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LPI To Deliver UnitedLinux Tests, Certification

Jan 23, 2003, 18:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacqueline Emigh)

By Jacqueline Emigh

At LinuxWorld, the four members of UnitedLinux officially unveiled plans to work with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) on a certification program for the UnitedLinux distribution. Meanwhile, LPI has also been talking with other vendors about the possibility of setting up certification programs specific to other Linux distributions.

During a press conference at the show in New York City, Conectiva CFA Gordon K. Ho, a representative to the UnitedLinux Board of Managers, maintained that the LPI testing and certification programs will help to "avoid fragmention."

LPI will grant UnitedLinux certification "on top of" its current Level 1 and Level 2 certifications for Linux, according to LPI President Evan Leibovich.

LPI plans to start delivering UnitedLinux exams later in the first quarter of 2003. Pricing, though, is not yet available. "Content - such as whether it's going to be a one- or two-hour exam -- will affect the pricing," Leibovich said in an interview.

LPI currently charges $100 apiece for each of four exams: the 101 and 102 exams in its Level 1 program, and the 201 and 202 exams in its Level 2 program. These four exams revolve around LSB (Linux Standard Base), a standard now being adhered to by the four UnitedLinux vendors - SCO, SuSE, Turbolinux, and Conectiva - as well as by Red Hat and other vendors.

Under the new UnitedLinux program, participants will need to pass 101 and 102 exams, along with a new 103 UnitedLinux-specific exam, in order to get UnitedLinux Certified Professional (ULCP) certification.

Likewise, it will be necessary to pass existing 201 and 202 tests, as well as a new 203 UnitedLinux-specific test, to obtain UnitedLinux Certified Expert (ULCE) status.

LPI is collaborating with UnitedLinux on framing the new questions, according to Leibovich. "But the end result will be their call," he added.

Leibovich anticipates, however, that the questions on the UnitedLinux exam will differ mainly along the lines of installation and packaging. "The YaST tool will be part of the UnitedLinux test, but you wouldn't find it by itself in the basic test," he elaborated.

Also during the press conference, Ho said UnitedLinux chose LPI in part because LPI is "globally recognized."

LPI exams are now available in the English and Japanese languages. Leibovich contended that LPI will soon bring out tests in German, Chinese, and Brazilian Portuguese, and after that, in other languages.

LPI is also facing other internationalization issues aside from language, according to Leibovich. The organization has found that in China, for instance, the $100 pricetag for an LPI exam is equivalent to one month's salary for an IT worker.

Leibovich said LPI has also held discussions with a couple of other Linux vendors about the possiblity of constructing certification programs specific to other Linux distributions.

These other vendors, though, do not include either Red Hat or any of the four UnitedLinux members.

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