To earn the RHCE credential, one must also pass the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam. Someone can enroll in and take the RHCE exam without first having passed the RHCSA exam, but RHCE certification will not be issued until both credentials are earned by a candidate. In the event that a candidate has not yet earned RHCSA, Red Hat will retain the candidate's RHCE exam record and will attach that record to a candidates' RHCSA record once it is earned at a later date.
Red Hat encourages all candidates for RHCE to consider taking one or more of its official training courses to help prepare. Attendance in these classes is not required, and one can choose to take just an exam. Many successful candidates who have come to class already possessing substantial skills and knowledge report that the class made a positive difference for them.
To help you determine the best courses to take, Red Hat provides online skills assessment.
While attending Red Hat's classes can be an important part of one's preparation, attending class does not guarantee success on the exam. Previous experience, practice, and native aptitude are also important determinants of success.
Many books and other resources on system administration for Red Hat's products are available. Red Hat does not endorse any as preparation guides for any exams. Nevertheless, candidates may find additional reading deepens understanding and can prove helpful.
The RHCE exam is a performance-based evaluation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administration skills and knowledge. Candidates perform a number of routine system administration tasks and are evaluated on whether they have met specific objective criteria. Performance-based testing means that candidates must perform tasks similar to what they must perform on the job.
The RHCE exam is a hands-on, practical exam that lasts 3.5 hours. Internet access is not provided during the exam. Outside materials are not permitted. Documentation that ships with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available during the exam. Red Hat reserves the right to make changes to the format, including timing and the policies above. Such changes will be made public in advance through revisions to this document.
Scores and reporting
Official scores for exams come exclusively from Red Hat Certification Central. Red Hat does not authorize examiners or training partners to report results to candidates directly. Scores on the exam are usually reported within 3 U.S. business days.
Exam results are reported as section scores. Red Hat does not report performance on individual items, nor will it provide additional information upon request.
Training courses for Windows system administrators (with minimal Linux experience)
Red Hat System Administration I (RH124)
Red Hat System Administration II with RHCSA exam (RH135)
Red Hat System Administration II (RH134)
Red Hat System Administration III with RHCSA and RHCE exams (RH255)
Red Hat System Administration III (RH254)
Training courses for Linux or UNIX administrators with 1-3 years of experience
Training courses recommended for senior Linux administrators
Training courses recommended for Solaris administrators