerequisites for this exam
    Candidates for this exam should:

    -Have either taken the Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and II (RH134) courses or else the RHCSA Rapid Track Course (RH199) or have comparable work experience as a system administrator on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    -Review the Red Hat Certified System Administrator exam (EX200) objectives
    Linux newcomers can still sit the exam as they wish, but they'd have to put in good amount of preparation comparable to a practicing system administrator. It's likely they'll try to take the path of the least resistance and wanted to be spoon-fed early on.
    Last edited by hiddenknight821; 07-22-2016 at 11:39 PM.
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  14. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by hiddenknight821 View Post
    I sure didn't understand the manpages when I started out, and I appreciate the depth introduction on the topics.
    I STILL to this day don't understand manpages lol. They're a godsend for when I know what I'm looking for a need a reference. They're unwieldy and inconvenient (IMHO) otherwise.

    I also agree w/ you. I view the RHCSA as an equivalent to the CCNA, and the CCNA is def an entry-level certification. I'll be able to better judge the connection between the 2 certs as I dive deeper into the Red Hat studies tho.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    For your edification, man pages are usually authored by the individuals who wrote the binary or program you are referencing. Keep in mind you don't have Google available to you during the exam, so when you forget how to do something you can only reference the man pages.

    Also..suppose you have an interview for a Linux position and they ask you about the different sections of the man pages but you don't know. The man pages is one of the first things any Linux newbie should become familiar with
    Last edited by Verities; 07-23-2016 at 01:02 AM.
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  16. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #15
    The fact that they're written by the same people who wrote the utility is actually why I don't like them -- sometimes they're just over-engineered. (Silicon Valley - esque lol (TV Show, not place)).

    I'm fully aware that I'll have little other references during the Red Hat certs, but I have no problem using manpages as references. I just don't prefer them when I'm using a utility I'm not yet familiar w/, and the point of studying prior to the exam is so that I'm familiar w/ the objectives by the time I get around to sitting, so I'll be fine.

    At the point, I'm fairly familiar to manpages. It's just that If I have other resources available, I'd most likely prefer to use them instead. I know that makes other Linux Admins look at me lesser, but oh well.
    Maybe going thru these 2 exams will change that for me tho
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  17. The whole Shebang! hiddenknight821's Avatar
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    #16
    For me, reading manpages get easier over time. What really helped me was playing around with several commands and the arguments. I'd have to abuse it so many times to get a better grasp on it.

    In the manpage, I'd see one of the available options for a command such as: --domain=DOMAIN

    Few years ago, I'd think I have to include the equal sign (which is still acceptable) and type the complete command as following:
    #ipa-client-install --domain=example.com

    It takes experience and working with/learning from others to understand how to complete a unfamiliar or rarely-used command with the manpage alone. I agree with Double, I'd rather learn about the basic from others who can break it down for me, then I'll understand the relevant manpage better. Up to this day, IMO, the "bash" manpage is probably the most difficult to understand.

    Without a doubt, my favorite tool is bash-completion. I'd need to remember to install it during the exam if it doesn't exist as it comes in handy. It also helped me complete the command in case I forget what are needed.

    I also had a misconception about how manpages were written as I thought they aren't standardized, and the binary publishers would write whatever the hell they want. So when I see <argument>, I thought anything between the tags are optional, when those are actually mandatory arguments. The brackets are optional, but you must specify one of the options divided by the vertical bars '|'. I also learned that for certain commands, you do not need to spell out the argument option (--domain). You can just fill in the response instead (example.com). As far as I know, this works on some of the 'virsh' sub-commands such as 'virsh net-update'. If you're completing the command implicitly (not spelling out the options), you must have the arguments in order as shown in help or manpage. You can use dash '-' as an argument placeholder to let the command assume the default response for the implicit option.

    Here's an example (outputted from 'virsh help pool-create-as'):
    Code:
    pool-create-as <name> <type> [--print-xml] [--source-host <string>] [--source-path <string>] [--source-dev <string>] [--source-name <string>] [--target <string>] [--source-format <string>] [--auth-type <string>] [--auth-username <string>] [--secret-usage <string>] [--adapter-name <string>] [--adapter-wwnn <string>] [--adapter-wwpn <string>] [--adapter-parent <string>]
    I can do the following:
    #virsh pool-define-as name_of_pool logical - - /dev/sdc3 volume_group_name

    Rather than the "long way":
    #virsh pool-define-as name_of_pool logical --source-path /dev/sdc3 --source-dev volume_group_name

    Few more things I want to add that I find tremendously helpful. If you know VI/VIM, then you can navigate through manpage and 'less' pager relatively easy as you can search for certain keyword backward and forward. I really appreciate some publishers that at least include the EXAMPLES section as I've seen them in some of the SELinux documentations. Other favorite manpage sections are FILES and SEE ALSO. You also must get acquaintance with 'man -k' and 'mandb'. Running the appropriate daily cron job would work too. This is all I know about the manpage, but don't get me started on the section numbers other than 1, 5, and 8. I don't understand the library and system calls very much.
    Last edited by hiddenknight821; 07-23-2016 at 02:55 AM.
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  18. Objectives my friend! varelg's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleNNs View Post
    ... I'm fully aware that I'll have little other references during the Red Hat certs, but I have no problem using manpages as references. I just don't prefer them when I'm using a utility I'm not yet familiar w/, and the point of studying prior to the exam is so that I'm familiar w/ the objectives by the time I get around to sitting, so I'll be fine.

