Lavigne bsdmag march12


Published on

BSD Magazine March 2012 article on how to study for BSDA.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Lavigne bsdmag march12

  1. 1. BSD CERTIFICATIONHow Do I Study for theBSDA Certification?The previous article in this series addressed some commonmisconceptions about certification and described why youshould be BSDA certified. This article will discuss how toprepare for the BSDA certification exam.T he previous article in this series discussed the Section 1 Contains concern: there aren’t any training materials available or the training materials are too expensive. • the definition of audience for BSDA: this is a detailedIt explained that a psychometrically valid examination description describing the level of experienceassesses real world skills and why the exam’s objectives required to pass the examination. When studying forare the ultimate study resource. the exam, remember that questions can not be harder This article describes how to prepare for the BSDA than those that can be answered by the intendedexamination in practical terms. It describes the steps can take to obtain those “real world skills” and to • the operating system versions covered by thedetermine when one is ready to take the exam. BSDA: this section indicates that the candidate When studying for the BSDA, the following steps are needs a basic knowledge of 4 BSD operatingrecommended: systems. When setting up your study lab, you can install any version from the lowest number listed upDownload the BSDA to and including the most recent release version.Certification Requirements Document For example, when installing FreeBSD, you canSince the audience definition, domain percentages, and install any version from 4.11 (the lowest listedexam objectives are the roadmap used to create an version) up to 9.0 (the highest RELEASE version asexamination, the document containing that information of this writing).is your study roadmap. Finding and downloading this • re-certification requirements: in order to meetdocument should be your first step when studying for accreditation requirements, a certification can notany certification exam. The document containing this be for life. In other words, it must have an expiryinformation for the BSDA is entitled the BSDA Certification date. BSDA certifications are valid for a period of 5Requirements Document and is available for download in years. The BSDA re-certification requirements will bethe following languages: published by Q3, 2012.• English: Section 2 051005_certreq_bsda_en_en.pdf Contains a description of the 7 study domains. The• Spanish: percentages for the study domains are listed at http:// pr_20051005_certreq _bsda_es_mx.pdf• Russian: Table 1 lists the study domains, their percentage, and pr_20051005_certreq _bsda_ru_ru.pdf the number of exam objectives within each domain. Note that the number of objectives may not match theThis document is divided into three sections: weighting as weighting indicates the importance of that 14 03/2012
  2. 2. How Do I Study for the BSDA Certification?domain within the exam while the number of objectives 3.2.8 Recognize BSD �rewalls and rulesets.indicates the number of testable tasks within that Conceptdomain. Each BSD comes with at least one built-in firewall. The BSDA candidate should recognize which firewalls areSection 3 available on each BSD and which commands are used toContains the objectives themselves, divided by domain. view each firewall’s ruleset.The next section will demonstrate how to read the examobjectives and use them for study purposes. Practical ipfw(8), ipf(8), ipfstat(8), pf(4), pfctl(8) and firewall(7)Appendix AContains an alphabetized list of all of the commands 3.4.1 Create, modify and remove user accounts.and files listed in the exam objectives. It also maps each Conceptcommand/file to the 4 BSD operating systems as some Managing user accounts is an important aspect of systemcommands/files are not available in every BSD. administration. The BSDA should be aware that the account management utilities differ across BSD systemsRead the Exam Objectives and should be comfortable using each utility according toThe exam objectives (Section 3) begin with a section a set of requirements.entitled Using the BSDA Study Domains. Read thissection carefully as it contains detailed advice on how to Practical:use the exam objectives. vipw(8); pw(8), adduser(8), adduser.conf(5), useradd(8), Each objective has four components: userdel(8), rmuser(8), userinfo(8), usermod(8), and user(8)• number: where the second number indicates the The first example is the eighth objective in Domain domain and the third number the objective within that 2 (Securing the Operating System). It begins with domain. For example, 