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RHCE Linux Exam Cram: Exam: RH-302 Paperback – October 7, 1999
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
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About the Author
Kara Pritchard (Springfield, IL) is a trainer and consultant in the fields of Linux, the Internet, and other related technologies. During the past three years, she has been a coordinator and participant in two Linux user groups, and has helped to promote Computerfest, a non-profit trade show held annually in Springfield. Illinois. RHCE Exam Cram is her first book.
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That's it about the book, but I'd like to tell a couple words about the test itself. The test is really not so hard. So it is definitly possible to pass it. I had a chance to take a look at the recent RedHat training materials (some people brought it to the test) and they're really good and cover everything you need to pass and most things you need in real life. So if you really need to get that certification and you don't worry much about price (which makes sense, because test and training cost a pretty comparable and if you got almost $800 for the test I'd probably find a couple grands for a class), the easiest way is to take a class. If you can't do it, you should just install RedHat on your computer and practice to configure FTP, HTTP, Sednmail, NFS, Samba, Named, Tcp_wrappers, etc using Linux documentation. I don't think there is any good tutorial now rather then RedHat training materials. It doesn't mean you have to take that class (I didn't take it myself) but any other way will definitly take you much longer. Be warned, that if you're a Solaris (HP-UX, AIX, ... ) guy and hope to pass just because it's another flavor of Unix you might fail. This test is really focused on Linux specific issues and just a general Unix experience probably wouldn't be enough to get an 80% passing score.
Another good thing I've heard is that a passing rate on the first try is pretty low but on the second try it's very high. Probably all tasks in their pool are similar, but it's just a guess. And it's surprising that you can solve many problems, especially security, in a lots of different ways and RedHat is totally cool about that. You can use tcp wrappers everywhere of ipchains and either way is right and acceptable. It's not very common. It makes your life much easier.
But nearly half of the contents is introductional text on Red Hat Linux.
The text is full of errors of all sorts: many many typos, substantial errors, misspellings and incorrect wordings.
The book is simply not useful as reference material for linux administration or learning Red Hat Linux administration.
It provids some very useful links and book recommendations, but you could get links (which are usually outdated when the book is in print) and study material from the world wide web.
If you really believe that you need such an "Exam Cram", get the second edition, not the outdated first edition.
Just to give some proof for the errors:
"An IP address is made of up 32 bits. These bits are separated into four sections called octets. (Each octet contains 4 bytes of information and specifies either the network or the machine node.)"
(quote from page 63)
"DHCP (developed by Microsoft) is a descendant of the boot protocol"
(quote from page 71)
"Table 11.3 NIS results. Result SUCCESS: The error occurred and the wanted entry is returned"
This is just to point out the most obvious errors. For every second question the answer section contains garbage, so that the test questions are not of great use. I think that a certification guide should not contain that much errors. The time spent reading this book is essentially wasted.
I found this book to be a good place to start for anyone who wants to become a RHCE. I have had a lot of experience with Linux. I've installed Linux on about 50 machines including pcs, macs, and alphas, but I had no idea what kinds of things would be on the test. This book does a good job of concisely explaining what kind of things the test will cover. Still, I'd like to see more information on studying for the lab sections of the test such as a list of ways to break a Linux machine, along with steps taken to fix them.
I love the way this book was written, and I am very happy with the series. Just consider it a place to start rather than your only source of information.