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Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) EX200 Overview

The performance-based Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam (EX200) tests your knowledge in areas of system administration common across a wide range of environments and deployment scenarios. The skills tested in this exam are the foundation for system administration across all Red Hat® products.

By passing this exam, you become a Red Hat Certified System Administrator.

Brief History of Red Hat RHCSA Exam

The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam, a key certification offered by Red Hat, Inc., has a rich history rooted in the rise of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Red Hat, established in 1993, became synonymous with professional-grade Linux solutions, and its growth mirrored the increasing importance of Linux in enterprise environments. The RHCSA certification was introduced to validate skills in the core system administration tasks required in Red Hat's Linux environments. It quickly gained recognition as a standard for assessing proficiency in Red Hat Linux systems, catering to system administrators, engineers, and other IT professionals working with Linux.

As Red Hat's technologies evolved, so did the RHCSA exam. Regular updates were made to ensure the exam's alignment with the latest versions of RHEL and the changing needs of the IT industry. These updates have consistently focused on real-world job skills and practical, hands-on expertise. Over time, the RHCSA has included performance-based evaluations, challenging candidates to perform real tasks on live systems, rather than relying solely on multiple-choice questions. This practical approach has been instrumental in maintaining the RHCSA's reputation as a rigorous and respected certification. The RHCSA continues to be a sought-after credential, symbolizing a comprehensive understanding of RHEL system administration in today's complex IT environments.

Exam Audience

This exam is aimed at individiuals who are:

  • Experienced Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators seeking validation of their skills
  • Students who have attended Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) and Red Hat System Administration II (RH134) and are on the path to becoming an RHCSA
  • Experienced Linux system administrators who require a certification either by their organization or based on a mandate (DoD 8570 directive)
  • IT professionals who are on the path to becoming a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • Non-current or who is about to become noncurrent Red Hat certified Engineers and wants to recertify as an RHCE
  • DevOps professionals who wish to demonstrate their expertise with the fundamentals of container technology

Exam Objectives

RHCSA exam candidates should be able to accomplish the tasks below without assistance. These have been grouped into several categories.

  • Understand and use essential tools:
    • Access a shell prompt and issue commands with correct syntax
    • Use input-output redirection (>, >>, |, 2>, etc.)
    • Use grep and regular expressions to analyze text
    • Access remote systems using SSH
    • Log in and switch users in multiuser targets
    • Archive, compress, unpack, and uncompress files using tar, star, gzip, and bzip2
    • Create and edit text files
    • Create, delete, copy, and move files and directories
    • Create hard and soft links
    • List, set, and change standard ugo/rwx permissions
    • Locate, read, and use system documentation including man, info, and files in /usr/share/doc
  • Create simple shell scripts:
    • Conditionally execute code (use of: if, test, [], etc.)
    • Use Looping constructs (for, etc.) to process file, command line input
    • Process script inputs ($1, $2, etc.)
    • Processing output of shell commands within a script
  • Operate running systems:
    • Boot, reboot, and shut down a system normally
    • Boot systems into different targets manually
    • Interrupt the boot process in order to gain access to a system
    • Identify CPU/memory intensive processes and kill processes
    • Adjust process scheduling
    • Manage tuning profiles
    • Locate and interpret system log files and journals
    • Preserve system journals
    • Start, stop, and check the status of network services
    • Securely transfer files between systems
  • Configure local storage:
    • List, create, delete partitions on MBR and GPT disks
    • Create and remove physical volumes
    • Assign physical volumes to volume groups
    • Create and delete logical volumes
    • Configure systems to mount file systems at boot by universally unique ID (UUID) or label
    • Add new partitions and logical volumes, and swap to a system non-destructively
  • Create and configure file systems:
    • Create, mount, unmount, and use vfat, ext4, and xfs file systems
    • Mount and unmount network file systems using NFS
    • Configure autofs
    • Extend existing logical volumes
    • Create and configure set-GID directories for collaboration
    • Diagnose and correct file permission problems
  • Deploy, configure, and maintain systems:
    • Schedule tasks using at and cron
    • Start and stop services and configure services to start automatically at boot
    • Configure systems to boot into a specific target automatically
    • Configure time service clients
    • Install and update software packages from Red Hat Network, a remote repository, or from the local file system
    • Modify the system bootloader
  • Manage basic networking:
    • Configure IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
    • Configure hostname resolution
    • Configure network services to start automatically at boot
    • Restrict network access using firewall-cmd/firewall
  • Manage users and groups:
    • Create, delete, and modify local user accounts
    • Change passwords and adjust password aging for local user accounts
    • Create, delete, and modify local groups and group memberships
    • Configure superuser access
  • Manage security:
    • Configure firewall settings using firewall-cmd/firewalld
    • Manage default file permissions
    • Configure key-based authentication for SSH
    • Set enforcing and permissive modes for SELinux
    • List and identify SELinux file and process context
    • Restore default file contexts
    • Manage SELinux port labels
    • Use boolean settings to modify system SELinux settings
    • Diagnose and address routine SELinux policy violations
  • Manage containers:
    • Find and retrieve container images from a remote registry
    • Inspect container images
    • Perform container management using commands such as podman and skopeo
    • Build a container from a Containerfile
    • Perform basic container management such as running, starting, stopping, and listing running containers
    • Run a service inside a container
    • Configure a container to start automatically as a systemd service
    • Attach persistent storage to a container


As with all Red Hat performance-based exams, configurations must persist after reboot without intervention.


This guide should not be the sole resource used as a means for passing the RHCSA exam, nor should it be relied upon for its accuracy with regards to what may or may not appear on the exam. This guide is not endorsed, affiliated with or sponsored by Red Hat®.

This guide does not replace the need for many years experience in system administration.

Thorough research must be performed by all individuals wanting to take the exam, including but not limited to:

  • Performing your own Red Hat® 9 installations to practice and master your skills
  • Taking classes with Red Hat® directly (online or in person)
  • Reviewing of man, info & /usr/share/doc files

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