Passed RHCE on RHEL 7

My experience on RHCSA and RHCE exams.

Experience on…


I’ve passed my RHCSA back in April with a score of 300/300. I managed to finish all tasks in around 80 minutes, checked that everything was working, rebooted a VM several times and headed home.

I have to be honest and admit that for anyone with a relevant work experience, the RHCSA exam is like a colouring book – unless you are new to RedHat Linux, you will pass it.

A little piece of advice for those taking the exam, once you get networking configured, use multiple SSH windows (that’s what the exam instructor suggested for others using a console interface). It really helps to track issues down easily if you have any.

For those interested, the only study material that I used to prepare for the RHCSA exam was Sander van Vugt’s book (and loads of RHEL virtual machines, obviously). Please be advised that I’m not advocating the Sander’s book, I just want to give credit where credit is due.

I didn’t take any Red Hat training courses. This is also the case for RHCE.

RHCE (EX300)

I’ve passed RHCE with a score of 281/300, what is over 93% if you turn it into percentage. I was aiming for a perfect score of 300/300, but as it turns out, I apparently lost 19 points (no idea where and why). It took me over a month to prepare for it, but I had to wait until late summer for the exam as other dates were fully booked.

So, the exam was an easy one to be honest, it took me approx 2 hours to complete everything, then half an hour to check services were starting and working properly, rebooting a couple of times, and that is it basically.

The exam was easy (I kid you not), there was nothing particularly hard. 3.5 hours for the exam is plenty of time if you are properly prepared, not sure otherwise.

As with RHCSA, I used Sander van Vugt’s book to prepare for the RHCE topics.


Read all questions properly, don’t be afraid to ask the instructor to clarify them if you don’t understand what is required. He will reword it in a manner so that any confusion that may arise is gone. There were a couple of RHCE questions that I had to ask for clarification (mostly because I was over-prepared for the exam and looked into tasks deeper than I should).

This should come as no surprise, but you must know where to find information on a RHEL system. Man pages and docs are there to be used!

Install and use the httpd-manual package. SELinux (there is sealert if you get stuck):

# man -k _selinux
# man httpd_selinux
# man semanage-fcontext
# man semanage-port

Firewalld rich language:

# man firewalld.richlanguage

Examples for network bonding, teaming, bridging and more:

# man nmcli-examples

Examples for discovering iSCSI targets, logging in and out:

# man iscsiadm

How to generate a self-signed TLS certificate with openssl:

# less /etc/pki/tls/certs/make-dummy-cert

Network teaming examples:

# less /usr/share/doc/teamd-1*/example_configs/loadbalance_1.conf

Postfix on a null client configuration:


Bash compound commands (for, case, if, while etc), conditional expressions, shell builtin commands (break, continue, getopts, popd, pushd, read etc) and much more:

# man bash

MySQL configuration examples:

# less /usr/share/mysql/my-innodb-heavy-4G.cnf

Last but not least, practice is the key, the more you do, the better the chances you have to pass the exam.

34 thoughts on “Passed RHCE on RHEL 7

  1. Its nice to learn of others experience on the exam.I am still to write mine on the 23rd of september and your tips are true.thats what i am basically doing

    Practising and practising and practising and seeing where i can get the information

    I am a lil short on bash but since i come from a php and python background ,i guess i will manage

    • I’m sure you will manage. Always remember, Bash is a hammer, when wielded everything looks like a nail!

  2. Hi, Tomas,

    Great blog :)
    May I ask that was it really tested you about how to set teaming or firewalld rich rule in both of the exams?

    • You can surely ask, but I won’t be able to answer I’m afraid. What I can tell you is that all questions were based on exam objectives (which are published on the Red Hat site) – therefore you if know the objectives well, you will be fine.

  3. @tomas ,whats the difference between this # less /etc/pki/tls/certs/make-dummy-cert and crypto-utils ,i find it easier to use crypto-utils when generating ssl certificates

  4. Congrats and thank you for all your commitment in maintaining this resource on Linux.
    What do you have next in mind? The LFCS/LFCE path or RHCA? :)

    • I’ve already got LPIC-3 which is a distribution-neutral certificate, therefore I have no plans to take on LFCS/LFCE (unless somebody’s willing to pay for training and/or exams, then I can think about it).

