Review: RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide (Exams EX200 & EX300), 6th Edition

After I decided to add some reviews to the site, the first item I decided to pick was a no-brainer. It’s the RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide (Exams EX200 & EX300), 6th Edition by Michael Jang. If you’re even considering trying to take the RHCSA or RHCE exam, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Michael Jang has written a number of Linux-focused books, a number of which cover other professional certifications including the now deprecated Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT). However, the 6th edition of the Study Guide has been completely revised to cover the new objectives of the RHCSA certification.

The book starts out with preparing the reader with what to expect during the exam (from a general perspective) as well as what is required in order to proceed with completing the home study and sample questions which accompany each chapter in the book.

Jang then moves on in the first nine chapters to cover all of the objectives that are specified by Red Hat as included in the RHCSA exam criteria. These include: basic and intermediate command line tools, virtual machines (KVM), system log management, basic network services like FTP and HTTP, disk management and security.

The latter portion of the book (chapters 10 to 17) covers preparation for the RHCE exam. However, it would be a mistake to only review those chapters for RHCE as many of the topics and sample exercises that Jang presents build upon topics that he addresses in chapters 1 through 9.

What I liked:
Coming from a Solaris background, and as someone who has used Linux off and on for a number of years, but not seriously until the past year or so, I found this book to be an ideal tool to immerse myself back into the Linux pool, and, specifically, Red Hat/CentOS. I especially found the lab exercises at the end of each chapter and the sample exams to be of particular value. The inclusion of a CD-ROM containing the book in PDF format was also a nice addition.

What I didn’t like:
Not much really. The only criticism I have is that some of the topics that Jang covers, he covers a little lightly. In other words, I got the feeling that I knew just enough to get by in the exam and nothing more. To be fair, however, he didn’t write this book to serve as a desktop reference for RHEL 6. It’s a study guide and it performs that task very well.

Finally, if you’re interested in reading more about the RHCE Study Guide, go to www.linuxtarget.com for other linux tips, tricks and howtos.

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