These frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide answers to general questions about LPI and our certification program. Have a question that isn’t covered here? Please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.
- What does the Linux Professional Institute do?
The Linux Professional Institute is 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.
- How many certifications do you offer?
We offer one entry-level certificate program called Linux Essentials in addition to our three tiered professional certification track. Our professional certification track is LPIC-1: Linux Server Professional, LPIC-2: Linux Network Professional and LPIC-3: Linux Enterprise Professional.
- What is the difference between a Certificate and Certification?
Our Linux Essentials is a certificate program. Unlike the LPIC professional certification series, Linux Essentials did not undergo the Job Task Analysis process and is not subject to the expiration/re-certification process like the LPIC professional series.
- What are the benefits of certification?
- 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.
- My co-worker/employee is certified and I'm not impressed with their abilities. Thoughts?
Certification does a great job evaluating technical knowledge. It is important to keep in mind that there are a lot of other factors that can make a good employee or co-worker. Experience, and the ability to implement it efficiently, a strong work ethic, and good communication skills and attitude can make all the difference.
- How does LPI compare to other Linux certification programs?
The biggest difference between LPI and other Linux certification programs is our exams are completely vendor independent and distribution neutral, to help you prove your skills across distributions to give you the flexibility to work in a wide range of environments. Most other 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!
- Do LPI certifications expire?
Yes. Once a person is certified by LPI and receives a certification designation (LPIC-1, LPIC-2, LPIC-3) the certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates are eligible to begin re-certification two years after they complete their certification. Certification expiration dates may also be extended by certifying at a higher level. For instance a candidate that has had an active LPIC-1 certification for 4 years, may choose to take the LPIC-2 level exams. Upon successful completion, their LPIC-2 certification is valid for a period of five years, their existing active LPIC-1 certification will be renewed to have the same 5-year expiration date as their LPIC-2.
- What is the CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI?
In 2010, CompTIA adopted LPI’s LPIC-1 exams as their Linux+ certification. As a result of this partnership, candidates may elect to have their scores shared with LPI after taking the CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI exams (LX0-101/103 and LX0-102/104). Upon successful completion, they will receive their LPIC-1 certification from LPI at no additional cost or testing. Visit CompTIA to purchase vouchers and sign up for the Linux+ exam.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the partnership, candidates who already hold their LPIC-1, -2, -3 are not eligible to receive the CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI certification without additional testing.
- How many tests does it take to be certified?
- 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
- What is a passing exam score?
To pass an LPI exam, candidates must achieve a minimum of 500 points of the 800 available. Because our exam questions are weighted the number of correct questions needed varies.
We are unable to provide candidates details on how many or which questions were missed on a failed exam.
- How much do LPI exams cost?
Linux Essentials vouchers are available for $110 USD. All LPIC-level exams are available for $188 USD. Prices may vary in some regions due to currency conversions and exchange rates.
- Why do I have to pay in US$ when taking the test elsewhere?
Since our exams are delivered globally through Pearson VUE not all regional currencies are supported. Where local currency isn’t available in the marketplace prices are listed in US dollars.
- Where can I take the exams?
- Do you offer web-based exams?
We are continually investigating new ways to make exams available while maintaining the highest exam security and integrity. Unfortunately, the current web-based exam delivery methods do not currently meet our criteria, but we will continue to carefully evaluate all available testing methods.
- Do you offer exam labs at any events or conferences?
LPI often holds special exam labs at major Linux and IT trade shows and conferences, as well as at special events around the world. At these exam labs, LPI offers its exams at substantially reduced rates, and sometimes free of charge to conference attendees. Follow our social feeds for more updates on upcoming event exam labs.
- Do all LPI exams use computer-based testing?
In order to deploy our exams globally and to include the largest number of people, LPI delivers its exams using computer-based testing through Pearson VUE. Occasionally, we do hold exam labs where paper-and-pencil exams are given.
- How much time is allowed to complete the exams?
Linux Essentials candidates have 60 minutes to complete the exam. All candidates taking LPIC-level exams are allowed 90 minutes to complete the exam.
- How do I prepare for LPI exams?
The process of preparing for LPI exams is really an individual choice. Some people may find that by simply looking at the exam objectives and studying on their own (using man pages, HOWTOs, etc.), they may feel confident they can take the exam. Other people may want to read books, take web-based or computer-based training, or actually go through instructor-led classes offered by a training center.
- Are exams available in other languages? Will exams be offered in my language?
There are Japanese, German, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Italian, Portuguese and Spanish versions available for some of our exams. Making exams available in additional languages is based on demand, if you would like to request an additional language, please let us know.
- 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.
- How are the LPIC test scores computed? How many questions do I need to answer correctly to pass? What is the maximum score?
As of April 1, 2009, all exam weights for LPIC exams have been standardized to 60 weights.
Regardless of weight totals each exam score is between 200 and 800. A passing score is 500. However, the number of correct questions required to achieve a score of 500 varies with the overall difficulty of the specific exam that is taken.
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.
- How long will it take to receive my certification package once I've passed?
The total time to receive your certificate once you’ve been notified that you have passed an exam is between 2 to 5 weeks. It will take approximately 1-2 weeks for processing and up to an additional 3 weeks for international mail delivery. Please note, however, that it is critical that you notify LPI if you change mailing addresses during this time.
- How do I verify my certification status for potential employers?
Candidates may have employers or others independently verify their certification status at our verification page. To do so simply provide your LPI ID and your verification code for each certification which is located within your candidate record within the candidate area. Learn more about verification options.
- How can I offer the exams to my students/clients?
Please contact our operations office for more information.