Certification Terms, Conditions and FAQ

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Agreements, Terms & Conditions

Certification FAQ

About Linux Foundation's Certification Program

  1. Why did LF create a certification program?
  2. How does it compare to other certification programs?
  3. How were the Certification exams developed?

Registration, Payment, Scheduling Info 

  1. How do I register for an Exam?
  2. I registered for the Exam… now what?
  3. How do I schedule a time to take an Exam?
  4. How soon after registering do I need to schedule and take an Exam?
  5. What are the registration fees for exams?
  6. What forms of payment are accepted for exam fees?
  7. What is the refund policy for exams?
  8. How do I request a refund on exam registration fees?
  9. How do I reschedule or cancel an exam reservation?
  10. How can I change the distribution for my exam environment from what I selected during the exam registration?
  11. Can I register for Certification Exams without taking a course?

Certification Exam Basics

  1. How / where can certification exams be taken?
  2. What equipment / hardware is required to take the exam?
  3. Which distributions are available for certification exams and how do I choose my preferred distribution from the list?
  4. Why did you choose CentOS, openSUSE and Ubuntu? Why not others?
  5. What languages are available for Exams?
  6. How long does the exam last?
  7. Are there prerequisites for taking the Exams?
  8. How can I study for Exams?
  9. Exam Policies: when do I need to show up, what do I need to bring and do?
  10. What happens if I don't show up for my scheduled Exam?
  11. How do I make sure my legal name is listed correctly for the Exam?
  12. What forms of ID may be used to verify identity?
  13. What is the format of the Exam?
  14. What are the rules and policies during the Exam?
  15. What resources are allowed or forbidden during exams?
  16. Can I install and use _____ tool in the Exam, e.g. YaST, Zypper, Python, vim, Emacs,  nano, etc.?
  17. Can I take notes during the Exam?
  18. What is the retake policy?

Scoring and Results

  1. How are Exams graded?
  2. What will my score report tell me? How will I know what I got right or wrong?
  3. When do I get my results?
  4. What happens when I pass the Exam?
  5. What happens if I do not pass the Exam?

Certified Candidates

  1. What does being certified mean and how can I use my Certification?
  2. What information is listed on a Certificate?
  3. I lost the pdf of the Certificate that was originally emailed to me when I got Certified; can I get another copy?
  4. Am I still “active” on my Certification?  Where can I view current details on my Certification?
  5. What data/information is made available about my Certification? Can you verify if someone has active Certification?
  6. Does Certification expire?

Renewing Certification

  1. How can I renew my certification and keep it active beyond the initial 24 months?

About Linux Foundation's Certification Program

1. Why did The Linux Foundation create a Certification Program?

The Linux Foundation's mission is to protect, promote and advance Linux. Because Linux runs today's global technology infrastructure, companies around the world are looking for more Linux professionals yet most hiring managers say that finding Linux talent is difficult. This is evidenced in the annual Linux Jobs Report published in partnership with Dice.

The Linux Foundation Certification Program will help expand the talent pool of Linux professionals worldwide. It is designed to make certification exams more accessible to more people and to test the skills Linux system administrators and engineers use every day across a choice of distributions.

2. How does it compare to other certification programs?

It is important to note that our certifications are not designed to replace existing programs. Instead, Linux Foundation Certification provides a broad, distribution-flexible program that allows users to demonstrate their competence in a hands-on, command-line environment. The intent is to certify the vital skills of a candidate and allow them to build on that with additional credentials for the particular distributions they find themselves using.

As we researched this opportunity, we heard loud and clear that the requirement for scheduling an in-person exam was a significant barrier to pursuing currently available certifications, particularly in international markets. As a result, we've designed our exams to be taken anytime, from anywhere in the world. All a candidate needs is a computer with Internet access, Chrome or Chromium browser, a webcam, and a microphone.

The Linux Foundation Certification exams are available anytime, from anywhere, distribution flexible and performance-based. They are also administered by an independent proctor, who is guaranteed not to have been the candidate's instructor.

3. How were the Certification exams developed?

The Linux Foundation is in a unique position to help increase the number of skilled Linux professionals to meet growing demand. It doesn't take this responsibility lightly and has approached the design of its certification program with attention to the highest quality exams and most rigorous review of the material, which has been informed by a global committee of experts.

