We’d like to take the time to announce an exciting new feature that is now available on LinuxAcademy.com!

Our goal is to help you pass exams and get certified for your career.  We are very proud of our courses, and have recently made a significant upgrade to the way Practice Exams work.  Not only are practice exams a great way to study, but also it teaches you how to manage your time in an exam.

When you start a new practice exam, you will have the option to take a regular exam, or to enable Practice Mode.


Regular Mode loads in a pre-set number of questions and a pre-set amount of time for you to take the exam. For example, if you’re taking AWS CSA Associate in Regular Mode, it will load 60 questions and give you 80 minutes to complete the exam, just like a real exam. These questions are random questions, the potential answers are randomized each time, and each time you run the practice exam it will randomly pull from the potential pool of questions. In order for the practice exam to be checked off of your syllabus towards your certificate of completion, you must complete the exam successfully in regular mode.

But, what if you are short on time? What if you want to answer more questions in a shorter duration? Or, do you want less questions but a longer amount of time? It doesn’t matter, you can have all! In Practice Mode, you to select your time limit and the number of questions (up to the maximum amount in the potential pool) and then take the practice exam. This helps you prepare in any different way you want for the exam, and it puts flexibility into the practice exam system based on your current needs.


Remember, you have to use Regular Mode to complete the practice exam from the syllabus. In other words, you can’t enable Practice Mode, select 2 questions and 1 hour time and it count towards your Certificate of Completion.

Here is a summary of the new features available on the practice exam system:
1. Will display the total number of questions in your exam session
2. All practice exams are now timed. If time runs out, it will automatically submit the questions you currently have for grading.
3. Practice Mode allows you to define the number of questions and time limit for an exam session
4. Question order is randomized each time a new practice exam is started
5. Answers associated with a question are also randomized each time a new practice exam is started

Please note we are still loading pre-sets for some practice exams. If a pre-set is not currently available, it will default to the max questions and max time.

CentOS 7: kernel

Terrence T. Cox —  December 15, 2014

Along with all the requisite package and application upgrades that came along with CentOS 7, probably the largest upgrade was the move to the Linux Kernel 3.1 tree. This is a pretty big change for the Enterprise from the venerable 2.6 kernel version that was largely considered the most stable version ever. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the key changes from the CentOS 6 kernel and the new CentOS 7 kernel.
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We have covered virtualization at length both in this space as well as at Linux Academy in the past. However, we have always been focused on hardware virtualization through a Hypervisor. Full OS emulation and server stack with device drivers communicating directly within the virtualization stack. Along comes Docker to further application virtualization. Although similar technologies have existed for some time (since early 2000), Docker appears to have arrived at the right time and captured all the buzz. Let’s take a look at some of the Docker basics that we will be covering in this exciting new course! Ready to jump strait to the course?

A Brief Introduction
So let’s talk for a few minutes about what exactly Docker is. Well, let’s start out with an explanation taken largely from Wikipedia as well as from the Docker Website itself.

Docker is an open-source project that automates the deployment of applications inside software containers, by providing an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating system-level virtualization on Linux.

So having said that, its a collection of tools that package an application and everything it depends on into a “container” that virtualizes the application so it can run on any compatible OS (and by compatible, we mean Docker compatible, which is pretty much anything).

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Multimedia on Linux has gone from being a giant pain to being more powerful than any other operating system, including the vaunted Multimedia powerhouse Apple OSX. One of the most valuable tools in your Linux Multimedia arsenal is a great conversion utility called Handbrake – and like all the best Linux utilities, it’s free! Let’s take a look at getting it set up for our use.

Download and Installation
Normally I would gloss over the download portion of our article, but if you just do a Google search looking for Handbrake, the first couple of pages are littered with fakes, download managers and other places that are at best redistributing Handbrake and at worst installing who knows what on your PC. The only OFFICIAL place (other than your distribution repositories, which tend to run a bit behind the latest stable version) to get this utility is at the Handbrake website. Make sure you pick up your copy from here.

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WOW! This week at Re:Invent was truly a cool experience. Not only did we get to see a lot of new services and meet some neat people, we had the opportunity to see 9 certification exams taken by Linux Academy students and 9 certifications issued to Linux Academy students! That is awesome! First off thank you students who took the opportunity to share your success at re:invent with us! If your a Linux Academy student you can go into the community and talk with these other students. If not check out our public community archive to see what they had to say about passing!! It can be found here https://linuxacademy.com/community.

If you are interested to hear a recap of what was released at re:invent as well as what it might mean for the AWS Certifications check out our AWS Re:invent Linux Academy Show below!

