Want to work as a Linux systems administrator? The Linux Foundation has added a way to gain the requisite knowledge and certification through a training course, Essentials of System Administration, that covers the key skills required for managing servers, clouds and other systems based on the open source OS.

The course takes place fully online and is designed to be distribution-agnostic, meaning it teaches core skills that apply to all of the various iterations of Linux currently available. It focuses on "under-the-hood" aspects of Linux systems, from kernel drivers and file systems to system processes and network configuration.

The Linux Foundation introduced the course to help meet growing demand within the enterprise for expertise in Linux and open source software, according to the group. "The best way to address the skills shortage in the Linux community is to provide a variety of ways for people to learn Linux and to access the knowledge they need to advance their careers," Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said in a statement. "The Linux Foundation will continue to explore new ways to deliver Linux learning materials, and increase opportunities for professionals who want to advance the world’s largest collaborative development project."

The training course, which has course number LFS201 under the Linux Foundation's hierarchy of courses, will provide the knowledge necessary to complete the test for the Linux Foundation's SysAdmin certification successfully, according to the organization. That certification was introduced last year, but the Linux Foundation is offering the opportunity to take the certification test free of charge to students who register for the training course, which currently costs $499.

The Linux Foundation is pitching the coupling of the training course with the certification exam as a particularly cost-effective opportunity for gaining Linux system-administration knowledge and certification. The course "is quite a bit more affordable than equivalent ones on the market by itself, and when bundled with the exam becomes an even better deal which we hope will help expand Linux education and opportunities to more people," a Linux Foundation representative wrote in an email.