This is a list of our most frequently asked questions


These frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide answers to general questions about Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and our certification program. 

Do you have a question that is not covered here? 

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General FAQ

The Linux Professional Institute is the world's first and largest vendor-neutral Linux certification body. We are committed to helping members of the Linux and open source community grow their career opportunities by providing professional resources and skills certifications. Supported by a global affiliate network, LPI is working to raise awareness of the power of open source technologies while helping to ensure IT professionals have the skills required to be competitive in the global workplace.

The biggest difference between LPI and other Linux certification programs is that our exams are completely vendor independent and distribution neutral. This helps you prove your skills across distributions to give you the flexibility to work in a wide range of environments. Vendor-specific programs like Red Hat and SUSE test only on their own distribution of Linux.

We welcome all of these programs because, in the end, they all help grow the pool of Linux support professionals which drives adoption of Linux!

Written exams are a global standard, even in IT. The procedures for producing high-quality multiple choice exams are firmly established. No such standard exists for hands-on exams. Therefore they tend to be ad hoc and rarely include pilot testing, item analysis, formal standard setting, and equating.

For a more detailed explanation, please review our Exam Development Process.

Written exams are a global standard, even in IT. The procedures for producing high-quality multiple choice exams are firmly established. No such standard exists for hands-on exams. Therefore they tend to be ad hoc and rarely include pilot testing, item analysis, formal standard setting, and equating.

For a more detailed explanation, please review our Exam Development Process.

Exam FAQ

  • Linux Essentials – one exam
  • LPIC-1 – two exams, 101 and 102
  • LPIC-2 – two exams, 201 and 202
  • LPIC-3 – one specialty exam, 300 or 303 or 304
  • DevOps Tools Engineer - one exam, 701 (+LPIC-1 or OS equivalent recommended)
  • BSD Specialist - one exam, 702

Note: Linux Essentials is a single exam, educational certificate program, not a professional certification.

For more information, please visit our Certifications Overview section.

No. You may write any version of the exams and they will count toward your certification equally. When we release a new version of an exam with updated objectives, the previous version remains available to candidates for 6 months. We do this to allow candidates to write the version of the exam that they have studied for. So for example, if you passed the 117-201 exam in the past, passing the 202-450 exam now would still result in achieving LPIC-2 certification.

All LPI exams are available as computer-based exams at the Pearson VUE Test Centers worldwide. The Linux Essentials exam is available for €115 and all LPIC exams are available for €160 each (plus VAT). Prices may vary slightly by region and some test centers charge an additional fee.
We offer exams at reduced prices at various events. As part of the Academic Partner program, schools, vocational schools, and universities can offer their students exams at discounted prices. For more information, see Partner Programs.

Our exams are offered worldwide through the Pearson VUE test centers. With thousands of global testing centers, visit Pearson VUE to find the test center closest to you.

We offer exams at reduced prices at various events.

The Linux Essentials exam consists of 40 questions and must be completed in 60 minutes.
All Linux Professional Track and Open Technology Track exams consist of 60 questions each and must be completed in 90 minutes.
All exams consist of multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions.

We apply psychometric principles throughout the exam development and scoring process and have experienced, dedicated Linux community members to assist us as subject matter experts for our projects to help ensure we continue to produce the highest quality exams we can. Additionally, we conduct thorough statistical analyses to evaluate exam reliability and individual exam items.

 

Because of these analyses and the psychometric properties of our exams, we feel our exams are tough, but fair.

 

For more information, please review our Exam Development Process.

As of April 1, 2009, all exam weights for LPIC exams have been standardized to 60 weights.

Each LPI exam is ranked on a scale from 200 to 800, with a passing score of 500. Since exam questions vary in difficulty, the number of correct answers required to reach the passing score of 500 will depend on the exact combination of questions on the exam you write. For security purposes, candidates are not always given the same questions as one another for a particular exam. The exact passing score is based on our psychometric studies to ensure all exams have a consistent level of difficulty.

The number of questions on the exam is also tied to the total of the weights of the objectives on the exam. With a total weight count of 60, the exam will have 60 questions. For each weighting, there will be one question. For example, if an objective has a weight of 4, there will be 4 questions on the exam related to the objective.

The exams are valid for five years. In the case of LPIC-2, the additional exam must be passed and passed before the LPIC-1 certification becomes inactive, since the single passed exam remains active, but does not extend the certification.

Certifications FAQ

Certifications may be verified on our Certification Verification page.

You will need to enter your LPI ID and certification's verification code. This code can be found by logging into Your Profile.

Your certification will be sent via regular post once you become certified. Please allow up to 6-8 weeks for delivery.
Please also ensure that the mailing address on your profile is up to date before writing your exams.

Yes. A PDF copy of your certificate can be downloaded from the overview page within your lpi.org account.

The Linux Professional Track (LPIC) certifications and the Open Technology Track certifications remain ACTIVE for FIVE years. Within these five years, you should re-certify or upgrade to the next certification level.

No, as long as the subordinate LPIC certification(s) are ACTIVE, you can take the exam(s) of the higher certification. As soon as they are passed, you will become certified.

Recertification FAQ

The Linux Essentials Professional Development Certificate, is the only certificate from the Linux Professional Institute and is not part of the advanced LPIC Professional Certification Program for Linux System Administrators or the Open Technology Track Certification Program.

 The Linux Essentials certificate is valid for a lifetime.

The Linux Professional Track certifications (LPIC certifications) build on each other and can recertify the lower levels by achieving a higher certification level.

Once a higher level certification has been earned, the status of all lower level certifications is ACTIVE for FIVE years from the date of the higher level certification.

However, candidates who do not re-certify and therefore no longer update their certification status must acquire their current and all subordinate certifications if they want to reactivate their certification status afterwards.

The LPIC-3 is the specialization level, i.e. that you can only be re-certified by taking and passing the same exam.

If you take and pass another LPIC-3 specialization exam within the five years, you will remain LPIC-3 certified, but you will not extend the other specialization.

No, the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer and the Linux Professional Institute BSD Specialist certifications are part of the Open Technology Track Certification Program but not part of the advanced LPIC Professional Certification Program for Linux system administrators.

BSD Specialist Certification FAQ

BSD Certification Group (BSDCG) merged with Linux Professional Institute in late December 2017. LPI established a BSD Advisory Committee and created the Linux Professional Institute BSD Specialist certification.  As our certifications are updated and new ones are created, we will ensure that BSD coverage is well represented where appropriate.

There are no prerequisites for the BSD Specialist. Candidates are advised to carefully review the objectives and use the list of topics as a learning guide.

No, the Linux Professional Institute BSD Specialist certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to obtain or extend an LPIC-1/-2/-3 certification. BSD Specialist is part of the Open Technology Program.

DevOps Certification FAQ

No, the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to extend LPIC-1/-2/-3 certifications.

No, the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to obtain an LPIC-1/-2/-3 certification.

No, there are no requirements to take the exam. LPI recommends candidates to have Linux skills on an LPIC-1 level and a similar amount of knowledge in software engineering, including proficiency in least one programming language.