(OpenStacks Identity Service)

OpenStack Identity (Keystone) provides a central directory of users mapped to the OpenStack services they can access. It acts as a common authentication system across the cloud operating system and can integrate with existing backend directory services like LDAP. It supports multiple forms of authentication including standard username and password credentials, token-based systems and AWS-style (i.e. Amazon Web Services) logins. Additionally, the catalog provides a queryable list of all of the services deployed in an OpenStack cloud in a single registry. Users and third-party tools can programmatically determine which resources they can access.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenStack#Identity_Service_.28Keystone.29

In OpenStack before we can start utilizing the the vast ecosystem of services and applications that are available ie: (Nova, Swift, Neutron, Glance, etc), we first have to authorize our users.  There are some very important terms that we need to understand when working with OpenStack Identity (keystone).

I would like to take a moment to address one of the biggest confusions when setting up endpoints in keystone today.  First let’s start out by defining what an endpoint even is.  An endpoint in keystone is just a URL that can be used to access a service within OpenStack.  An endpoint is just like a point of contact for YOU (the user) to use an OpenStack service.  The adminurl (we will show these further down) is for the admin users, the internalurl are what the other services use to talk to each other.  And the publicurl is what everyone else accessing the service endpoint uses.
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Although there is a plethora of Source and Revision Control options around today, only one was created by our favorite Linux author Mr. Linus Torvalds and that would be Git. Right here, we are announcing the availability of the Linuxacademy.com course called Git and Gitlab: From Start to Finish so sign up or sign in and wade into the deep end of the pool.

Git Basics
We will start out this course of more than 24 videos with the basics of using Git for your revision control activities. Whether you are working with local repositories or a Git server remotely, you will get a feel for the following topics:

At the Linux Academy, our goal is to create not only the best content to help you pass your Linux and Cloud certifications, but also the best tools to help you stay engaged and focused. Our content has always been self-paced, but we’ve had a different spin on it. At the Linux Academy, we’ve always made our instructors available to the students, much like if you were sitting in the same room as an instructor. Really, we wanted classroom learning intimacy to be the same in a self-paced online environment. One of the main advantages of classroom learning is that it is not self-paced. In fact, you either keep up or you lose out. We wanted to imitate this same type of environment without the harsh “you lose out if you get behind”. We spent the last 3 months researching, speaking with users, and developing a new tool called “learning plans”.

Linux Academy Learning Plans

Learning plans are an original take on self-paced learning developed at the Linux Academy. They allow you to take self-paced and make them “scheduled”. Simple questions like “how long should I study” or “when should I be expected to complete the course” are now obsolete questions due to the Linux Academy learning plans. Really, it’s as simple as filling out a simple wizard page that asks for your start date and availability, then our system does the magic. It uses our algorithm, based on suggested study times, content length, and extra study requirements to develop the perfect study plan for you. It also works hard to keep you on track. It measures your progress, provides daily items due, and even sends you reminders when it’s time for you to study. If needed, you can adjust your learning plan or even pause it, so if life happens you don’t lose out on your studies. The Linux Academy learning plans remove those unknown stresses and extra time needed to manage your own personal study plans and automates it to help you be successful even if you don’t have much time at all to study.

Only 20 minutes a day? Maybe one hour a week? That’s ok, let our learning plans help you make the most of that one hour a week!

Not only have we just announced our learning plans, but we also announced the availability of FOUR real servers for each user to use as part of there Linux Academy account. We also announced the immediate availability of multiple courses including more Linux, DevOps, and OpenStack topics! The best part of all this is the content and features were added to the Linux Academy without any type of price increase. You’re able to have access to over 800 videos, 150 quizzes, scenario based labs, study guides, and your four real lab servers for only $25/mo (or less if you purchase quarterly or annually).

CentOS 7, along with Kernel, Desktop, package and application changes galore, has taken the “Fedora” and “Debian” plunge into the deep end and converted daemon and service management from the older “service or /etc/init.d” paradigm into the “systemd” end of the pool. If you are a modern Linux Desktop user on a daily basis, you may be completely familiar with that method, however, it is a pretty large change for those administrators coming from the longevity associated with Red Hat and CentOS’ use of the ‘service’ method of management. Let’s take a deeper look at the new way of doing things.
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Video isn’t the only media that Linux has made great strides in. Linux is routinely used by big sound and recording studios to record, mix and treat sound for movies and television. Although those tools can be expensive to own, the average user still had a plethora of utilities available that do many of the same things. Let’s take a look at one of the more popular overall sound packages called Audacity.

Download and Installation
In this case, the set up couldn’t be easier. As long as you have a functioning sound card/chip/USB speakers, then your distribution already has everything needed to work with sound except Audacity itself. Easy enough to rectify, let’s pull it down:
sudo apt-get install audacity
sudo yum install audacity

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