Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions

These frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide answers to general questions about Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and our certification program. Have a question that isn’t covered here? Please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

If you're looking for information regarding LPI in Japan, please visit our Japan FAQ page.

For information about recent changes due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please visit our information page.

General FAQ

What does Linux Professional Institute do?

The Linux Professional Institute is the world's first and largest vendor-neutral Linux certification body. We are committed to helping members of the Linux and open source community grow their career opportunities by providing professional resources and skills certifications. Supported by a global affiliate network, LPI is working to raise awareness of the power of open source technologies while helping to ensure IT professionals have the skills required to be competitive in the global workplace.

What are the benefits of certification?

We encourage you to peruse our site to learn the benefits of certification. Our Linux Professionals page describes many benefits to pursuing a career in Linux and open source. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
 

  • Establishes your competence for well-defined Linux-related functions
  • Helps you show your value to a potential contractor or employer
  • Certification helps you set out and follow a career path
  • LPI certification is developed from within the Linux community, by your peers, and gives you the opportunity to help develop the certification standards and exams.
How does LPI compare to other Linux certification programs?

The biggest difference between LPI and other Linux certification programs is that our exams are completely vendor independent and distribution neutral. This helps you prove your skills across distributions to give you the flexibility to work in a wide range of environments. Vendor-specific programs like Red Hat and SUSE test only on their own distribution of Linux.

 

We welcome all of these programs because, in the end, they all help grow the pool of Linux support professionals which drives adoption of Linux!

Why do you use written tests?

Written exams are a global standard, even in IT. The procedures for producing high-quality multiple choice exams are firmly established. No such standard exists for hands-on exams. Therefore they tend to be ad hoc and rarely include pilot testing, item analysis, formal standard setting, and equating.

 

For a more detailed explanation, please review our Exam Development Process.

Exam FAQ

How many tests are required to achieve certification?
  • Linux Essentials – one exam
  • LPIC-1 – two exams, 101 and 102
  • LPIC-2 – two exams, 201 and 202
  • LPIC-3 – one specialty exam, 300 or 303 or 304
  • DevOps Tools Engineer - one exam, 701 (+LPIC-1 or OS equivalent recommended)
  • BSD Specialist - one exam, 702

 

Note: Linux Essentials is a single exam, educational certificate program, not a professional certification.

 

For more information, please visit our Certifications Overview section.

Does it matter which version of the exams I write?

No. You may write any version of the exams and they will count toward your certification equally. When we release a new version of an exam with updated objectives, the previous version remains available to candidates for 6 months. We do this to allow candidates to write the version of the exam that they have studied for. So for example, if you passed the 117-201 exam in the past, passing the 202-400 exam now would still result in achieving LPIC-2 certification.

How much do LPI exams cost?

Te exam prices vary by region. You will find an overview at https://www.lpi.org/exam-pricing.

Where can I take the exams?

Our exams are offered worldwide in-person at  Pearson VUE testing centres. With thousands of global testing centres, visit Pearson VUE to find the testing center nearest you.

Our exams are also offered online via the Pearson VUE OnVUE testing platform. Visit Pearson VUE to see which exams are currently available and to schedule your appointment. If you don't see the exam or language you're looking for then check back often, as we're constantly working to expand our OnVUE offerings. 

How long are the exams?

Each LPIC and Open Technology exam contains 60 questions and must be completed within 90 minutes.

The Essentials exams contain 40 questions and must be completed within 60 minutes.

How good are your tests?

We apply psychometric principles throughout the exam development and scoring process and have experienced, dedicated Linux community members to assist us as subject matter experts for our projects to help ensure we continue to produce the highest quality exams we can. Additionally, we conduct thorough statistical analyses to evaluate exam reliability and individual exam items.

 

Because of these analyses and the psychometric properties of our exams, we feel our exams are tough, but fair.

 

For more information, please review our Exam Development Process.

How are the LPIC test scores computed?

As of April 1, 2009, all exam weights for LPIC exams have been standardized to 60 weights.

 

Each LPI exam is ranked on a scale from 200 to 800, with a passing score of 500. Since exam questions vary in difficulty, the number of correct answers required to reach the passing score of 500 will depend on the exact combination of questions on the exam you write. For security purposes, candidates are not always given the same questions as one another for a particular exam. The exact passing score is based on our psychometric studies to ensure all exams have a consistent level of difficulty.

 

The number of questions on the exam is also tied to the total of the weights of the objectives on the exam. With a total weight count of 60, the exam will have 60 questions. For each weighting, there will be one question. For example, if an objective has a weight of 4, there will be 4 questions on the exam related to the objective.

