Home > Articles

Exam Profile: LPIC-2 (201 and 202)

William "Bo" Rothwell, author of LPIC-2 Cert Guide, shares details to help you prepare for and pass the LPIC-2 exams (201-400 and 202-400).
Like this article? We recommend

First published in November 2001, the LPIC-2 certification is designed for advanced Linux administrators. As with the LPIC-1 certification, you must pass two exams (in this case, 201 and 202) in order to earn the LPIC-2 certification.

The first exam (201) focuses on topics that are related primarily to "local" services and features. Although these topics are germane to both server and workstation systems, they're considered "local" because they're not related to providing network-based services to other systems. Expect questions that test your advanced knowledge on the kernel, system startup, devices, and installing software from source.

The second exam (202) focuses exclusively on providing network-based services, with questions on configuring and securing a variety of server software. This includes a variety of web server topics as well as file-sharing services such as Samba, NFS, and FTP. System and network security are also important topics, including authentication techniques, firewalls, and router configuration.

Candidates who have already taken the LPIC-1 certification exams tend to compare the two certifications. The comparison sometimes causes confusion because the two sets of exams appear to have redundant elements. For example, both exams test candidates on their ability to administer filesystems. However, the LPIC-2 exam questions test a much deeper understanding of the topic. The LPIC-2 exams also include a great many topics that are not covered at any level on the LPIC-1 exam.

Because the LPIC-2 exams test advanced Linux administration knowledge, you should have at least five years of experience before attempting this certification. It is also highly recommended that you earn your LPIC-1 certification before attempting the LPIC-2 certification.

One reason that might convince you to attempt the LPIC-2 certification exams relates to the status of your LPIC-1 certification. LPIC-1 certification is considered valid for a period of five years. After that period has passed, your LPIC-1 certification is considered to be "expired." You can renew your LPIC-1 certification by taking the 101 and 102 exams again, or you can earn your LPIC-2 certification, which automatically renews your LPIC-1 certification for an additional five years.

Exam Details

  • Number of questions: 60 in each exam.
  • Types of questions: Multiple choice with 4–5 options and either single or multiple answer. Also expect to see fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • Passing score: 500 (from a scale of 200–800).
  • Time limit: 90 minutes.
  • How to register: For LPI exams, start at the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) to get a member ID and a link to Pearson VUE to schedule an exam.

Trouble Spots

One of the challenges of studying for these exams is that they are supposed to be "vendor-neutral." This means that you shouldn't expect any distribution-specific questions; however, it doesn't mean you can study successfully using any Linux distribution. You should pick a "mainstream" distribution such as Red Hat, Debian, CentOS, Fedora, SUSE, or Ubuntu. Be prepared to discover that the exam objectives don't match up exactly with how things work in your distribution.

You should also take into account that the exams were created in 2012 and released in 2013. Linux has changed since then! Pay close attention to the exam objectives. If the exam covers NFSv3 and your system uses NFSv4, understand that the two releases will work differently, which might affect your ability to answer questions correctly on the exam. Recommendation: Use an older version of the Linux distribution you've chosen.

Another issue is primarily related to the second exam, which deals with a lot of network-based client/server relationships. You really should have at least two systems for your exam practice. Recommendation: Use virtual machines (VMs). Not only does using VMs allow you to have both server and client, but you can also test different distributions.

When you review the exam objectives, you'll find that many topics can be tested on an exam. You may have a great deal of experience with some of these topics and little to no experience on others. Exam objectives are weighted from 1–10. The higher the value, the more questions on that topic the exam will include. Recommendation: Focus your study and practice on the objectives with higher weight values.

Another potential issue is the fill-in-the-blank questions. You have probably become accustomed to using man pages to look up options and features. You won't be able to do that when taking the exam; you're expected to have this information memorized. Recommendation: Create and work with flash cards to learn common options and features, especially for commands and services that you don't work with on a regular basis.