The Linux Foundation convened a committee of 20 industry experts, from more than 10 countries across the America's, Europe and Asia to identify the critical skills, knowledge and abilities applicable to each certification. The exam items themselves are written by a group of 10 or so external experts and are updated on an ongoing basis to match the required competencies.

Experts were identified using a range of characteristics. Everyone had to have a strong track record using Linux as a system administrator and a reputation for integrity and independence. We then worked to create a good mix by geography, industry, sector (private vs. public, professional services vs operations), hiring experience (as hiring managers for System Administrators vs as candidates) as well as by overall years of experience. Experts were then evaluated and chosen by The Linux Foundation.

Registration, Payment, Scheduling Info

1. How do I register for an Exam?

Registering for an exam gives users the eligibility to schedule and then take the exam.  Registering does not equal scheduling.  Registration must be completed before scheduling is possible.

To register for an Exam, go to the webpage for the desired Certification Exam – 

LFCS: http://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/lfcs
LFCE: http://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/lfce 

Click the Register for Exam button to go to the checkout page for the exam. Users can choose to complete the checkout process as a guest or click the “log in” link under the Email Address field to complete checkout with a Linux Foundation ID account. (The Email Address field will not appear if the user is already logged in.)

To complete checkout as guest, enter the email address of the exam candidate in the Email Address field. Make sure to enter email address correctly, as the address is used to email the order confirmation.

  • If the purchase is being made on behalf of someone else, e.g. Purchasing Dept of company is making the purchase on behalf of employee, make sure to enter the email address of the intended recipient (i.e. the person taking exam) in the Email Address field.  The rest of the Billing Info (e.g. company, address) should be used to enter the details pertaining to the credit card being used for payment.

During checkout, you will be prompted to select a Linux distribution for your Exam, enter payment information, and read and accept the Terms and Conditions for Exam Registration and The Linux Foundation Certification and Confidentiality Agreement in order to complete checkout.

2. I registered for the Exam… now what?

When you've completed registration for an Exam, you will be redirected to your account on My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal). There you will be presented with an Exam Prep Checklist, which will lead you through the steps that you need to complete in order to take the Exam. The steps in the Checklist include: scheduling an Exam reservation, making sure the correct legal name is used for your Exam, checking if your system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements, familiarizing yourself with the Candidate Handbook, and finally taking the Exam. (The registration order does take up to 15 minutes to be processed across the systems, so please wait at least 15 minutes before attempting to schedule.)

You will also receive an Order Confirmation email for your Exam Registration. Unless otherwise specified, eligibility to schedule and take an Exam expires 12 months from the date of registration.

3. How do I schedule a time to take an Exam?

Once you have registered for an Exam, you will be redirected to your account on My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal) where you will be presented with an Exam Prep Checklist. The Checklist prompts you through the steps you need to complete before taking your Exam, including a step to Schedule Exam. Click on the Schedule Exam link to be directed to our Exam Proctoring Partner's scheduling site where you can search for the Exam by title, code (LFCS or LFCE), or sponsor name (The Linux Foundation).

Please note that exams require a 24-hour lead time to allow for preparation of the virtual machine for your selected Exam and distribution; the earliest date you will be able to select for your Exam reservation will be the next business day. Additionally, the latest possible date possible in the scheduling calendar is sixty (60) days out. If a later reservation is desired, you will need to wait until your desired date is less than 60 days out to schedule.

Exam reservation time-slots are subject to availability. We recommend going through the scheduling process at least up to 3 weeks before a desired Exam date.

Newly scheduled reservations require up to 5 minutes to propagate to the Portal. Be sure to hit the blue Refresh button after 5 minutes have passed to see updated info.

4. How soon after registering do I need to take an Exam?

Unless otherwise specified in the order, you have 12 months from the date you purchase your Exam registration to complete the Exam and the free retake, if eligible (check the Retake Policy for eligibility details). After 12 months, your registration and eligibility to take the exam expires.

Please note that the Proctoring Partner’s scheduling calendar will not be able to prevent you from accessing all dates available on their schedule, including dates falling after the expiration of your Exam registration. However, your Exam registration and any pending reservation will be canceled on its expiration date.

Also, remember that exam reservations are subject to availability and it’s recommended that you complete the scheduling process up to 3 weeks before a desired Exam date.

5. What are the registration fees for exams?

The cost per exam is $300 USD.  

