RHCA Journey | Lab and RHCE Objective Status

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Below is a listing of the RHCE Objectives as of January 2019 on Red Hat’s website for the EX300 exam. As this week is lab practice week for me I am starting all of them off as red. This means I’ve not signed off on that objective yet as knowing it forward and backward. Many of them will go quickly over the week as I know them fairly well already, and a few will just need a few hours of practice to ensure I do know them. So this page will be edited throughout this week as I progress. If you are interested in the progress, feel free to check back daily to see how I am doing. I will post a separate article on any challenges I faced during the labs and what I learned from the entire process.

Update: I have passed the RHCE as of May 8th, 2019.

System configuration and management

  • Use network teaming or bonding to configure aggregated network links between two Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems
  • Configure IPv6 addresses and perform basic IPv6 troubleshooting
  • Route IP traffic and create static routes
  • Use firewalld and associated mechanisms such as rich rules, zones and custom rules, to implement packet filtering and configure network address translation (NAT)
  • Configure a system to authenticate using Kerberos
  • Configure a system as either an iSCSI target or initiator that persistently mounts an iSCSI target
  • Produce and deliver reports on system utilization (processor, memory, disk, and network)
  • Use shell scripting to automate system maintenance tasks

Network services

  • Install the packages needed to provide the service
  • Configure SELinux to support the service
  • Use SELinux port labeling to allow services to use non-standard ports
  • Configure the service to start when the system is booted
  • Configure the service for basic operation
  • Configure host-based and user-based security for the service

HTTP/HTTPS

  • Configure a virtual host
  • Configure access restrictions on directories
  • Deploy a basic CGI application
  • Configure group-managed content
  • Configure TLS security

DNS

  • Configure a caching-only name server
  • Troubleshoot DNS client issues

NFS

  • Provide network shares to specific clients
  • Provide network shares suitable for group collaboration
  • Use Kerberos to control access to NFS network shares

SMB

  • Provide network shares to specific clients
  • Provide network shares suitable for group collaboration

SMTP

  • Configure a system to forward all email to a central mail server

SSH

  • Configure key-based authentication
  • Configure additional options described in documentation

NTP

  • Synchronize time using other NTP peers

Database services

  • Install and configure MariaDB
  • Backup and restore a database
  • Create a simple database schema
  • Perform simple SQL queries against a database

Red Hat Training Labs

  • Lab: Controlling Services and Daemons
  • Lab: Managing IPv6 Networking
  • Lab: Configuring Link Aggregation and Bridging
  • Lab: Network Port Security
  • Lab: Managing DNS for Servers
  • Lab: Configuring Email Transmission
  • Lab: Providing Block-based Storage
  • Lab: Providing File-based Storage
  • Lab: Configuring MariaDB Databases
  • Lab: Providing Apache HTTPD Web Service
  • Lab: Writing Bash Scripts
  • Lab: Bash Conditionals and Control Structures
  • Lab: Configuring the Shell Environment
  • Lab: Comprehensive Review of System Administration III

Notes

The first 5 labs have gone very well, as I am able to do them without looking at the answers. While I may not recall all the full commands on some of them, it is easy enough to locate the correct syntax using man pages and using semanage or error logs to resolve the issues. The same methods I will have at my disposal during the EX300 exam.

The SMTP mail relay section seems to be giving me issues. The labs have you just issuing out long postconf -e commands to insert or change the /etc/postfix/main.cf file. I haven’t found a way to recall all these commands by memory just yet, other than just drilling it over and over until I have them memorized. I’m more going on the line of thinking of instead of using postconf -e I will just edit the main.cf file directly and recall each area to locate in the file to accomplish what I’m needing to do. I will need to review this lab a few more times before I feel I am ready, therefore I marked it as orange.

The iscsi configuration took me a little longer than the others as there are a number of steps involved in setting it up on the server, and then connecting on the client. However after going over the labs a number of times I understand the syntax of each of the commands for discovering, logging in, logging out, and even deleting. I also understand the process of setting up the server side with targetcli. If I draw a blank I can use man iscsiadm to see the required examples needed for the syntax I’ll need to connect the client to the server target.

It took a while for me to get all the NFS and SMB objectives down in the labs. I am not sure what I’ll be asked to do in the exam, however at this point I have it down well enough that I feel comfortable moving forward. The next day or two I will be working on MariaDB and Apache in the labs. I took some time off (as I was on vacation after all, and I got sick at the end of the week). I hope to be at the point at the end of this week I’ll feel comfortable scheduling the exam and giving it a go.

I’ve done most of the labs at this point, and some of them I can redo without issue. I’m placing a check next to all that I’ve gone over a second time, and that are firmly in my memory. I will be scheduling my EX300 exam in the next few days, more than likely for some time near the end of February. I just need the extra time to go over the labs until I am comfortable with them.

I am in my final week before my exam, which is scheduled for February 28th. I feel as I should do okay, my biggest worry is will I do it with the amount of time given. I have a big study day scheduled for Monday as well, and am going through the practice labs both on ROLE and Linux Academy.

I ended up having to push the exam back as things were getting in the way, however I am nearly to the point where I have all points memorized for the exam. I’m just doing labs to make sure everything is set, and then will move the exam date up sooner if need be and finish things up here. It has just been very busy at work and with family life that study time has been hindered some.

Finally got the postfix labs done. The practice and labs that Red Hat provides want you to add the config lines in with postconf -e, and while that may be fast, I was having issues remembering the full command. It ended up being easier to remember just enough of it within /etc/postfix/main.cf and just scroll through the conf file from top to bottom, changing what was required based on the lab. Just a little left to go, brushing back up on SMB and NFS, then just start sweeping through all of them at once for a week. I should start the full sweep of labs next week. The exam is the week after that.

The exam is scheduled now for May 1st at 9 am. I feel fairly confident and am looking forward to it.

Last updated: May 08, 2019 at 02:15 PM MDT.

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Ivan Windon

Ivan Windon is a Senior Technical Support Engineer at Red Hat, where Ivan supports Red Hat Satellite. Ivan is actively engaged in Cloud Technologies with AWS, Google, and Azure. Ivan has extensive experience with Linux and Windows administration, DNS, Networking, IDM, and Security. In his free time, he enjoys being with his wife and two children. The family enjoys hiking, and traveling when able. His favorite locations are Yosemite NPS, and San Francisco, California.

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