Operating system security

Comparing Linux+ and RHCSA/RHCE operating system security certifications

Daniel Brecht
August 30, 2023 by
Daniel Brecht

With the increasing demand for open-source professionals in the tech industry, certifications have become essential for employers to assess an individual’s skills. According to the Linux Foundation 2023 State of Tech Talent Report, most employer respondents feel that certification (73%) and pre-employment testing (81%) are necessary to verify skills and are more important than university training.

Learn about Linux vs. RHCSA and Linux+ vs. RHCE while on your open-source professional journey to find the right certification to fit your career goals.

Linux+ certification

The Linux+ certification is highly valued in the industry and is a job-focused offering by CompTIA. The recently updated Linux+ (XK0-005) exam reflects the modern skills needed by open-source professionals, including creating simple shell scripts and executing basic BASH scripts, version control using Git, understanding orchestration processes and the use of Kernel modules. This vendor-neutral certification is designed to focus more on how Linux powers the cloud and provides a solid foundation applicable to all major Linux distributions.


  • Shows employers you can manage Linux system tasks

  • Vendor-neutral and applicable to a wide range of Linux environments

  • Enhances your resume and increases your earning potential

Example job titles that benefit from Linux+ certifications:

  • Linux system administrator

  • Network administrator

  • Technical support specialist

  • Web administrator

  • DevOps engineer

  • Cloud engineer

Learn more about Linux+ training and learning paths.

RHCSA/RHCE certifications

Red Hat, a leading Linux distribution provider, offers the RHCSA and RHCE certifications. The RHCSA certification focuses on system administration skills in Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. In contrast, the RHCE certification targets advanced tasks and supports the automation knowledge required to deploy, manage and support a container-based architecture. Red Hat certifications are highly regarded in the industry and provide a practical understanding of Red Hat technologies.


Example job titles:

  • Linux system administrator

  • Systems administrator

  • Linux systems engineer

  • Linux support systems engineer

  • Senior systems administrator

Learn more about RHCSA training.

Comparing CompTIA and Red Hat training and certification

Linux+ vs. RHCSA

Both CompTIA and Red Hat offer comprehensive training and certification programs for Linux professionals. CompTIA Linux+ provides job-focused training that covers a wide range of Linux distributions and prepares individuals for system management and troubleshooting. Red Hat offers vendor-provided training and practical certification paths tailored to their technologies and products.

Exam formats and requirements

The Linux+ certification exam

Code: XK0-005

Launch date: July 12, 2022

Format: Maximum of 90 questions — multiple choice and performance-based

Duration: 90 minutes

Passing score: 720 (on a scale of 100-900)

Experience: 12 months of hands-on experience working with Linux servers recommended

Other certs: CompTIA A+, Network+, and Server+ or similar certifications and/or knowledge recommended

Price: $358 


Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam

Code: EX200

Format: Hands-on, practical exam

Duration: 2.5 hours

Passing score: 210 out of 300 possible points (70%)

Experience: Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) or the RHCSA Rapid Track course (RH199), or comparable work experience

Other certs: Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) (EX300)

Price: $400 

Community insights

To gain insights into the perceptions of these certifications within the community, feedback from Reddit users, real-world experiences and recommendations from professionals provide valuable information. Additionally, Quora discussions and video insights can shed light on the value and recognition of both certifications.

Industry recognition and value

Both Linux+ and RHCSA/RHCE certifications hold significant value in the industry. Linux+ is valued for its vendor-neutral approach and covers a broader scope of Linux distributions. RHCSA and RHCE, on the other hand, are highly recognized certifications specifically focused on Red Hat technologies, making them particularly valuable in organizations that leverage Red Hat products.

Choosing the right certification

When selecting between Linux+ and RHCSA/RHCE, you should consider your career goals, industry requirements and experience level.

Linux+ comparison

Linux+ is vendor-neutral and can offer a baseline of the required knowledge. It is an excellent choice if you seek a comprehensive foundation in Linux administration applicable across various distributions. It serves as a stepping stone toward more advanced certifications.

RHCSA comparison

RHCSA/RHCE certifications are ideal if you want to work with Red Hat technologies and specialize in a specific Linux distribution. RHCSA is a more hands-on, real-world test for professionals already in that line of work or looking for new positions administering Red Hat products. RHCE certification validates several years of experience to help you progress on the career ladder and stand out from the pack of professionals.


To make the best-informed decision, research and explore available training resources. RHCSA Boot Camps and Linux Boot Camps provide hands-on training of essential knowledge, and self-paced learning paths teach necessary concepts, terms, commands and skills to advance your career.

The State of Tech Talent Report also found that organizations increasingly rely on training and certification. They view certification and pre-employment testing as verification of claimed technical skills and place a high value on upskilling, effective onboarding and certificates.

You can compare Linux+ and RHCSA and read more about Linux+ certification and related courses, Linux+ XK0-005 exam details and average salaries for open-source professionals with RHCSA and CompTIA Linux+ certification.


Linux Foundation 2023 State of Tech Talent Report

Why Get Certified, Red Hat

Certification Guide: CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), Red Hat

Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), Red Hat

Ways to test, Red Hat

Most in-demand skills, LinuxCareer.com

CompTIA Linux+ , CompTIA

CompTIA Linux+ Certification Exam Objectives (XK0-005), CompTIA

CompTIA Certification Testing, Pearson VUE

Understanding Linux, Red Hat

Red Hat Resource Center, Pearson IT Certification

Daniel Brecht
Daniel Brecht

Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.