Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) Exam Review #LinuxFoundation @linuxfoundation #Linux #CentOS @sandervanvugt @tecmint #vExpert

So I never originally planned to do this exam! But after I did the LFCS (see my review here) I realised I was not that far off from getting the LFCE, and since I was on a roll I thought WHY NOT!?

Now the blueprint for the LFCS was very very broad, to the point it made it very difficult to study for, but the blueprint for the LFCE is much more concise:

Current LFCE Blueprint :

 Network administration

  • Configure network services to start automatically at boot
  • Implement packet filtering
  • Monitor network performance
  • Produce and deliver reports on system use, outages and user requests
  • Route IP traffic statically and dynamically
  • Troubleshoot network issues

Network filesystems and file services

  • Configure systems to mount standard, encrypted and network file systems on demand
  • Create, mount and unmount standard Linux file systems
  • Provide/configure network shares via NFS
  • Transfer files securely via the network
  • Update packages from the network, a repository or the local file system

Network security

  • Configure Apache log files
  • Configure the firewall with iptables
  • Install and configure SSL with Apache
  • Configuring SSH-based remote access using public/private key pairs

Remote access

  • Configure the firewall with iptables

HTTP services

  • Configure an http client to automatically use a proxy server
  • Install and configure an Apache web server
  • Install and configure the Squid proxy server
  • Restrict access to a web page with Apache
  • Restrict access to the Squid proxy server
  • Setting up name-based virtual web hosts

Email services

  • Configure email aliases
  • Install and configure an IMAP and IMAPS service
  • Install and configure an smtp service
  • Restrict access to an smtp server

I used @sandervanvugt video course again, because I found his LFCS course brilliant and the LFCE course is just as good. When I used his LFCS video course, it actually taught me beyond the LFCS and took you half way to the LFCE, because the LFCS is so broad certain things were not done in as much detail as they could have been. The perk of these exams is you get a free retake, so your first attempt can be a  bit of a fact finding mission. After I passed the LFCS I had a look at the LFCE blueprint and thought to myself….I am half way there already….might as well keep on going!

@sandervanvugt Video Course for LFCE:

Topics include the following:
Module 1: Managing Networking
Module 2: Managing File Services
Module 3: Managing Web Services
Module 4: Managing Mail Services
Module 5: Managing Infrastructure Services

As you can see it goes well with the blueprint. In preparing for the LFCS I had actually prepared more for the LFCE, as a lot of stuff that came up in the LFCE I thought would have turned up in the LFCS (but that is my own personal opinion). The questions in the LFCE are much more in-depth, hence you don’t get as many questions. In the LFCS I got over 20 questions and in the LFCE I got under 10 questions. I passed the LFCS with about 30-45 mins to spare, I passed the LFCE with 5 minutes to go!

So a month after passing my LFCS, I passed the LFCE! I actually still refer back to @sandervanvugt Live Lessons video course for both exams, as he teaches in a clear concise fashion, so if I forget something I know I can find it in his videos easily.

A lot of the things I covered in my LFCS post are totally valid in the LFCE too. I never needed to reboot the VM, since it is CentOS 7 you can pick to do things in different ways for example you can use IPTABLES or Firewalld, the choice is yours, as long as you get the correct end result. This is the same for a lot of admin/engineer lab exams, there is always more than one way to do things, but the key is the end result. Anyone who has written the VMware VCAP Deploy exams will know what I mean.

I used the same CentOS7 VMs I had created for the LFCS exam, and just kept going through the labs in the video course and just messing around, until I felt I could do most stuff without referring to anything, or I knew where to look, be it the man pages or in /usr/share/doc/ as that is all you will have access too! You should know firewalls and SELinux inside and out, it’s taught very well in the video course.

I booked my exam knowing there was a chance I would need the retake. Now for me I had been through the video course and I had used the @tecmint pdf guide too (which is great). So I felt the best thing to do would be to do the exam and see if I could pass, if not I would have am much better idea of what I was missing and gear my remaining studying towards those areas. Otherwise you can feel like you are going round in circles with your studying, this way you get to use your free retake and you can see exactly what the exam will be like and the type of questions that will be asked and adjust accordingly, making better use of your time!

I only just passed on my first go, I realised I didn’t know a few areas as well as I thought I did. So I was prepping for my retake, when I got the result in the email that I passed! You get your results within 36 hours of taking the exam.

Linux was always a weak point of mine. I am glad I took the time to do the studying and the exams, I was joking with a few people that after doing the VCDX,  studying for other exams never seem as bad!

As with learning anything new, the more you learn, the more you realise you do not actually know that much!

Also a point to note, the blueprints will be changing in March 2018, they update and change the blueprints often to help refine the exam and try to keep it as relevant as possible!

I have had a few people ask me why I chose to use the CentOS 7 distribution. Well that is because it is based on Red Hat and we use it predominantly where I work, so it made sense to go with it, as I am learning something that is going to help me where I am currently and in the future ( I am always thinking about return on investment, be that money or time). Also a few people have asked why I didn’t go with the RHCSA/RHCE exams, well basically I remember seeing the Black Friday deals on the Linux Foundation exams and just signed up for them and then my work were like we will happily pay for them. If Red Hat had done a similar deal I probably would have gone that route, the end result is pretty much the same.

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