6. What forms of payment are accepted for exam fees?

Only credit card payment can be used for payment of exam registration fees. All major credit cards are accepted.

7. What is the refund policy for exams?

You have up to three (3) business days following payment of exam registration fees or up to 24 hours prior to a scheduled exam reservation, whichever comes first, to request a full refund on your exam registration fees. If you purchased a bundle of training and certification exams and only want to refund specific items, not the entire bundle, the refund amount shall be calculated as transaction amount multiplied by the proportion of cumulative list price for the items to be refunded divided by the cumulative list price of all items in the bundle.

8. How do I request a refund on exam registration fees?

Check if your request is eligible for a refund per the refund policy listed under “What is the refund policy for exams?” If refund-eligible, follow these steps to request a refund:

If you have not yet scheduled an exam reservation, you may request a refund on exam registration fees by contacting certificationsupport (at) linuxfoundation.org and providing the order number from your purchase, and your Linux Foundation ID username or email address used to complete the purchase.

If you already scheduled an exam reservation, you must first cancel the reservation at least 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the reservation. (See How do I reschedule or cancel an exam reservation?) Once you have canceled the reservation, you will need to contact certificationsupport (at) linuxfoundation.org to request a refund on the exam registration fees. Be sure to provide the order number from your exam purchase, and the Linux Foundation ID username or email address used to complete the purchase. We cannot issue a refund if there is an exam reservation scheduled in the system.

9. How do I reschedule or cancel an exam reservation?

Once you have scheduled an exam reservation, you may reschedule or cancel that reservation up to 24 hours before the start time of the exam. You will NOT be able to make changes to the reservation when 24 hours or less remain before the exam reservation. No-shows forfeit the money paid for an exam.

Follow the instructions from the Exam Proctoring Partner to reschedule or cancel an exam reservation.

10. How can I change the distribution for my exam environment from what I selected during the exam registration?

 To change or make a request to change your distribution selection, login to My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal) and look for the Change Distribution link in the Exam Info panel of My Portal. You may change your selected distribution for an exam as often as you wish before the Exam is scheduled.

Once an exam is scheduled, you can submit up to two (2) requests to change your distribution. The request must be made at least three (3) business days before the Exam reservation date. You will receive a confirmation if your request can be processed. Until such confirmation, you should assume no change has been made to the distribution selection for your Exam.

11. Can I register for Certification Exams without taking a course?

Yes, the LFCS and LFCE Exams can be taken without any formal training courses. Training is not a prerequisite for either the LFCS or LFCE exam.  There are courses that can help prepare Candidates for the exams, but they are completely optional. (See How can I study for Exams?)

Certification Exam Basics

1. How / where can certification exams be taken?

Exams are delivered online and can be taken from anywhere in the world, as long as the Candidate has the minimum equipment required (see What equipment / hardware is required to take the exam?).  Exam sessions are closely monitored by proctors via audio, video and screensharing feeds.

2. What equipment / hardware is required to take the exam?

You are required to provide your own front-end hardware (e.g. laptop or desktop) with Chrome or Chromium browser installed*, reliable internet access, and a webcam and microphone in order to take exams. Use the compatibility check tool provided by the Exam Proctoring Partner to check if your system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements. The compatibility check tool is located at https://www.examslocal.com/ScheduleExam/Home/CompatibilityCheck. Select “Linux Foundation” as the Exam Sponsor and “LFCS” or “LFCE” as the Exam.  (Be sure to run the compatibility check from the system that you will use to take your Exam.)  If you already registered for an Exam, you can also login to My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal) and click on the Check System Requirements step to be directed to the compatibility check tool.

*Please note that you will need to enable 3rd-party cookies when you take the Exam. These cookies can be disabled as soon as the Exam is completed.

3. Which distributions are available for certification exams and how do I choose my preferred distribution from the list?

When you register for an exam, you will be prompted to select a distribution for your exam. Currently, you may select from the following Linux distributions: CentOS 7, openSUSE 42, Ubuntu 16. If you already registered for an Exam, you can verify your selection in the Exam Info panel of the Certifications tab on training.linuxfoundation.org/portal.

4. Why did you choose CentOS, openSUSE and Ubuntu? Why not others?

These distributions were chosen because they are among the most widely used distribution families. This should not be interpreted to mean that The Linux Foundation is specifically promoting or endorsing these distributions. Linux is about choice and that choice is represented in a large selection of distributions available today, all of which we support. We simply had a finite choice to make for this Certification Program and decided to start here.