3.1.2 is the second objective recognize, meaning that the user is not expected to know in domain 1 (Installing & Upgrading the OS and how to configure a BSD firewall or ruleset, but instead Software). Domain 1 has 10 objectives and is worth needs to be able to recognize the available tools. The 13% of the exam. concept clearly indicates what you need to recognize:• objective: a detailed task to be assessed. As indicated which firewalls are available and which commands are in Using the BSDA Study Domains, watch for verbs used to view a firewall’s ruleset. The practical clearly (which require you to know how to do something) v.s. indicates the names of the man pages representing the recognize (which requires you to know the name of a applicable firewalls and commands. When studying this file or command). objective, review any man pages that you are unfamiliar• concept: a detailed description of what the candidate with and compare the commands listed in the practical to is expected to know about that objective. Appendix A so that you can recognize which commands• practical: the commands or files associated with apply to which BSD. Since this objective only requires the objective. These are also listed alphabetically in you to know how to view, don’t memorize or get mired in Appendix A. the details of the (fairly lengthy) man pages as you read through them. Instead, focus on how to view a ruleset forAs an example, here are two exam objectives: each firewall.Table 1. BSDA Study DomainsDomain Weighting Number of Objectives1. Installing & Upgrading the OS and Software 13% 102. Securing the Operating System 11% 133. Files, Filesystems, and Disks 15% 144. Users and Accounts Management 16% 95. Basic System Administration 12% 246. Network Administration 15% 157. Basic Unix Skills 17% 15
  3. 3. BSD CERTIFICATION The second example is the first objective in Domain objective, and practicing commands. You do not need4 (Users and Account Management). It uses the verbs access to a BSD system in order to read man pages ascreate, modify, and remove user accounts, indicating each BSD provides online man pages:that the user needs to demonstrate experience in howto perform those three actions. The concept clearly • FreeBSD: that the utilities vary by BSD and the practical • NetBSD: the possible tools. This means that you should • OpenBSD: Appendix A to determine which tools match which • DragonFly BSD:, then practice each tool in your lab setup until you manare comfortable using each tool to create, modify, andremove user accounts. Online man pages provide a convenient way to compare the same man page for each BSD simultaneously usingMake a List a tabbed web browser. The online versions also containAs you read through the objectives, start to organize hyperlinks to other man pages mentioned in the SEEthem in order to determine which skills need to be learned ALSO section, making it easy to quickly learn moreand how much study will be required. You may want to about a topic that interests you.print out the document in order to write notes next to In order to practice commands, you will need accesseach objective. Alternately, you may find it easier to start to each BSD operating system. Each BSD can bea list that organizes the objectives into roughly three downloaded for free from that project’s website. You docategories: not need multiple machines in your study lab, as each BSD can be installed as a guest within a virtual environment.• know it Possible virtual environments include:• wouldn’t hurt to review this• need to learn how to do this VMWare Free, commercial product. Downloads for WindowsYou should find that most of the objectives that start and Linux are available from recognize and which you don’t already know, can products/player/.go into the second category. Objectives that start witha verb and which vary by BSD will probably fit into the Virtualboxthird category. You may wish to further separate the Free, open source application. Downloads for Windows,recognize objectives (which require some reading) from Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris are available from https://the verb objectives (which require some practice) in BSD versions areorder to get a better idea of how much lab practice time available as ports, packages, and PBIs. Easy to use, butwill be involved. requires a good amount of RAM if you will be running Once the objectives are categorized, you have multiple BSD guests at the same time.your personalized study action plan. You will knowexactly which man pages you should review and which qemucommands you need to learn how to use. You can then Free, open source application. Command line by default,decide how many objectives you can tackle at a time and but GUI versions (aqemu, kqemu, and qemu-launcher)calculate a rough estimate on how long it will take you are also available. Allows you to run multiple BSD gueststo become comfortable with the material covered by the with minimal RAM requirements. BSD versions areexam objectives. available as ports, packages, and PBIs. It is recommended that you print out Appendix A and When setting up your virtual environment, you will needmark the commands that you need to review or learn how to configure the network interface as a bridged adpaterto use. Once you have worked your way through those in order to access the network using the guest operatingcommands, you are more than ready to take and pass the system.BSDA certification exam! To assist you in quickly creating a study lab, the BSD Certification Group offers a BSDA Study DVD. This DVDSetup Your Study Lab is updated every 6 months or so to the latest RELEASEWhen studying, you will be reading man pages, comparing version of each operating system. The current version oftheir contents to what is required by a specific exam the DVD contains the following: 16 03/2012
  4. 4. How Do I Study for the BSDA Certification?• FreeBSD 8.2, including ports collection at• NetBSD 5.1, including pkgsrc 1600767 Once you become BSDA certified, .• OpenBSD 5.0, including packages you can also join the LinkedIn group for BSDA• DragonFly BSD 2.10.1 including pkgsrc certified professionals (• BSDA Exam Objectives (pdf) groups?gid=1600807).• BSDA Command Reference (pdf) • Facebook: if you use Facebook, you can join the BSD• Psychometrics Explained (pdf) certification community at• BSDA Task Analysis Survey Report (pdf) groups/55432547309/. Exam events are also listed• BSD Usage Survey Report (pdf) here as they are arranged.• BSDA Test Delivery Survey Report (pdf) • study wiki: a wiki where volunteers contribute• BSDP Job Task Analysis Survey Report (pdf) tips for each objective is available at http://• BSDP Certification Requirements (pdf)• FreeBSD Handbook (pdf) If you would like to contribute to the wiki, you can• FreeBSD FAQs (pdf) request the registration password on the bsdcert IRC• The Complete FreeBSD (pdf) channel or Facebook group.• NetBSD Guide (pdf)• DragonFly BSD Guide (pdf) Even if you don’t encounter any questions while studying,• pkgsrc Guide (pdf) you are welcome to join the BSD certification community• OpenBSD FAQ (pdf) using any of these resources.• Latest draft of the wiki version of the BSDA Study Guide (pdf) Summary• Detailed instructions on how to setup the lab This article provided practical tips for preparing for the environment and networking using qemu/aqemu BSDA examination. Once you have finished reviewing and practicing the exam objectives, you are ready to takeIt should be noted that each of the items on the the exam.DVD is freely available from the BSD project and The next article in this series will describe where toBSD certification websites. The DVD is meant to take the exam and how to arrange for an exam if therebe a convenience as well as a way to support BSD currently isn’t an examination event or testing center nearcertification as all proceeds are used to pay for the your location.ongoing psychometric maintenance of the exam. DVDscan be purchased for $40 USD + shipping from Your Questions AnsweredOnce you have prepared your study action plan andconfigured your lab setup, you need to find the time toreview and learn the objectives until you understand themand can accomplish the required tasks. Most of this learningcan be achieved with practice, but occasionally you will DRU LAVIGNEcome across something that you are not sure about. Dru Lavigne is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Like most open source projects, the BSD Certification Basics, and The De�nitive Guide to PC-BSD. As Director ofproject is comprised of a large community of volunteers Community Development for the PC-BSD Project, she leads thewho share a common interest (in this case, system documentation team, assists new users, helps to �nd and �xadministration of BSD operating systems). Several bugs, and reaches out to the community to discover their needs.resources are available if you have a question regarding She is the former Managing Editor of the Open Source Businessthe understanding of an exam objective: Resource, a free monthly publication covering open source and the commercialization of open source assets. She is founder and• IRC: the channel is available on IRC current Chair of the BSD Certi�cation Group Inc., a non-pro�t Freenode. organization with a mission to create the standard for certifying• LinkedIn: a LinkedIn group of working professionals BSD system administrators, and serves on the Board of the who are interested in BSD certification is available FreeBSD 17