Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS)

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Exam Fee: $300

Exam may be scheduled anytime within 12 months of purchase

NEW: Includes one free retake attempt per purchase.


Linux is the #1 operating system for web servers, cloud computing, smart phones and consumer electronics. Because Linux is growing so quickly, there is a shortage of experienced Linux professionals. According to the 2015 Linux Jobs Report, 97% of hiring managers are looking to add Linux talent this year. There are 50,000+ open job listings requiring Linux on And individuals with Linux skills are being recruited at an unprecedented rate. Demonstrate to employers that you have both the skills and the knowledge to be a top sysadmin with the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator.

LFCS Exam Preparation

LFCS Exam + LFS201 (Essentials of Linux System Administration) - $499

  • A self-paced 100% online course
  • Full 12 months to complete the course
  • Gives you the foundational principles you need to take the LFCS exam
Register for LFS201 & LFCS Exam

Need a more intense preparation option? Check out LFS220 - Linux System Administration.

Why Choose Linux Foundation Certifications

There are many reasons to choose Linux Foundation Certifications. Here are just a few:

  • The Linux Foundation is the non-profit organization that hosts the Linux project, employs Linux creator Linus Torvalds and hosts (where all Linux kernel updates are released). Wo when you get our certifications, you’re getting certified from the source.
  • Because we’re so close to the Linux community, we are able to update our certifications regularly using feedback from the community to make sure our exams are using the most up-to-date information.
  • The Linux Foundation has the only performance-based certifications on the market today that are available in all the major Linux distributions: CentOS, Ubuntu and SUSE.
  • We don't sell any software or support services so we’re completely distribution-neutral. Our only goal is to help you advance your Linux career.




Candidates must pass the required Exam to earn Certification. Review the following sections under Exam Details for more information:

Need some free extra help? Download our Free Certification Preparation Guide.

Exam Details

Exam Format

Certification Exams are performance-based and Candidates will need to perform tasks or solve problems using the command line interface in their chosen Linux distribution. For exam security, Candidates are monitored by a proctor during the exam session via streaming audio, video, and screensharing feeds. The screensharing feed allows proctors to view candidates' desktops (including all monitors). The audio, video and screensharing feeds will be stored for a limited period of time in the event that there is a subsequent need for review.

Candidates must ensure they meet the System, ID, and Other Requirements for Taking the Exam.

The following choices of Linux distributions are offered for the Exam. Candidates will be prompted to select from one of these choices when registering for the Exam.

  • CentOS 7
  • openSUSE 13.1
  • Ubuntu 14.04

System, ID, and Other Requirements

System Requirements

Candidates are required to provide their own front-end hardware (laptop or workstation) with Chrome or Chromium browser, reliable internet access, and a webcam and microphone in order to take exams. Candidates do not need to provide their own Linux installation or VM; they will be presented with a VM in their browser window using a terminal emulator. Candidates should use the compatibility check tool to verify that their system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements.

ID Requirements for Candidate Identification and Authentication

Candidates are required to provide a means of photo identification before the Exam can be launched. Acceptable forms of photo ID include current, non-expired: passport, government-issued driver's license/permit, national ID card, state or province-issued ID card, or other form of government issued identification. If acceptable proof of identification is not provided to the exam proctor prior to the exam, entry to the exam will be refused. Candidates who are refused entry due to lack of sufficient ID will not be eligible for a refund or rescheduling.

Other Requirements

Candidates should also be sure to review Policy and Terms for Certification and Exams.

Overview of Domains and Competencies

The Linux Foundation worked with industry experts and the Linux kernel community to identify the core domains and the critical skills, knowledge and abilities ("competencies") applicable to each certification. Performance-based exams were then developed based on the competencies that were identified.

Below follows the core Domains and Competencies covered by the LFCS Exam.


  • Editing text files on the command line
  • Manipulating text files from the command line

Filesystem & storage

  • Archiving and compressing files and directories
  • Assembling partitions as LVM devices
  • Configuring swap partitions
  • File attributes
  • Finding files on the filesystem
  • Formatting filesystems
  • Mounting filesystems automatically at boot time
  • Mounting networked filesystems
  • Partitioning storage devices
  • Troubleshooting filesystem issues

Local system administration

  • Creating backups
  • Creating local user groups
  • Managing file permissions
  • Managing fstab entries
  • Managing local users accounts
  • Managing the startup process and related services
  • Managing user accounts
  • Managing user account attributes
  • Managing user processes
  • Restoring backed up data
  • Setting file permissions and ownership

Local security

  • Accessing the root account
  • Using sudo to manage access to the root account

Shell scripting

  • Basic bash shell scripting

Software management

  • Installing software packages

Scoring and Notification

A score of at least 74% must be earned to pass the Exam.