5. What languages are available for Exams?

The default language for the LFCS and LFCE exams is English.

For the LFCS Exam, exam questions are additionally available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and German. You don't need to select a language prior to scheduling or starting an LFCS Exam. When you start the exam, look for buttons indicating the different language options towards the top of the left panel (the "Content Panel") of the exam console.

All other aspects of the exam (e.g. the communication with proctor and the command-line terminal) will be presented and supported in English only. The alternative language options are available for just the exam questions in the middle Content Panel of the exam console.

6. How long does the exam last?

Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the exam, but it’s advisable to block up to 3 hours on your schedule so as to allow ample time for the check-in procedures that must completed with the proctor before the exam can be released.

The 2-hour timer does not start until the exam has been released. Please also bear in mind that the timer does not stop if you request a break during exam.

7. Are there prerequisites for taking the Exams?

There are no prerequisites for taking the Exams.  It is not required that you take the LFCS exam prior to taking the LFCE exam.  Any prep courses offered by The Linux Foundation or other training partner are optional and are not required to take the exams.

8. How can I study for Exams?

The Linux Foundation's Certification Exams are performance-based, which means the only way to ‘study’ for them is to practice, practice, practice. The Overview of Domains and Competencies – listed in the Exam Details section of the webpage for each Certification (LFCS and LFCE) – provides guidance on the topics covered in an Exam.  Candidates are encouraged to gain as much hands-on experience as possible in order to build mastery using the command line (since the Exam terminal does not use a Graphical Interface). Be sure to check out our Free Certification Prep Guide for more help.

Some Candidates, especially those newer to Linux, may find it valuable to complete a formal training course. The Linux Foundation offers optional test preparation courses that cover the relevant material. Candidates may also choose to take optional training from The Linux Foundation or from another training provider to help them prepare for the Exams. Keep in mind that while training can be a great first step, it is not required and does not guarantee that you will pass the Exam. Recommended courses from the Linux Foundation's Training Curriculum are listed on the webpage for each Certification Exam, though it is strictly optional whether Candidates take training from the Linux Foundation vs. other providers, if training is chosen at all.

9. Exam Policies: when do I need to show up, what do I need to bring and do?

Candidates who have scheduled an Exam will receive detailed instructions and requirements for starting the Exam at the scheduled time. Candidates MUST start their Exam no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. If a Candidate does not start their exam within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time time, they will be automatically marked as a no-show and no refund or rescheduling will be allowed. Please review the section on Launching Exam in the Candidate Handbook for detailed info on starting and launching an exam.

Candidates will be required to provide an acceptable form of photo identification before the exam can be launched (see What forms of ID may be used to verify identity?) and will be asked to review and agree to the Exam Rules and the terms of the The Linux Foundation Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.  The proctor cannot release the exam to the Candidate until identification has been successfully verified and the Candidate has agreed to the Exam rules and terms of Certification. No refund or rescheduling is provided when an Exam cannot be started due to failure of Candidate to show up on time for an Exam, provide proper identification or agree to exam terms and conditions.

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.

A Candidate may communicate with only the Exam Proctor during the Exam. Communications with any other individuals or entities during the exam is strictly forbidden.

10. What happens if I don't show up for my scheduled Exam?

By not showing up to your exam reservation on time, you will be marked as a no-show for the exam.  No-shows forfeit the money paid for an exam, and no rescheduling is allowed for the exam.

11. How do I make sure my legal name is listed correctly for the Exam?

The first and last name entered on your Linux Foundation ID account is used by the Proctor to verify your identity, so you will want to make sure that those two values match what's listed on the government-issued photo ID that you'll be using to start your Exam. (See What forms of ID may be used to verify identity?)

To check the First and Last Name values on your Linux Foundation ID, login to identity.linuxfoundation.org and cick on the Edit tab if you need to make any changes. Make sure these values do not change before you've completed your Exam.

12. What forms of ID may be used to verify identity?

Any current, non-expired government ID containing Candidate’s photo and full name of Candidate in Latin alphabet may be used for identity verification. Examples of acceptable forms of government-issued photo ID include, but are not limited to:

  • passport
  • government-issued driver's license/permit
  • national identity card 
  • state- or province-issued identity card

If you have questions about whether your photo ID is acceptable please contact us at: certification (at) linuxfoundation.org.

