LFCS vs. RHCSA: Ideal Linux Certification

Logos of LFCS and RHCSA certifications in the background illustrating the key differences between the two Linux system administration certifications.

Choosing between the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) can be a tough decision. Both certifications offer valuable credentials for aspiring Linux system administrators. But which one is right for you? This comprehensive guide will compare LFCS vs. RHCSA, covering everything from exam details to costs and syllabi, to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding LFCS and RHCSA

What Is LFCS?

The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification is designed for individuals looking to demonstrate their ability to administer Linux systems. This certification is vendor-neutral and focuses on the fundamental skills needed to manage Linux environments.

What Is RHCSA?

The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification, known by its exam code EX200, is offered by Red Hat. It focuses on core system administration skills required in Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. This certification is highly recognized in the industry due to Red Hat's prominence.

Exam Overview: LFCS vs. RHCSA


  • Format: Performance-based

  • Duration: 120 minutes

  • Passing Score: 67%

  • Cost: $395


  • Format: Performance-based

  • Duration: 150 minutes

  • Passing Score: 210 out of 300 points

  • Cost: $400

LFCS Exam Details

LFCS Exam Questions and Format

  • The LFCS exam tests candidates on their practical skills in Linux system administration. You'll be required to perform tasks on a live system, making it a true test of your hands-on abilities.

LFCS Practice Questions and Resources

  • To prepare for the LFCS exam, it's essential to practice with questions that mimic the exam environment. There are various resources available, including practice exams and LFCS-specific study guides.

LFCS Syllabus and Objectives

The LFCS exam covers a wide range of topics, including:

  1. Operations Deployment (25%)

  2. Networking (25%)

  3. Storage (20%)

  4. Essential Commands (20%)

  5. Users and Groups (10%)

LFCS Passing Score

  • A score of 67% is required to pass the LFCS exam. This means you need to demonstrate proficiency in the core areas of Linux system administration.

RHCSA Exam Details

RHCSA EX200 Exam Questions and Format

  • The RHCSA EX200 exam is also performance-based, requiring candidates to complete tasks on a live system. This exam tests your ability to perform essential administration tasks in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

RHCSA Practice Exam and Resources

  • Preparing for the RHCSA exam involves working through practice exams and sample questions that reflect the format of the EX200. Red Hat offers official training courses and practice exams to help candidates prepare.

RHCSA Syllabus and Objectives

The RHCSA exam focuses on:

  1. Understand and use essential tools

  2. Manage users and groups

  3. Create simple shell scripts

  4. Operate running systems

  5. Configure local storage

  6. Manage basic networking

  7. Create and configure file systems

  8. Deploy, configure, and maintain systems

  9. Manage security

  10. Manage containers

RHCSA Passing Score

  • You need to score 210 out of 300 points to pass the RHCSA exam. This ensures you have a solid grasp of the fundamental tasks required for system administration in a Red Hat environment.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to the Linux system administrator certification cost, the LFCS exam costs $395, while the RHCSA exam costs $400. While the EX200 is more expensive, it is highly regarded in the industry, which may justify the higher price.

Exam Preparation: LFCS vs. RHCSA

LFCS Preparation Tips

  • Understand the Exam Format: Familiarize yourself with the performance-based nature of the exam.

  • Practice Hands-On Tasks: Use practice exams and lab environments to hone your skills.

  • Review the Syllabus: Ensure you cover all the topics listed in the LFCS syllabus.

RHCSA Preparation Tips

  • Take Official Courses: Red Hat offers training courses that align closely with the RHCSA exam.

  • Utilize Practice Exams: Engage in practice exams to get a feel for the exam format and question types.

  • Study the Objectives: Focus on the EX200 exam objectives to guide your study plan.

Career Prospects: LFCS vs. RHCSA

LFCS Certification Benefits

  • Vendor-Neutral: Applicable across various Linux distributions.

  • Foundational Skills: Covers essential administration tasks, making it suitable for entry-level positions.

  • Industry Recognition: Valued by employers seeking Linux expertise.

RHCSA Certification Benefits

  • Red Hat Focus: Recognized expertise in Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments.

  • Advanced Skills: Prepares you for more complex tasks and higher-level certifications.

  • Career Advancement: Opens doors to advanced roles and higher salaries.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing between the LFCS and RHCSA certifications depends on your career goals and the environments you plan to work in. Here are some factors to consider:

Your Career Path

  • Vendor-Neutral vs. Vendor-Specific: If you want flexibility across different Linux distributions, LFCS might be the way to go. If you aim to work specifically with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHCSA is a better choice.

  • Entry-Level vs. Advanced: LFCS is suitable for beginners, while EX200 is geared towards those with some experience in Linux administration.

Industry Demand

  • Job Market: Research the job market in your area. Some regions or companies may prioritize Red Hat certifications over vendor-neutral ones.

  • Employer Preferences: Look at job postings to see which certifications are frequently required or preferred.

Future Plans

  • Advanced Certifications: If you plan to pursue advanced Red Hat certifications like the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer), starting with RHCSA makes sense.

  • Broad Skill Set: If you aim to work with multiple Linux distributions, LFCS provides a solid foundation.


Deciding between the LFCS and RHCSA certifications depends on your career aspirations, the environments you plan to work in, and the skills you want to develop. Both certifications offer valuable credentials that can enhance your career as a Linux system administrator. By considering factors like cost, syllabus, exam format, and industry demand, you can choose the certification that aligns best with your goals.


Q. 1. What are the key differences between LFCS and RHCSA?

A. LFCS is vendor-neutral, covering various Linux distributions, while RHCSA focuses specifically on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. LFCS is ideal for beginners, while RHCSA suits those with some experience.

Q. 2. How much does the LFCS exam cost?

A. The LFCS exam costs $395.

Q. 3. What is the format of the RHCSA exam?

A. The RHCSA exam is performance-based, requiring candidates to complete tasks on a live system.

Q. 4. Which certification is more recognized in the industry?

A. The RHCSA certification is highly recognized due to Red Hat's prominence in the enterprise Linux market.

Q. 5. How can I prepare for the LFCS exam?

A. To prepare for the LFCS exam, use practice exams, study guides, and hands-on practice to cover the syllabus topics and improve your practical skills.

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