Upon completion, exams are scored automatically and a score report will be made available within three (3) business days. If a passing score is achieved and other applicable requirements for Certification have been fulfilled, a notification indicating the Candidate has been successfully Certified will follow the score report.

Duration of Exam

2 hours



Policy and Terms for Certification and Exams


Candidates who sit for Linux Foundation Certification Exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of The Linux Foundation Certification and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning the certification exam. The Agreement applies to all exams. Signing and adhering to this Agreement is required to be officially certified and to maintain valid Certification.

Refunds, Cancellations, Rescheduling

View Terms and Conditions of Exam Registration to understand the policy on refunds, cancelations and rescheduling.

Retake Policy

View the Retake Policy to get info regarding eligibility for a free retake.

Optional Training and Resources

Free Resources

Linux Foundation Certification Candidate Handbook

All Candidates should review and familiarize themselves with the Candidate Handbook prior to taking an Exam.

Certification Preparation Guide

Need some extra help? Download the Certification Prep Guide.

Course ID Title Duration

Introduction to Linux

Linux powers 94% of the world’s supercomputers, most of the servers powering the Internet, the majority of financial trades worldwide and a billion Android devices. In short, Linux is everywhere. It appears in many different architectures, from mainframes to server to desktop to mobile and on a staggeringly wide variety of hardware. This free self-paced course will teach you how to develop a good working knowledge of Linux using both the graphical interface and command line.

Essentials of System Administration

Linux is the #1 operating system for web servers, cloud computing, smart phones and consumer electronics. Due to its rapid adoption, there's a shortage of Linux system administrators. According to the 2015 Linux Jobs Report, "the unstoppable Linux job market shows no sign of slowing down." The Linux Foundation has created a career entry training and certification path that is 100% online, highly respected and exceptionally affordable.
1 year access

How to Renew Certifications

Linux Foundation Certifications are valid for 2 years. Candidates may renew Certification by completing one of the renewal requirement options below. Renewal requirements must be completed prior to the expiration of a Certification. Any renewal requirements completed before the Renewal Date of a Certification will not carry over to the new period.

Options to meet Certification renewal requirements:

  • Achieve (or renew) a higher-level Certification. When using a higher-level Certification to extend a lower-level Certification, the expiration date of the lower-level Certification will be extended to match the expiration date of the higher Certification. For the lower-level certification, the date on which the expiration date is extended becomes the Renewal Date. (For example, if Certificant has one year left on their LFCS Certification and earns LFCE Certification, then both their LFCS and LFCE certifications will be made to expire 24 months from the date that LFCE certification was achieved. The date on which LFCS Certification has its expiration date extended becomes the Renewal Date for the LFCS Certification.)
  • Complete at least 16 hours of Continuing Education. Certificants must complete at least 16 hours of approved Continuing Education activities before the expiration date of their Certification and will need to submit an Application for Continuing Education Credit to receive credit towards renewal. Continuing Education credits will be applied to the highest-level of Certification that is current for a Candidate. The 16 (sixteen) hours of activities must align to at least four (4) of the Domains for that Certification. Certificants who complete the necessary Continuing Education requirements on time will have their applicable Certification extended for an additional 24 months on the expiration date of their Certification. (For example, if Certificant’s LFCS Certification expires on January 25, 2017 and Certificant completes Continuing Education requirements on October 1, 2014, their LFCS Certification will be extended for an additional 24 months on January 25, 2015. The expiration date for Certification is extended to January 25, 2017 and January 25, 2017 becomes the Renewal Date for that Certification.)
  • Approved Continuing Education activities include:

    • Advanced training courses from The Linux Foundation’s Developer and/or Enterprise curriculum (designated with a Linux Foundation course code of 300 or higher, e.g. LFD320 or LFS426).
    • Approved training from another provider, e.g. from a Linux Foundation Authorized Training Partner or from an established Linux training provider such as Red Hat, Oracle, IBM, HP, SUSE and other similar programs.

    Certificants may complete any combination of approved Continuing Education activities to reach the number of hours required for renewal.