13. What is the format of the Exam?

Upon launching an Exam, Candidates will be presented with an Exam console, which is composed of three main areas:

  1. Exam Console functions (menu bar across the top of the exam console) – houses functions to turn on screen- and webcam-sharing, start chat with proctor, and access Exam Controls such as options to Show Testing Rules, Pause or End Exam, open a NotepadRefresh Exam Window, and Reset Console.
    • Refresh Exam Window refreshes the Linux Server Terminal panel furthest to right without reloading the entire webpage,
    • Reset Console resets the HTML terminal application and flushes all firewall settings on the Candidate's server.
  2. Content Panel (on left) – contains Exam objectives (the exam questions, tasks, etc.), describes the point value of an objective, and displays a countdown timer for the Exam at the top.  
    • For the LFCS Exam, the Content Panel also provides options to view objectives in Spanish, Portuguese, or German.
  3. Linux Server Terminal (on right) – panel that displays the terminal of a Linux server. Please see below list of instructions for the terminal. 

Candidates will need to perform the list of Exam objectives by executing command-line tasks on the Linux server terminal. Proctors will be able to see the Candidate's desktop and view the Candidate through the webcam. 

The following instructions are provided for the Linux server terminal and during the exam, can be pulled up at any time by typing “man lf_exam” in the Linux Server terminal:

  1. Root privileges can be obtained by running 'sudo -i'.
  2. Rebooting of your server IS permitted at anytime.
  3. Do not stop or tamper with the Gate One process as this will END YOUR EXAM SESSION.
  4. Do not block incoming ports 8080/tcp, 4505/tcp and 4506/tcp.  This includes firewall rules that are found within the distribution's default firewall configuration files as well as interactive firewall commands.
  5. Use Ctrl+Alt+W instead of Ctrl+W. Ctrl+W is a keyboard shortcut that will close the current tab in Google Chrome.
  6. Ctrl+C & and Ctrl+V are not supported in your exam terminal, nor is copy and pasting large amounts of text. To copy and paste limited amounts of text (1-2 lines) please use:
    • For Linux: select text for copy and middle button for paste (or both left and right simultaneously if you have no middle button). 

    • For Mac: ⌘+C to copy and ⌘+V to paste.
    • For Windows: Ctrl+Insert to copy and Shift+Insert to paste.
  7. Installation of services and applications included in this exam may require modification of system security policies to successfully complete.
  8. Only a single terminal console is available during the exam. Terminal multiplexers such as GNU Screen and tmux can be used to create virtual consoles.

To review these instructions regarding the Linux server terminal during the Exam, type “man lf_exam” in the command line.

14. What are the rules and policies for the Exam?

Candidate must comply with the following rules regarding testing location and candidate conduct during the Exam and should review and understand the policy on warnings and Exam terminations.

Testing Location Policy
  • Room must be quiet, private and well lit
  • Bright lights or windows should not be positioned behind the Candidate
  • Testing from public spaces such as coffee shops, stores, etc. is not allowed
  • No one other than the Candidate can be present in the room
  • Desk must be clear of all notes and electronics
Rules During Exam
  • Candidate should review the Exam content instructions that are presented in the command line terminal; Candidate can also type “man lf_exam” in the command line to view instructions again at any time during the Exam
  • Candidate is not allowed to communicate with anyone other than the Proctor during the Exam
  • Candidate is not allowed to leave their desk or step out of view of the webcam, unless they have been granted specific permission by the Proctor
  • Candidate is not allowed to eat, drink, or chew gum
  • Candidate is not allowed to wear any electronic device in their ears, on their face or on their body*
  • Candidate is not allowed to navigate away from the Exam console screen 
  • Candidate is not allowed to have other applications or browser tabs/windows running except the one on which the Exam is being shown
  • Candidate is not allowed to look away from their Exam console screen for extended periods of time
  • Candidate must refrain from making excessive and/or repetitive noise 
  • Candidate is not allowed to write or enter input on anything (whether paper, electronic device, etc.) outside of the Exam console screen. 
  • Candidates must comply with any requests from the Proctor. If Candidate fails to comply, the Exam will be terminated

*unless medically necessary

15. What resources are allowed or forbidden during exams?

The following resources are allowed during the exam as long as they are used by Candidate to work independently on exam objectives (i.e. not used for 3rd party assistance or research) and are accessed from within the Linux Server Terminal on which the exam is delivered (resources that cannot be accessed from within the terminal are not allowed):

  • Man pages
  • Documents installed by the distribution (i.e. /usr/share/doc/)
  • Packages that are part of the distribution. (May also be installed by Candidate if not available by default.)