Preparation Hints

In addition to the recommendations previously mentioned, consider the following suggestions:

  • Although these exams are not considered "hands on," the importance of real practice cannot be overstated. Configure a system; then rebuild it and configure it again. Explore the man pages for your distribution to discover additional exam-related features, and try to configure these features.
  • Use virtual machines. A lot. Virtual Box is a good option to manage the virtual machines. You should have at least three different distributions (I suggest CentOS, Ubuntu, and SUSE). If you're configuring an Apache web server, try to do it on all three distributions. Try setting up a feature or service first by following specific directions, a second time by viewing documentation only, and a third time with no external resources (working from memory only).
  • It's important to have a good guide to lead you through the material, such as a study guide and the official topic list. You could be learning thousands of commands; make sure that you spend your time learning the right ones.

Recommended Study Resources

A study guide that is written for the new exam objectives is your best resource for passing the LPIC level 2 exams. One excellent book is the LPIC-2 Cert Guide (ISBN: 9780789757142), which was written and reviewed by experienced trainers and experts in the field.

Exam Topics

LPIC-2 (201-400) Exam

Topic 200: Capacity Planning

  • 200.1 Measure and Troubleshoot Resource Usage (weight: 6)
  • 200.2 Predict Future Resource Needs (weight: 2)

Topic 201: Linux Kernel

  • 201.1 Kernel Components (weight: 2)
  • 201.2 Compiling a Linux Kernel (weight: 3)
  • 201.3 Kernel Runtime Management and Troubleshooting (weight: 4)

Topic 202: System Startup

  • 202.1 Customizing SysV-Init System Startup (weight: 3)
  • 202.2 System Recovery (weight: 4)
  • 202.3 Alternate Bootloaders (weight: 2)

Topic 203: Filesystem and Devices

  • 203.1 Operating the Linux Filesystem (weight: 4)
  • 203.2 Maintaining a Linux Filesystem (weight: 3)
  • 203.3 Creating and Configuring Filesystem Options (weight: 2)

Topic 204: Advanced Storage Device Administration

  • 204.1 Configuring RAID (weight: 3)
  • 204.2 Adjusting Storage Device Access (weight: 2)
  • 204.3 Logical Volume Manager (weight: 3)

Topic 205: Networking Configuration

  • 205.1 Basic Networking Configuration (weight: 3)
  • 205.2 Advanced Network Configuration (weight: 4)
  • 205.3 Troubleshooting Network Issues (weight: 4)

Topic 206: System Maintenance

  • 206.1 Make and Install Programs from Source (weight: 2)
  • 206.2 Backup Operations (weight: 3)
  • 206.3 Notify Users on System-Related Issues (weight: 1)

LPIC-2 (202-400)

Topic 207: Domain Name Server

  • 207.1 Basic DNS Server Configuration (weight: 3)
  • 207.2 Create and Maintain DNS Zones (weight: 3)
  • 207.3 Securing a DNS Server (weight: 2)

Topic 208: Web Services

  • 208.1 Basic Apache Configuration (weight: 4)
  • 208.2 Apache Configuration for HTTPS (weight: 3)
  • 208.3 Implementing Squid as a Caching Proxy (weight: 2)
  • 208.4 Implementing Nginx as a Web Server and a Reverse Proxy (weight: 2)

Topic 209: File Sharing

  • 209.1 Samba Server Configuration (weight: 5)
  • 209.2 NFS Server Configuration (weight: 3)

Topic 210: Network Client Management

  • 210.1 DHCP Configuration (weight: 2)
  • 210.2 PAM Authentication (weight: 3)
  • 210.3 LDAP Client Usage (weight: 2)
  • 210.4 Configuring an OpenLDAP Server (weight: 4)

Topic 211: E-Mail Services

  • 211.1 Using E-Mail Servers (weight: 4)
  • 211.2 Managing Local E-Mail Delivery (weight: 2)
  • 211.3 Managing Remote E-Mail Delivery (weight: 2)

Topic 212: System Security

  • 212.1 Configuring a Router (weight: 3)
  • 212.2 Managing FTP Servers (weight: 2)
  • 212.3 Secure Shell (SSH) (weight: 4)
  • 212.4 Security Tasks (weight: 3)
  • 212.5 OpenVPN (weight: 2)

Where to Go from Here

After passing LPIC level 2, consider taking the next step: LPIC level 3. There are three LPIC-3 certifications:

  • LPIC-3 300: Mixed Environments
  • LPIC-3 303: Security
  • LPIC-3 304: Virtualization & High Availability

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020