OnVUE online exam FAQ

What is the platform Linux Professional Institute uses for online exams?

We use Pearson VUE’s OnVUE testing platform.

What are the technical and logistical requirements for writing an OnVUE online exam?

The Pearson VUE OnVUE testing system requires a Mac or Windows OS. As a Linux certification body, we understand this is not ideal for many of our candidates, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will continue to encourage Pearson VUE to make OnVUE testing available on Linux systems too.

Online testing requires a quiet, private location, a reliable computer with a camera, and a stable Internet connection. More information can be found here: https://home.pearsonvue.com/lpi/onvue

What languages are supported?

Linux Professional Institute will be rolling out exams in the languages that are already published on the VUE platform: English, Japanese, German, Portuguese and Spanish (LPIC-1 only). Please check our coronavirus page regularly to find when a test will become available in each of these languages. At this time, the Pearson VUE OnVUE exam interface itself is available in English only. Likewise, Pearson online proctors and greeters are English speakers only. Pearson VUE is working to expand their OnVUE exam interface to support additional languages.

Is the pricing for the exams going to stay the same for online testing? Can I use an exam voucher that I’ve already purchased?

Yes, exam pricing will remain unchanged and if you have already purchased a voucher it can be used to schedule your online test with OnVUE.

Can I still take my exam at events or in Pearson VUE Test Centres?

As COVID-19 restrictions are gradually eased around the world, LPI will begin offering paper-based exams at selected events once again. Any changes to processes will be announced at that time. It will also be possible to attend the exams in Pearson VUE Test Centres as they reopen.

Is online testing a permanent solution?

Yes, at this time Linux Professional Institute intends to continue to offer online testing even once the physical testing centres have reopened.

When will I get my results?

You will receive your results and a score report immediately following your exam. Pearson VUE will transfer your exam results to Linux Professional Institute within 24 hours, and if you have met the certification requirements your cert will be issued.

At that time you may download a PDF copy of your certificate from your lpi.org account. A physical certificate will arrive in the mail in 4 to 6 weeks. (Please note: physical certificates are not issued for Linux Essentials).

When will more exams and languages become available for online testing?

Linux Essentials and LPIC-1 (101 & 102) Exams in English were released on May 31, 2020. Linux Essentials and LPIC-1 in other languages will follow. The specific dates for these releases will be published on the our coronavirus page.

Certification FAQ

How do I verify my certification status for potential employers?

Certifications may be verified on our Certification Verification page.

You will need to enter your LPI ID and certification's verification code. This code can be found by logging into Your Profile.

How long will it take to receive my certification package once I've passed?

Your certification will be sent via regular post once you become certified. Please allow up to 6-8 weeks for delivery.

Please also ensure that the mailing address on your profile is up to date before writing your exams.

Can I receive a PDF copy of my certificate?

Yes. A PDF copy of your certificate can be downloaded from the overview page within your lpi.org account.

BSD Specialist Certification FAQ

What is the relationship between BSD Specialist certification and BSD Certification Group?

BSD Certification Group (BSDCG) merged with Linux Professional Institute in late December 2017. LPI established a BSD Advisory Committee and created the Linux Professional Institute BSD Specialist certification.  As our certifications are updated and new ones are created, we will ensure that BSD coverage is well represented where appropriate.

Are there any prerequisites to become BSD Specialists?

There are no prerequisites for the BSD Specialist. Candidates are advised to carefully review the objectives and use the list of topics as a learning guide.

Can I use BSD Specialist to advance from LPIC-1 to LPIC-2, or from LPIC-2 to LPIC-3?

No, the Linux Professional Institute BSD Specialist certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to obtain or extend an LPIC-1/-2/-3 certification. BSD Specialist is part of the Open Technology Program.

DevOps Certification FAQ

Can I use the DevOps Tools Engineer certification to extend the ACTIVE date of my LPIC-1/-2/-3 certifications?

No, the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to extend LPIC-1/-2/-3 certifications.

Can I use the DevOps Tools Engineer certification to advance from LPIC-1 to LPIC-2 or from LPIC-2 to LPIC-3?

No, the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer certification is not part of LPI’s Linux certification track and cannot be used to obtain an LPIC-1/-2/-3 certification.

Do I need another LPI certificate in order to take the Linux Professional Institute DevOps Tools Engineer exam?

No, there are no requirements to take the exam. LPI recommends candidates to have Linux skills on an LPIC-1 level and a similar amount of knowledge in software engineering, including proficiency in least one programming language.