      I will likely go for RHCA, but I also have OSCP in mind, which I wanted to do for some time (I started in the days when they still used BackTrack!).

  5. @tomas ,confirm rebooting the server first and NOT the client (One with nfs ,iscsi ,samba shares) is important with respect to booting

  6. I’ve got my results, I also got 281/300 for the RHCE haha, glad it’s over!

    Thanks for the posts on the topic, a few of them really helped me pick up some extra things that I hadn’t learned elsewhere.

    • No hard isn’t the word I’d use, challenging is probably more correct. Even though I knew almost all of it (a few small things caught me off guard) it took me some time to get it all working together properly.

  7. Hello,
    As we can’t discuss exam in public, can hint will do the trick :P??
    Did you solved each and every question?
    What do you recommend to learn NFS, and all other servers, to get passed in Exam ??
    and how to execute them properly??

    • Yes, I solved every single question on the exam, that’s why I hoped for a score of 300/300 :)

      I recommend to set up a home lab and practice a lot, don’t take the exam lightly. There are several RHCE study books available on a market, you may find them helpful (I don’t know your knowledge level).

  8. Hello,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I have just started with Linux, I am running, CentOS and Ubuntu, RHEL &, virtually. and trying to use them, learn them.
    I have seen lots of results but most of them(students) have never scored above 240-250, yours score is pretty impressive.
    You said you learned from Sandar Van Vugt book,right? If you are starting as fresh, would it be helpful?
    Also, I have asked experienced students,they said SMTP question is the hard one, where can I find good solution for this?

    • Usually the score reflects the amount of work you put in preparing for the exam. Some people simply aim to pass, some want to learn, it depends on what your goal is.

      I did use Sander’s book as a study material, but be advised that Linux support is my bread and butter, therefore most of the things required for the exam I knew already. Regardless, I believe that the book is useful, and you should find it of great help, especially if you’re just starting with Linux. All RHCSA and RHCE exam requiremens are covered in the book, you should find solutions in there.

  9. “therefore most of the things required for the exam I knew already.”
    You mean all your queries are answered by Support, Right?

    • Not sure I understand what you mean. I do Linux support for a living, therefore RHCE topics aren’t something new to me – pretty much all applications/services covered by the exam I use on a daily basis (with the exception of Kerberos perhaps).

  10. I agree with @tomas ,i am going to be writing mine on the 23rd of september and i should say this ,practice is the only way you can grasp the little things that you might miss on the exam .. and by practice i mean starting from manually installing the VMs and redoing the process over and over again.

    I am also a Linux engineer by proffession and most of the topics i am familiar with except for samba and kerberos, but studying and doing them made everything methodolical ,if you know what i mean… for me its more of ,where do i get the write syntax if i get stuck.

    Its like firewalld rich rules , you can practice all you want but somehow you will need to see man firewalld.richlanguage.

    Wish me luck also and hope i pass too

  11. Hey Tomas, great site btw. I failed my exam recently with ZERO points due to my system1 not booting after I tried to re-partition VDA2 being the root partition. I’m interested to know for ISCSI target on exam should additional drive be available such as vdb to create the partiton, Else what are we expected to do? Resize root volume?

    • I don’t know if an additional drive should be available or not as there are multiple ways to skin a cat (you may have multiple drives, you may have one drive that’s large enough to create other partitions, you may have a drive with partitions where some are not in use, there may be space available in a volume group etc). I cannot tell you what’s on the exam, but hope this helps.

  12. I just wanted to add something regarding the opening ssh tunnels into vm instead of working console.
    It saves you time because you can copy paste the service urls and docs into the terminal, and it also reduces error.
    Remember the exam is marked using automated scripts, so even if slight spelling mistake can take away valuable exam points.

    • I think what you meant was a regular SSH session, not an SSH tunnel.

      I agree with you, once you get networking configured, use multiple SSH sessions. I personally had one for journalctl, one for audit.log and two others to do the exam tasks. It really helps to track issues down easily, not to mention increased productivity.

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