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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Linux Professional Institute has released Linux Essentials, LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 exams on Pearson VUE’ online testing platform OnVUE. Please check our online testing page for the most recent updates. At this time, the 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.
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.
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.
Yes, at this time Linux Professional Institute intends to continue to offer online testing even once the physical testing centres have reopened.
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 www.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).
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.
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.
BSD Specialist Certification FAQ
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Candidates have several options to maintain active status for their certification. They can retake the exams, achieve a higher-level certification (for example, a holder of LPIC-1 would take and pass the LPIC-2 exams) or they can become a member and extend active status for their current certification level by maintaining their PDUs.
Members will also be eligible for discounts on exams and other products and services, they’ll be able to guide the direction for the organization, support the global advocacy efforts to promote open source and development through Linux Professional Institute.
For more information about the program, as well as the ways to join and benefits, visit: www.lpi.org/member. You can also read a blog with some additional details here: https://www.lpi.org/blog/2020/09/25/benefits-becoming-lpi-member.
PDUs are not required for maintaining membership status IF (and only if) the member has an active certification.
There are three situations in which LPI will extend the active date of a certification.
1. The original, still available way.
Retake the same certification or go up a level.
2. Become a member
An active certification is required and upon acceptance. All certifications will be extended by up to 3 years from the date of joining so that the credentials don’t go inactive during the membership term. Retired certs like 301/302 and partner certs like the old Ubuntu UCP-1 don’t get reactivated.
What if the certification is inactive? Then, 20 PDUs from the previous 12 months are required in order to demonstrate that these credentials/skills and membership are relevant to the potential member.
What if the certification is active for 4.5 more years? The cert holder could join for 3 years, then 1 year and nothing would change and, technically, no PDUs are required.
3. Renewing membership.
This is the case where PDUs are required from the 3 year cycle. The exception is if your certifications would be active regardless of your current membership (eg. you joined immediately after getting LPIC-1). In this case, if you joined originally for 3 years, you would still have 2 years on your certifications “natural” 5 year life. If you renewed your membership a second time for 3 years, we would extend your cert for the extra year (into year 6)…Now, if you want to renew a third time, you better have those PDUs submitted. :).
It won’t. The membership program can be used to maintain the active statuses of your credentials. However, it doesn’t affect the certifications that you currently hold. Membership is unrelated to the technical skills that you demonstrate by achieving certification, Membership complements your certification and helps extend its active status, demonstrate your commitment to an open source career through use and continuing education, and more but it’s not a substitute for taking and passing the exams.
No. The Linux Professional Institute Essentials certificates are educational certificates and not full professional level certifications and do not meet the membership criteria.
PDU is an abbreviation for the Professional Development Unit. It is used to help quantify your achievements and personal development and are used to demonstrate use, continuing education and community involvement. PDUs are part of the program for maintaining active status on your certifications and continued qualification for membership. Read more about PDUs here.
Yes, 20 PDUs from within the last 12 months are required. Submit them here: https://people.lpi.org/activities
Then, you can request membership.
Once your membership period starts, you need to submit 60 PDUs worth of activities (some are worth 20) over the following three years. If you are not planning on continuing your membership beyond the three year cycle, no PDUs are required. However, you will not be able to start an additional three year membership cycle if you don’t meet the previous cycle’s PDU requirements.
Unfortunately, only holders of LPI certifications are eligible for the program.
If you are the holder of the two exam “Linux+ Powered by LPI” version of Linux+ you are eligible to obtain, at no cost, an LPIC-1 certification and are eligible to apply for Membership. Holders of the newer, one exam version of CompTIA Linux+ are not eligible. For more information see our information page on CompTIA Linux+ and LPI.
If you have only passed one of the two “Linux+ powered by LPI” exams, LPI will award an LPIC-1 certification if you pass the second exam with us.
Membership does not only require the technical skills demonstrated by our certification, it also requires agreeing to our Membership Agreement including the code of conduct. Members who contravene the Membership Agreement, code of conduct, or other policies may have their Membership revoked.