The following resources are forbidden during the exam:

  • External web pages
  • Text-based email clients
  • Browsing the Internet using installed tools such as Vim and Emacs
  • Communications with other Candidates or outside resources
  • Use of devices other than the exam desktop
  • Notes
  • Documentation
  • Notepads
  • Course manuals
  • Devices external to computer on which they are taking the exam, including but not limited to: mobile phones, PDAs, wearable computers, smart glasses, smart watches

16. Can I install and use _____ tool in the Exam, e.g. YaST, Zypper, Python, vim, Emacs,  nano, etc.*?

As long as it fits the description of resources allowed for an Exam, Candidates may choose to install and use any tool to complete an objective. 

*(The tools listed are ones that individuals have specifically asked about in support queries, but you can fill in the blank with any tool.)

17.Can I take notes during the Exam, for example if I need to create a reminder to revisit an exam objective later?

There is a Notepad feature that you can access within the Exam Console (toggle open the Exam Controls menu item from top navigation bar to select Notepad).  Use this Notepad to take notes during the exam.  Please note that the notes you enter here will not be retained or accessible after the exam has ended.

18. What is the retake policy?

See the Retake Policy for info and terms regarding retakes.

Scoring and Results

1. How are Exams graded and when do I get my results?

Exam are scored automatically and are graded for results.  There may be more than one way to perform an objective on an Exam and unless otherwise specified, the Candidate can pick any available path to perform the objective as long as it produces the correct result.

The Linux Foundation and the Exam Proctoring Partner will review Exam records for scoring accuracy, for evidence of possible misconduct, and for response patterns that may suggest any other irregularities.

The Linux Foundation will also use statistical analyses of exam data (“Data Forensics”) to identify patterns indicative of test fraud including cheating and piracy. The Linux Foundation reserves the right to invalidate an Exam score and certification result if review of an Exam record reveals scoring inaccuracies (attributable to The Linux Foundation or the Exam Proctoring Partner) or response patterns indicative of possible misconduct or measurement error. If The Linux Foundation determines that an Exam score is invalid due to issues that are beyond the control of the Candidate, the Candidate will be advised of options to retake the Exam at no charge.

2. What will my score report tell me? How will I know what I got right or wrong?

The score report will provide you with the score (in percentage) that you earned on the Exam.  It will also indicate the minimum score (in percentage) that was needed to pass the Exam. (Both these pieces of data will also be available in My Portal.)  At this time, we are not able to provide a breakdown on scoring by knowledge Domain. However, we are working on adding this to the data available to candidates.

3. When do I get my results?

Exam scores will be made available via email and My Portal within 75 hours of the Exam being completed. Do note that It’s 75 hours from time the exam was completed, not started.

Please contact certificationsupport (at) linuxfoundation.org if it's been 4 days since you completed an exam and you have not yet received a score report (be sure to check spam folders). As the email subject, please insert “Have not received Exam score report” and please provide the following information in the body of the email:

  1. Linux Foundation ID username
  2. Full Name
  3. Exam Code or Title
  4. Time and Date that you took the Exam
  5. Email address where we may contact you

4. What happens when I pass the Exam?

Upon passing the Exam and if you have met other requirements for Certification, you will be granted the Certification relevant to your exam. (For example, passing the LFCS Exam means you will be granted LFCS Certification.) You will receive a formal notice of successful Certification from the Linux Foundation within 3 business days of meeting program requirements. The notice will provide your Certificate ID number and will include a Certificate indicating you have achieved the applicable certification.

Information regarding your Certification(s), such as your Certificate ID number, current status, and expiration, will also be available on your account on My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal). In addition, you may download Certification Badges, Badge Guidelines and your Certificate from My Portal while your Certification is active.

5. What happens if I do not pass the Exam? 

Per the terms of the Retake Policy, you may be eligible for a free retake if you do not pass an Exam on your first attempt. Instructions will be provided in the Exam Results notification on how to redeem the free retake, should you be eligible.  

After the free retake, you must pay to register for an Exam again, with no discount given for such additional retakes.

