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Red Hat RHCSA 9 EX200 certification guide
van Vugt S., Pearson, Hoboken, NJ, 2023. 664 pp. Type: Book (978-0138096274)
Date Reviewed: Oct 20 2023

Red Hat, Inc., a subsidiary of IBM, furnishes open-source software products for business concerns. Red Hat has become synonymous with its operating system (OS): Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This book is an exam preparation guide to becoming a Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) by passing the RHCSA 9 (EX200) exam. Sander van Vugt, the author, is a Linux expert and consultant.

This five-part book commences with a brief introduction. Its 28 chapters include a quiz, foundational topics, a summary, exam prep tasks, a review of key topics, definitions for key terms, review questions, and lab exercises.

The first part (chapters 1 to 8) covers basic system management tasks: installing RHEL, working with file management tools and text files, connecting to RHEL 9, user and group management, permissions management, and network configuration.

Part 2 (chapters 9 to 15), on how to operate running systems, looks at managing software and processes, working with systemd, scheduling tasks, configuring logging, and managing storage.

The third part (chapters 16 to 19) is on “performing advanced system administration tasks,” including basic kernel management, the boot procedure, troubleshooting, and automation via Bash/shell scripting.

The fourth part (chapters 20 to 28) is on managing network services. The topics covered include: configuring the Secure Shell Protocol (SSH), managing Apache hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) services, managing SELinux, configuring a firewall, accessing network storage, configuring time services, managing containers, final exam prep, and a theoretical pre-assessment exam.

Part 5 provides two practice exams, followed by a glossary and an index. There are also five appendices. The first appendix contains quizzes and answers to the review questions. The second appendix is on exam updates. Appendices 3, 4, and 5 (on memory tables and a study planner) are also available online via the book’s companion website. This website also provides two additional practice exams and more than an hour of video training. Readers can use the companion website to brush up on all the key topics in the book (arranged by chapter), learn key terms and concepts (with the help of flashcards), and access additional study resources.

This well-organized book covers all the relevant concepts and, in my opinion, fully accomplishes its goal as a helpful exam prep guide. The author rightly recommends a lot of practice, as it is overwhelmingly a practice-oriented exam. In addition to being an exam prep guide, the book can also serve as a useful reference guide for Red Hat system administrators. I strongly recommend the book for its intended audience.

Reviewer:  S. V. Nagaraj Review #: CR147655
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