Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions

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.

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 is the difference between the LPI and CompTIA exams?

In 2010, LPI and CompTIA formed a partnership in which CompTIA opted to replace their Linux+ exams with LPI's LPIC-1 exams, and have branded them CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI. The Linux+ exams offered by CompTIA are identical to LPI's LPIC-1 exams (the exam objectives are identical and the questions on the exams are exactly the same). The CompTIA exam codes LX0-103 and LX0-104 correspond directly to the LPI 101 and LPI 102, respectively.

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.

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 exam scores shared with LPI after taking the CompTIA Linux+ powered by LPI exams (LX0-103 and LX0-104). Once we receive your results (typically within 24-48 hours), you will automatically receive the 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.

Exam FAQ

How many tests does it take to acquire 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


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?

The Linux Essentials exam is available for $110 USD. All LPIC exams are available for $188 USD each. Prices may vary slightly by region and currency exchange rates.

Where can I take the exams?

Our exams are offered worldwide through Pearson VUE testing centers. With thousands of global testing centers, visit Pearson VUE to find the testing center nearest you.

How long are the exams?

The Linux Essentials exam is 40 questions and must be completed in 60 minutes.

All LPIC exams are 60 questions each and must be completed in 90 minutes.

All exams consist of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions.

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.


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.

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?

LPI does not offer PDF certificates for the LPIC certification track at this time; only for Linux Essentials.