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Excellent Study Guide and Reference Manual
on July 3, 2011
This is the sixth edition of Jang's Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide, though it has in previous editions been known under slightly different titles due to the change in Red Hat's test titles. With the transition to Red Hat Enterprise 6 and the introduction of Red Hat's RHCSA (Certified System Administrator) test, this book has undergone a significant revision cycle.
First things first - the book comes with a CD that contains a total of four practice exams, two for the RHCSA exam and two for the RHCE exam. It also contains a full copy of the book, in PDF form, broken up in chapters. This is a huge benefit for those that travel with a laptop or for those that wish to study without toting the book along. This CD alone is worth the cost of the book.
Startling to those familiar with previous editions of this book is the edition of coverage of the KVM early into the book (chapter 2). According to Jang, the exam now is conducted through virtualization and as such one must have some familiarity with the environment before taking the test. Being relatively new to virtual operating system environments, this is very helpful material and is applicable to things that happen in the workplace when looking for ways to make the most of the hardware available.
As in previous editions this books has a breakdown of what chapters cover each exam, and this table is covered early. For people studying for the RHCSA exam, this makes it a little easier to narrow down the scope of material. There are 17 chapters of study materials in this book, plus the practice exams: Preparing for the RH Hands-On Certification, Virtual Machines and Automates Installations, Fundamental Command Line Skills, RHCSA-Level Security Options, The Boot Process, Linux Filesystem Administration, Package Management, User Administration, RHCSA-Level System Administration Tasks, A Security Primer, System Services and SELinux, RHCE Administrative Tasks, Electronic Mail Servers, The Apache Web Server, The Samba File Server, More File-Sharing Services, and finally Administrative Services: DNS, FTP, and Logging. Each of these chapters dives deep into the topic matter and offers up self-quiz questions and exercises to help learn and/or master the material. With this coverage passing the exams are within reach.
This is not just an exam preparation manual, though. It is also a superb reference. It is not feasible to remember everything there is to know about Linux and Red Hat in particular, but this book keeps everything close by and accessible - and the PDF version is invaluable just for the searching capabilities alone.
I keep this book close by. Previous versions of this book have helped many people pass the RHCE and the RHCT (superceded by the new RHSCA) exams, and this books is suited for doing the same for many more people. Even if you're not prepping for certification, consider picking up this book as it will be a very valuable reference. By the way - after working with this book almost to the exclusion of other references, I passed the RHCSA on the first try. I have not yet pursued the RHCE but it's on the horizon.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It should be noted that this book does NOT cover configuration of the X Window system. According to Red Hat's published exam objectives for RHEL 6 (as of summer 2011), X configuration is not required for passing the RHCSA or RHCE exams and as such this book does not include X coverage.