    At the point, I'm fairly familiar to manpages. It's just that If I have other resources available, I'd most likely prefer to use them instead. I know that makes other Linux Admins look at me lesser, but oh well.
    Maybe going thru these 2 exams will change that for me tho
    Maybe the very name "man" pages got people expecting a solution other than what man pages really are. If they were for example called "ref" pages instead of man, the attitude may have changed. Maybe if someone creates a set of pages oriented solely towards solutions rather than dry explanations, consider few most likely user scenarios for each command (like the EXAMPLES section of man pages, only much larger), and open those pages to contributions from actual users rather than just the developers of the binaries, usability of online docs would suddenly increase.
    When i prepared for my LPIC-1 exams (passed them but I let the certification quietly expire), I was reading man pages a lot (there was only one guide at the time). For my RHCSA preparations however, the usage of man pages shifted- it wasn't about learning about the command anymore but rather a quick reminder, like when I was stuck at a conf file's syntax for example, or see a solution at a guide that used an option to a command that I wasn't familiar with. Man pages hold their value, but they also need to be re-worked/improved/reconstructed to increase their usability.
    I wonder what's your experience with info pages and would you prefer them than man pages, as someone who avoids using man...
    P.S. Rather than looking for association between CCNA and RHCSA, consider the difference between Linux+ and RHCSA: Linux+ is Linux in the SOHO and RHCSA is Linux in the enterprise.
    Last edited by varelg; 07-23-2016 at 09:38 PM.
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  19. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by varelg View Post
    For my RHCSA preparations however, the usage of man pages shifted- it wasn't about learning about the command anymore but rather a quick reminder, like when I was stuck at a conf file's syntax for example, or see a solution at a guide that used an option to a command that I wasn't familiar with. Man pages hold their value, but they also need to be re-worked/improved/reconstructed to increase their usability.
    That's almost precisely how I use man pages, and almost always have, if I had access to the Internet at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by varelg;
    I wonder what's your experience with info pages and would you prefer them than man pages, as someone who avoids using man...
    Haven't looked at an info page in a long time. Honestly, I like either usage messages, or full on tutorials. The tutorial can be in the form of a blog post, forum post, verbal, book, video, w/e. If neither are available, I'll use man.

    Quote Originally Posted by varelg;
    P.S. Rather than looking for association between CCNA and RHCSA, consider the difference between Linux+ and RHCSA: Linux+ is Linux in the SOHO and RHCSA is Linux in the enterprise.
    Where do startups fall under that model? Or depts that use cloud?
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  20. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #19
    Got sick directly after creating this thread, so it took me a while to get started on studying.
    So far, got halfway thru the CBT Nuggets CentOS Admin course. It's based on the old RHCSA on RHEL 6 instead of RHEL 7. Decided it'd still be a nice primer, so I have an inkling of what to expect when going into the following material.

    Blitzing thru the CBT Nuggets course; plan to be finished by EOD tomorrow. Afterwards, I'll take a few days break and look up stuff that would help me at work instead of the cert, and probably jump into the Linux Academy RHCSA course in the middle of next week.

    I might have to adjust my RHCE timeline and give myself more time, so I can have time to focus on work-related topics too. But I definitely want to get the RHCSA quickly, even if I have to take a hiatus between the certs. Not something I'll worry too much about for now, but something I'll have to decide upon in the coming months.
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    #20
    My plan for RHCSA/RHCE:
    Sander's book:
    Red Hat RHCSA/RHCE 7 Cert Guide Premium Edition and Practice Tests | Pearson IT Certification
    with premium edition you receive tons of stuff:
    • 8 complete practice exams: 4 for RHCSA and 4 for RHCE in PDF format
    • Gain expertise and knowledge using the companion website, which contains more than 40 interactive exercises, 4 advanced CLI simulations, 40 interactive quizzes and glossary quizzes (one for each chapter), 3 virtual machines and more.
    Buying book from Pearson you receive 30 day free access to Safarybooksonline.
    I think Complete Video Course:
    https://www.safaribooksonline.com/li...9780133965803/
    Final Exam Workshop:
    https://www.safaribooksonline.com/li...9780134193281/
    Webcasts
    https://www.safaribooksonline.com/li...9780134314754/
    and Linuxacademy labs will be enough bee ready for RHCSA in 30 day.
    Another month subscription on Safari and same path for RHCE.
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  22. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #21
    I finished the CBT Nuggets course last month, but haven't gotten back to the RHCSA material since. The "break" of studying things for work turned into a lot longer duration than I had planned. Gotten through 2 additional Linux Academy courses since my last post (AWS + Active Directory; PostgreSQL 9.4 Administration).

    Regardless, my goal is still to get the RHCSA, tho apparently I'm going to have to pass on the RHCE for 2016 .
    Goals for 2017:
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  23. Senior Member asummers's Avatar
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    #22
    RHCE for 2016 is still doable.
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  24. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #23
    It definitely IS still doable. But I have a ton of new tech to learn for my newest job. Additionally, I have to study for an pass a Cisco exam at some point this year to renew my CCNA. I still want the RHCSA, but I'm gonna have to put other projects and study goals ahead of the RHCE. Unfortunately.
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    #24
    Whatever pays the bills should always come first. Once you're comfortable with your current role, then get back to RHCE. Good luck!
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    #25
    I am not certified however I like to dabble with Linux and Red Hat technologies in my spare time.

    I have found the Sander book in conjunction with the video series very in formative and easy to follow.

    I would watch a video, take notes, read chapter and experiment.

    As for man pages I do not use them either anything I need to know I just fire up the tablet and google away

    Also the latest version of the Linux bible is very Red Hat orientated could be good for supplemented reading.
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