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Oracle 1Z0-460: The Essence of Oracle Linux 6

Consider taking this exam if you work for an OPN company or want to test the waters surrounding Oracle’s Linux distribution.

1Z0-460: Oracle Linux 6 Implementation Essentials is the only exam required to become an Oracle Linux 6 Certified Implementation Specialist and there is no training requirement for this track. Oracle’s specialist certifications are of particular interest to companies that are in the Oracle Partner Network (OPN). The primary purpose of specialist certifications is to keep Oracle partners up to date with the latest versions of Oracle’s software and hardware. These companies gain advantages in their relationship with Oracle for having employees that hold specialist certifications.

That said, anyone can take the exam and earn the certification without being an employee of an OPN company. In fact, earning one or more of these certifications can make your resume more interesting to an Oracle partner. An OPN company that hires an Oracle professional with one or more of these specializations will immediately boost their numbers.

For anyone that has spent time performing Linux system administration tasks, the majority of the material on this exam is going to be familiar. Most of the commands and utilities covered would fit right in on a generic Linux certification exam such as those from CompTIA or LPI. Because Oracle Linux is derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a fair amount of the exam refers to utilities that are in that distribution. Only about a fifth of the topics are about information that is completely specific to Oracle Linux.

While I have taken OCA, OCP, and OCE exams in the past, this is the first specialist certification I have taken. As such, I was not really sure going in what level of difficulty to expect. Given the fact that it is called an ‘essentials’ exam, I was expecting something at the OCA level or possibly even lower. The morning of the exam was a rude awakening. I would have to say this was somewhere just below the level of difficulty I’d expect for an OCP exam. I passed, but it was not nearly the walk in the park that I was expecting. While 1Z0-460 does not get into advanced Linux topics, there were questions that required more detailed knowledge than I was expecting. Many of the questions asked were about things I do not normally memorize. After all, the ‘man’ command is always available in Linux. Unfortunately, that is not something that is available when sitting in the testing center trying to remember the letter for the option that performs a given function.

The Oracle Linux 6 Implementation Essentials exam topics cover the following areas:

  • Introduction to Oracle Linux
  • Installing Oracle Linux 6
  • Linux Boot Process
  • Oracle Linux System Configuration and Process Management
  • Oracle Linux Package Management
  • Ksplice Zero Downtime Updates
  • Automate tasks and System Logging
  • User and Group Administration
  • Oracle Linux File Systems and Storage Administration
  • Network Administration
  • Basic Security Administration
  • Oracle Linux System Monitoring and Troubleshooting

The exam has 79 topics overall and 71 questions, so each should generate about one question on the exam. With two hours for the exam, I felt no time crunch at all. I finished with plenty of time to spare even after going back to take a second look at several questions I was unsure of. The exam I took had only a handful of questions that contained exhibits.

The information you need to study for the exam is split among numerous sources. The following five manuals contain the vast majority of technical information covered by the exam:

  • Oracle Linux 6 Administrator's Guide
  • Oracle Linux 6 Installation Guide
  • Oracle Linux 6 Security Guide
  • Oracle Linux Ksplice User's Guide
  • Oracle Linux Unbreakable Linux Network User's Guide

The exam does have a few topics that are outside those manuals. Some of the topics are about support websites or the advantages of various aspects of Oracle Linux 6. I used various resources on the Web to prepare for these. The Oracle Certification Prep website listed in the Author’s box contains an exam details page for 1Z0-460 with links to all of the applicable documentation. It also contains links to articles on various websites relevant to the exam.

If you have some experience working with Linux, simply reading up on the topics associated with the exam may be sufficient preparation for it. However, if you have never worked with Linux before, or have done so only in passing, then you really need to take the time to set up a server and practice with the operating system while you are studying the material. Reading documents may allow you to memorize facts about Oracle Linux 6, but it will not provide you with a means to apply that knowledge – either on the test or in real life. Good luck on the exam.


About the Author

Matthew Morris is an experienced DBA and developer. He holds Oracle DBA Certifications for releases 7, 8i, 9i, 10G and 11G; is an Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Certified Professional; and holds Oracle Expert Certifications for SQL, SQL Tuning, and Application Express. He is the author of several Oracle certification guides. His Web site,, is dedicated to providing links to resources for Oracle certification preparation.


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