Unix OR Linux Cert?


I am an NT MCSE who has decided to abandon the MSCE Win2K path and take the UNIX/Linux Path.

But since I am very new to that field, I am not sure exactly what Certification I should get that would cover the biggest area of that field as possible. Not to mention if I should got with Linux or UNIX? Please keep in mind that I am trying to take Network and System Administration path!

1- Linux, there seems to be one of the following three:
A) CompTIA Linux+ (My favorate as I am already A+ and Network+, but it seems as it is still in the testing stages)
B) Sair Linux and GNU (Seems to be stright forward)
C) RedHat "RHCE"
D) LPI "Linux Professional Institute"

2- For Unix, I am not sure I have covered all resources and that is another reason why I am posting here. But it seems to be few Vendor related UNIX distribution such as Sun Solaris and others. Again, the question is, if I choose Unix, which would be the best that is most General and most wanted in the market.

Thanks for your help

First of all, I don't think you should abandon you Win2K and MSFT expertise. Interoperabiity between UNIX-based systems and MSFT based systems are becoming more and more critical. Your expertise in both areas is very marketable and extremely useful.

As to 'picking one UNIX', if I had to pick one and only one, I would pick HPUX because HPUX is a hybrid UNIX and experts in HPUX get paid A LOT of money !!! Experts on Linux, BSD, etc do not command the salaries of HPUX experts in the US.

Second choice, SUN Microsystems. SUN worshippers also make 'the big bucks' :slight_smile:

I started in HPUX and have working with just about every UNIX on the planet. However, I do not bill as a UNIX admin and work high-level architecture and policy for a living (it pays more, much more but is much less rewarding). Personally, I love Slackware/Linux but that love 'don't pay the bills and buy the groceries' :slight_smile:

Guess you have to decide if your decision is based on $$$$ considerations or your personal interests. Often, unfortunately, they are not the same. Also running a home business or service is much different than working for a mega corporation.

Perhaps someone else can jump in and advise you as well:)

I couldn't agree more! Make sure you search eBay for books, hardware, etc. in your quests! We purchase almost all of our server gear on eBay.

Glad to see you are interested in HP-UX! :slight_smile:


That link will take you to the HP-UX certification homepage, there are two paths, which are cummulative rather than dichotomous - in the sense that you will want to complete one (HP-UX certified IT professional) and then move onto the other (HP-UC advanced IT professional).

For most doing the first track is sufficient - it will take you through becoming a very competent HP-UX network and system administrator and for most employees that is more than enough. The advanced track will go into greater detail relating to HP-UX networking, operations, high availability and security. You might want to focus on just one or two aspects of this track, depending on where you interest lies, such as security (which is big nowadays) or high availability which has always been important in corporate (as well as other) environments.


Living as you do, in Portland, that link will show you the local HP education centres in the US where you can pursue a track in HP-UX certification. Sorry there don't seem to be centres in Oregon - but it's a good excuse to travel!

Hope this helps.


Hi aliissa
I don't live in Portland :slight_smile: In fact I don't even live on your side of the pond, I'm in the UK - I was just aware that Portland is in Oregon.

The LUG in Portland:


I am sure they will be willing to help beginners to Linux, these Linux people tend to be friendly fellows - take a look at Neo and PxT :slight_smile:

I'm not too familar with the college that you mentioned, but I am sure it will give you a very good beginners introduction to UNIX if that is what the couse is designed to do. Just as a general pointer I would ascertain if they have hands on learning, i.e. if they let you mess around with UNIX machines while you are learning, and it is not just a solely theoretical course. In my experience there is NOTHING more beneficial than learning something in theory and then trying to apply it in practice on a UNIX box, and in a test/learning environment it is even better since you're not worried about messing things up. In fact you often obtain a wider skills base when things go wrong since it then becomes a troubleshooting as well as a learning exercise.

You might also want to look into getting yourself a UNIX shell account, your ISP may give you one for a nominal charge, or you can search the internet for shell accounts. This will be useful to you in your early days of learning UNIX, as you get more advanced you're going to want your own machine, where you can have super user access.

If you need any more help please don't hesitate to ask!


I too am looking into a UNIX or Linux certification.

If you're going to go with a Linux certification I'd choose either the Sair Linux or the LPI. The reason for this is that both are vendor nuetral rather than being specific to one distribution. So you'll learn to administrate any distribution.

RHCE is specific to the RedHat distribution and won't help you out when you have to load software on a Debian box. Debian uses there own package manager rather than Redhats rpm system.

I'm going to do the Sair probably first. Then maybe the Sun cert. like Neo was talking about.

Sair course is about $1700.00 with New Horizons. Sun Certification is much more expensive. $5000.00 to get SCSA certified. I don't know about the prices for HP-UX or LPI yet.

Hope that helps.:smiley:

check out www.brainbuzz.com if you havn't already.:stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks. I guess I will take your advise and work on at least few of the MCP (Win2k Pro and Server) which will not be hard at all and at the same time work on polishing my Unix skills

I live in Portland and I found that PCC offer few classes that exactly do that.

Other than that, can you help me with where to find resources for the HPUX and their Certification? I checked HP site but it seems to be confusing and I would appreciate few links that can guide me around if you may. Thanks again

Thanks a lot of the Link you posted. That actually was my whole evening reading for one night :slight_smile:
I read all the articles posted there and then some ..

If you do get anything going (since we seems to be going for the same goal), please post here and let me know, it might help me to direct my effort the right way :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot fo those couple sites, it helped a lot and gave me direction to find the sites that I would be looking for to get my HP-UX cert.

Since you live in portland and seems to know much more than I know about UNIX, do you know if there is any LUGS in portland Area for beginners?

I am also regestering with PCC for a UNIX class and I was wondering if you think that is a good start or if there is any other options?

Thanks again,


well, I think I am on my for a good start. A lot of thanks goes to you guys who helped a lot in the pointing a good direction for me to take.

I have inrolled myself with PCC for a course called "OS:Linux" and another called "Intro to Unix". I should start with those two classes on June 26. I can not wait :slight_smile:

I also have managed to get myself a IBM AIX box and it all loaded and ready to go as soon as I am ready :slight_smile:

Annnd, I also took Neo advise and I will actually continue on my Certs and education with MS products and then work on integrating my home LAN that include Win2K Pro and Advanced server, with my IBM Unix box :slight_smile:

I guess I have my hands full for a while and that should give me a lot of hand-on experience that I will need :slight_smile:

Again, Thanks to all who helped here and I will keep you guys updated :slight_smile:

Hi...I too am a MCSE who is expanding my certs.
I just finished my Solaris 7 SCSA and I also
am a CCNA. I've done all my test thru self-study.
I just bought a cheap HP workstation on Ebay and
and a book called HP Certified from www.bookpool.com. I've been looking at a few
career sites and for Unix Admins it seems most
companies want HP-UX and Solaris.
I saw a post in this thread where someone mentioned spending $5000 for SCSA. Forget spending
that kind of money. It costs me $2000 and that
included buying a SunBlade 100 for $1000. You can
buy the books from people who have taken the classes from people on Ebay for $200 or less.
Just a few suggestions,