What's an RHCT certification?

RHCT stands for Red Hat Certified Technician. It is the intermediate level in a 2-level certification programme from RedHat, a main Linux operating system distributor.

This certification is issued after a 3h practical exam that is usually prepared by two courses in Linux administration. The certification confirms the level required for administrating linux stations in a production environment, but it does not involve the more complex server setups found in the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer), the highest certification level for RedHat linux.

Test proper

I can't say much on the exam itself, as you have to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement before taking the test, so I won't talk about the content of the exam.

Suffice to say that it is split in 2 parts:

  • mandatory troubleshooting (1h)
  • installation and configuration (2h)

Note that there is no paper exam in this test, no mutliple choice questions, nothing that has to be written down. It's just you and your computer.

You must resolve all issues in the first part, 100% success is mandatory. In short, you're given a computer with a number of problems, and you are told to solve them.

The second part has about 10 different configuration tasks to perform and you must achieve 70% success rate before you're awarded the RHCT.


To someone wanting to take the exam, I would recommend the following:

  • Learn all you can from the Red Hat manuals% available online or from the RedHat distribution. They are invaluable companions and contain a wealth of information. At the very least, make sure you know the content of the books well enough so you know where to look to find the information you may need: you can consult the manuals online during the test, but if you don't know what to look for, their sheer size won't help you and you'll loose valuable time. In any case, they are useful, but don't rely on them too much: in the heat of the situation, they can confuse you more than help you, and you definitely won't pass the test if all you know is how to use the book: there is just not enough time to browse the documentation and learn what you don't know during the test.
  • Attend the courses%: RedHat have really interesting courses and the manuals handed out are extremely good at surfacing what is important. The problem with linux is the overwhelming amount of information to digest. That makes it very hard to start learning efficiently. The week long courses paliate this issue by presenting a detailed view of what is important to know for a given level of expertise. The only drawback of the courses is their high cost. The courses can be found cheaper online as well, if you can work alone.
  • Make sure you practice as much as you can% and know how to perform everyday tasks on a system. I was confronted with one question during my exam that made me scratch my head for a while. I was nevertheless glad that I didn't spend too much time on the other more tasks that I considered simple, or I would not have been able to research and experiment my answer for the one I found tricky.

I wouldn't recommend taking the exam if you don't have at least 2 months hands-on experience in working with linux, and in particular with !RedHat as some aspect of their system is specific (like the tools used to configure the system for instance).

Time contraints

Most of the questions -and their answers- are relatively straightforward, but it's very easy to get caught into a tiny bit of detail that will make you waste too much time. Most of us could achieve a fair bit with linux, given enough time to do it. The exam, on the other hand, condenses a lot of relatively small -but important- tasks into a short period of time, so there is no room for much hesitation.

During the exam, make sure you read all the instructions more than once: some tasks are related or easier to perform if they are done in the right sequence. Take also care to number the tasks by increased difficulty and proceed to complete the tasks in that order. This ensures that you don't miss out on what you consider easy, and it gives you more room for the harder tasks.

Awaiting the verdict

Now I just have to wait for the results. I hope I didn't make any blunder and missed something or misunderstood a question. We'll know soon enough. I should have the results next week.

The Verdict


I just got the results by email this morning and here are the results:

The results of your RHCT Certification Exam are
reported below. The RHCT Certification Exam allows
candidates to qualify for the Red Hat Certified
Technician (RHCT) certificate.
RHCT requirements: completion of compulsory items
(50 points)
Compulsory troubleshooting score:              50.0
RHCT minimum requirements: 70 percent on RHCT
Installation and Configuration score:          100.0%
RHCT Certification:                             PASS
Congratulations -- you are now certified as a
Red Hat Certified Technician!
Your RHCT Certificate number is 609003719307501.

The next challenge was,... the RHCE.

Click here to verify my RHCT certificate.

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