Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

LPIC: Linux Professional Institute Certifications

Best System Administrator Certifications For 2017

Although Windows rules the desktop and has widespread use in businesses and data centers, Linux is important for cloud-based operations and for serving up applications, the web and much of the internet. This makes Linux system administration skills both extremely valuable and in high demand.

Linux platform suppliers and Linux distribution vendors, such as Ubuntu, Mint and Debian, offer their own training and often certifications. However, the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) excels at providing a high-quality set of Linux certifications for system administrators that are relatively distribution-neutral.

LPI candidates must usually possess the LPIC-2 Certified Linux Engineer or one of the LPIC-3 credentials to be successful in the workplace. However, we include the LPIC-1 Certified Linux Administrator certification, a junior-level credential, in our list because it's a necessary prerequisite to the LPIC-2, which in turn leads to the LPIC-3.

Both the LPIC-2 certification and the LPIC-3 are well known and widely recognized in IT shops and operations that depend on Linux servers to handle their workloads. Although the LPIC-3 specialties are somewhat less frequently referenced in job postings, they do provide relevant coverage of key topics for Linux system administrators. This goes double in the areas of security and virtualization — both in very high demand right now.

All LPIC-1, LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 certifications are valid for five years from the date the certification is achieved.

LPIC-1, LPIC-2 And LPIC-3 Facts & Figures

Certification NameLinux Professional Institute Certification Levels 1, 2 and 3:

  • LPIC-1: Certified Linux Administrator

  • LPIC-2: Certified Linux Engineer
  • LPIC-3: Linux Enterprise Professional Mixed Environment
Prerequisites & Required CoursesLPIC-1: None; Linux Essentials recommended
LPIC-2: Active LPIC-1 certification
LPIC-3: Active LPIC-2 certification

Note: Training is not mandated but is available and recommended.
Number of ExamsLPIC-1:
  •  Exam 101 (LPIC-1 Exam 101) also available as CompTIA Linux+ (LX0-103)
  •  Exam 102(LPIC-1 Exam 102) also available as CompTIA Linux+ (LX0-104)

  •  Exam 201 (LPIC-2 Exam 201)
  •  Exam 202 (LPIC-2 Exam 202)

LPIC-3: One of the 300 series specialty exams:
  •  Exam 300: Mixed Environment (LPIC-3 Exam 117-300)

  •  Exam 303: Security (LPIC-3 Exam 303-200)

  •  Exam 304: Virtualization and High Availability (LPIC-3 Exam 304-200)
Cost per Exam$188 (or local currency equivalent) per exam. Exams administered by Pearson VUE. Linux ID required to register.
Self-Study MaterialsSearch for LPIC-1, LPIC-2 and/or LPIC-3 books as there are a lot to choose from. Visit the LPI Exam Preparation section for additional self-study resources. Study guides, courseware, eLearning courses, practice exams, practice labs, Linux Academy subscriptions and more are available from the LPI Certification Marketplace.

MORE: LPI Certs & Career Paths