You may also wish to consider completing optional training to help prepare for a retake of an Exam.

Certified Candidates

1. What does being certified mean and how can I use my Certification?

Certified Candidates (“Certificants”) receive a Certificate ID number and a pdf copy of a Certificate indicating successful completion of the requirements necessary to achieve the Certification indicated on the Certificate. This Certificate may also be downloaded anytime from a Certificant's account on My Portal while Certification is active.

Unless revoked earlier for cause or unless the necessary Certification Renewal Requirements are completed, certifications expire 24 months from the date that a Candidate successfully passes their certification exam.

While their Certification status is active,

  • LFCS Certificants may use the term Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator to refer to themselves
  • LFCE Certificants holders may use the term Linux Foundation Certified Engineer to refer to themselves.
  • Certificants may login to their account on My Portal to download pdf copies of their Certificate
  • Certificants may login to their account on My Portal to download Certification badges and may use such badges on their stationery, business card, personal Web site, etc., to indicate their Certified status

2. What information is listed on a Certificate?

The LFCS and LFCE Certificates will list the following:

  • Name of the person who obtained the certificate
  • Title of Certification (e.g. Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator)
  • Certificate ID number
  • Date of Completion (i.e. date Exam was passed)

3. I lost the pdf of the Certificate that was originally emailed to me when I got Certified; can I get another copy?

You can login to your account on My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal) and download your Certificate again.  See Where can I view details on my Certification?

4. Am I still “active” on my Certification?  Where can I view current details on my Certification?

Information regarding your Certification(s), such as your Certificate ID number, current status, and expiration, will be available on your account on My Portal. In addition, you may download Certification Badges, Badge Guidelines and your Certificate from My Portal. Login to your account on My Portal at training.linuxfoundation.org/portal.

Please also see "What data/information is made available about my Certification?"

5. What data/information is made available about my Certification? Can you verify if someone has active Certification?

The Linux Foundation provides a verification tool on its website that allows individuals with active Certification(s) to market their Certified status to potential employers or clients.  To submit a query on this verification tool, a user must enter the Certificate ID number and the corresponding Last Name as listed on the Certificate of a successfully Certified individual.  (The Last Name must be entered exactly as listed on the Certificate, including any special characters.)  The results for a successfully submitted query will include the full name of Candidate, Certification title, status of Certification, and the date that the Certification was achieved.

6. Does Certification expire?

Certifications expire 24 months from the date that the Program Certification requirements are met by a Candidate. Candidates must meet renewal requirements prior to the expiration date of their Certification in order to maintain active Certification. If Certification renewal requirements are not completed before the expiration date, Certification will be revoked on the expiration date (see the section on “Renewing Certification”), unless revoked earlier for cause (see “Can a Certification be revoked?”).

Certificants can find the expiration date for their Certifications by logging into their account on My Portal (training.linuxfoundation.org/portal).

Renewing Certification

1. How can I renew my certification and keep it active beyond the initial 24 months?

Candidates may keep Certification valid by completing one of the renewal requirement options below. Renewal requirements must be completed prior to the expiration of the Certification.Options to meet Certification renewal requirements:

  • Retake the exam. Candidates have the option to retake and pass the same exam to keep their Certification valid. The Certification will become valid for 2 years starting on the date the exam is retaken and passed.
  • Achieve a higher-level Certification. On the date that a Candidate with an active LFCS Certification achieves LFCE Certification, the expiration of their LFCS Certification will be extended for 2 years so that both their LFCE and LFCS Certifications expire on the same date.  The date on which their LFCS Certification expiration is extended (i.e. renewed) becomes the Renewal Date.  (For example, a Certificant holds an active LFCS Certification expiring on August 20, 2016.  The Certificant then achieves LFCE Certification on March 1, 2016.  Their lower-level LFCS Certification will be extended for 2 years effective March 1, 2016 and both their newly achieved LFCE and renewed LFCS Certifications will have the same expiration date of March 1, 2018.  March 1, 2016 becomes the Renewal Date for their LFCS Certification.)
  • Discontinue notice. Due to low demand, the option to apply approved Continuing Education credits to achieve certification renewal for LFCS and/or LFCE certifications has been discontinued. If you have been actively collecting credits for an upcoming certification renewal, please email your request via certificationsupport@linuxfoundation.org for consideration by no later than midnight UTC on August 1, 2017.