[Linux-aus] Ubuntu Certification

Les Bell lesbell at lesbell.com.au
Wed Apr 5 21:08:02 UTC 2006

Bret Busby wrote:

> From what I understand, from the LPI web site, the "vendor neutral"
> thing, relates to having skills and knowledge that do not relate to a
> particular distribution.
> From http://www.lpi.org/en/certification.html ;
> "The LPI Certification Program is:
> Distribution-neutral, verifying knowledge on any standard Linux system".
> Thus, to specialise in a particular distribution, appears to me, to be
> inconsistent with the assertion of being "vendor neutral". Notsomuch a
> criticism, as an observation.

That's essentially correct, although I don't think the inconsistency is
a major one. The core certification remains distribution-independent; a
candidate who passes the new 103 test will simply be demonstrating
additional Ubuntu-specific knowledge. It's possible that people might
perceive a weakening of the core philosophy of LPI, but I think that's
more a perception than reality.

> On the web page at http://www.lpi.org/en/obj_101.html , the Objectives
> of exam 101, include distribution-specific material - package management
> for Red Hat and for Debian ; "1.102.5 Use Debian package management",
> and "1.102.6 Use Red Hat Package Manager (RPM)". My understanding is
> that these are not the only two distribution-specific package management
> systems, with, for example, SUSE using YAST (if that is the correct name).
> So, distribution-specific material already exists in the LPI 101 exam,
> with the material limited to two of the distributions.

Those aren't distribution-specific. RPM is used by SuSE, Mandriva and
many other distributions, and is a requirement of the Linux Standards
Base, which is why it is supported even by Slackware, these days (though
Slackware honours it more "in the breach", as they say). Similarly,
other distributions have used the Debian tools, although these days,
both camps rely more heavily on front-end tools like yum, etc.

The decision was taken in the early days to avoid distribution-specific
tools and focus on generics. However, software installation and package
management was a sufficiently important area that it couldn't be
ignored, despite the fact that there was no single generic package
manager for all distributions. So the decision was taken to deal with
the two major alternatives, so as to not disadvantage any large single

According to archived emails I have from back then, this is the only
area in which LPI certification makes any concession to variations
between distributions. Everything else has been kept as generic as possible.


--- Les Bell, RHCE, CISSP
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