The IT Certification Resource Center

Featured Deal

Get CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft training courses free for a week.
Learn More ❯

Six Niche Linux Certifications

These Linux certs are off the beaten path.Fourth on our list is the Oracle Certified Professional: Oracle Linux 6 System Administrator credential. This one is designed for individuals who possess a strong knowledge of the Oracle Linux Operating System and covers topics such as: describing Oracle Linux concepts and understanding system configuration options, installing Oracle Linux and installing and maintaining packages, as well as managing kernel modules, users and groups, storage devices and network configuration.


This certification differentiates candidates in the marketplace by providing a competitive edge through proven expertise on the only Linux distribution that's fully optimized for Oracle products. You have an inside track to jobs involving Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and Oracle Database Appliance. Up-to-date training and field experience are recommended.


Fifth is the GCUX: GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator. GIAC Certified Unix Security Administrator is a cybersecurity certification managed by GIAC, a certification body affiliated with the SANS Institute. If you are not familiar with SANS, they are a longstanding information security training organization of worldwide reputation.


The GIAC program offers more than 20 applied information security certifications in security leadership, network security, application security, cyber security, forensics, and audit. The GCUX validates knowledge and skills in auditing and securing Linux and UNIX systems. It is designed to train professionals to install, configure, and administer Linux and UNIX infrastructure.


Though GIAC does not specify prerequisites for this credential, practical training in Linux or UNIX is recommended. Training is available in different formats from a range of providers. The GIAC training module is SEC506: Securing Linux/UNIX. The exam fee includes 2 practice tests. Exam preparation options also include hands-on Linux/UNIX experience, college courses, and self-study.


Candidates are required to pass one two-hour exam consisting of 75 questions with a minimum passing score of 68 percent. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE, so it will be available wherever you are. My local McDonalds has a VUE right next to them.


GCUX certification is valid for four years. Candidates must earn 36 Continuing Professional Experience (CPE) credits and pay a maintenance fee of $429 every four years in order to renew this certificate. I would say this is one to put under your belt.


My final recommendation is the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) offered by Red Hat. This is a mainstream Linux credential, but it should be a staple of everyone’s Linux certification diet! Red Hat certifications are in demand because a large number of enterprises use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).


The value of these credentials derives largely from an emphasis on practical ability, as well as from Red Hat’s comprehensive training programs. Candidates need to pass hard exams that test hands-on experience in the real world. RHCSA will also set you up for the more prestigious Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) credential.


RHCSA is an entry-level, performance-based certification. It demonstrates knowledge and skills in systems administration in different environments and deployment set-ups. The exam tests expertise in file handling, command line operation, systems management, configuring local storage, and other functions. To earn this credential, you need to pass a 2.5-hour exam.


Any combination of these certifications will make your Linux résumé pop. As always, I wish you the best of luck and happy certifying!



Nathan Kimpel PhotoNathan Kimpel is a seasoned information technology and operations executive with a diverse background in all areas of company functionality, and a keen focus on all aspects of IT operations and security. Over his 20 years in the industry, he has held every job in IT and currently serves as a Project Manager in the St. Louis (Missouri) area, overseeing 50-plus projects. He has years of success driving multi-million dollar improvements in technology, products and teams. His wide range of skills include finance, ERP and CRM systems. Certifications include PMP, CISSP, CEH, ITIL and Microsoft.