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CUE.01 Linux FAQ

About the exam

How long is each exam?

Each Quick Certification (QC) exam is between 60-90 minutes long, depending on the exam, although more experienced candidates may finish in approximately 45 minutes. The CUE.01 Linux exam is 60 minutes long.

The Canonical Ubuntu Essentials credential requires a passing score on all three Quick Certification (QC) exams: CUE.01 Linux, CUE.02 Desktop, and CUE.03 Server.

Do you have to take the exams in numerical order?

No. If an exam is available, you may take it. Quick Certification (QC) exams may be taken individually or combined to form the overall credential according to the needs of the test taker.

What happens if I pass all three Canonical Ubuntu Essentials exams?

Those who complete all three exams within a single year will earn the Canonical Ubuntu Essentials credential. In addition to the Credly badges received for each CUE QC exam, passing candidates will be recognised with the Canonical Ubuntu Essentials Credential badge.

What is the profile of a credential holder?

Successful completion of all three exams indicates a well-rounded knowledge of vendor neutral Linux, Ubuntu Desktop, and Ubuntu Server. Credential holders are able to troubleshoot, configure, install, and maintain systems, processes, and general activities associated with using Linux, Ubuntu Desktop, and Ubuntu Server as an early career system administrator or IT professional. Subject matter depth is validated by several practical hands-on challenges and subject matter breadth is evaluated by a number of multiple-choice questions.

What is each Quick Certification (QC) exam like?

Each exam provides an in-browser remote desktop interface into a functional Ubuntu Desktop environment running GNOME. From this initial node, you will be expected to troubleshoot, configure, install, and maintain systems, processes, and other general activities associated with managing Linux. The exam is a hybrid format featuring multiple choice, scenario-based, and performance-based questions. Exam instructions, timer, and exam questions will be provided in a browser inside the primary exam host node.

How is exam content validity and relevance determined?

All exam content is based on industry standard best practices for technical certification. Exam scope is determined by extensive industry analysis, including job listings, technical experts, college curriculum, and ultimately a survey of industry professionals to determine the occupational relevance of exam domains and exercises. Items are written and reviewed with feedback from subject matter experts and are continuously monitored for item quality and performance metrics.

How long is my Quick Certification valid?

Each CUE Quick Certification (QC) is good for two years, but each certification is marked with the version number of the exam, which overlaps with Ubuntu releases. This allows prospective employers to know exactly how recent your experience is without the implication that those skills expire. All Quick Certifications used toward a credential must be taken within 12 months, or one calendar year, of each other.

Before your exam

Am I ready to take the Canonical Ubuntu Essentials Quick Certification exams?

Ultimately, only you can make that decision, but some factors to consider:

  • The exams are designed for early career Ubuntu Linux system administrators and related IT professionals with approximately 1 to 3 years of experience managing Linux in professional environments.
  • Exams require practical knowledge of Linux systems including deployment, maintenance, and operations.
  • Each exam is taken independently, and can be spaced out over a year to accommodate busy schedules and financial challenges.
  • Exams can be retaken once per year.

The syllabus for each exam is available here. If you are comfortable with the concepts mentioned, you are a good candidate.

Are there study materials available?

This exam certifies that you have the essential vendor-neutral Linux knowledge expected of early career administrators and operators. Professionals with equivalent experience should not require additional training.

Test-takers interested in the types of material covered on each exam can review links to tutorials and documentation on our website:

Am I able to schedule the exam in advance?

Yes. Once purchased, exams can be scheduled up to one year in the future. Exam bookings require a minimum of 30 minutes notice before taking your exam to allow for the environment to be provisioned.

Can I reschedule if the time slot I chose doesn’t work for me?

Yes. You can do so through the “Your exams” interface up to 24 hrs prior to the exam time.

Taking the exam

How do I access the environment?

Exams will appear on your “Your exams” page.

What resources am I allowed to use while in an exam?

You are allowed to use man pages and other resources, but be advised that this will come out of your exam time. Individuals are discouraged from using reference materials from outside of the exam environment. All exam tasks, including connecting to other nodes, will occur within the browser-based exam environment and will not require any resources from the host system. Exam securing or proctoring features may ask for permissions to your web camera or microphone.

May I use man pages?

Exam environments use Minimal Ubuntu images and do not have man pages pre-loaded. While you are welcome to install and use them, this will consume some of your exam time.

Do I have to significantly alter my physical environment by covering up items on my wall or on my desk?

No. Exams do not need to be taken in a “clean room” environment.

Are there rules against talking to myself or using my hands in unusual ways?

Although there is not a live proctor, exams are reviewed and scanned for abnormalities that may indicate a violation of our honour code while allowing for innocent activities or nervous habits. Environments are recorded, metrics are analysed, and system files used for grading are archived and preserved. Exams variants are randomly assigned from a pool of options to prevent cheating. At this time, we are using technological means to provide exam security and validity in order to provide a less stressful and more private pre-exam experience.

Is this exam proctored?

Yes. Once released, exams will use AI-based proctoring technology to detect and escalate abnormalities. Exam securing or proctoring features may ask for permissions to your web camera or microphone. All exams are recorded for auditing purposes, and exams with activity that looks fraudulent will be flagged for further evaluation.

Participants caught cheating will be excluded from this and all future Canonical Credentials exams, whether in beta or general release.

What are the technical requirements of our environment?

The exam is conducted via web browser, and any operating system capable of running a modern browser is acceptable.

What are the exam’s Linux distributions and desktop environments?

Once the environment is loaded, it will appear to be a default installation of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) with a GNOME Desktop, Terminal, and other relevant tools. All other nodes in the exam environment are running Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS.

The exam environment will be updated to Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) in the CUE.01 Linux 24.10 version, targeted for October of 2024.

Are there any technical restrictions?

Please note that due to the nature of a browser-based environment, some shortcuts may not be available. Of particular note is Ctrl-W, commonly used in text editors but also used to close your tab.

What should I expect from the exam questions?

Each Quick Certification exam is a hybrid format featuring multiple choice, scenario-based, and performance-based questions. Test takers will engage with a virtual system and be expected to perform various administrative and operational tasks, as well as answer questions about specific system configurations or general Linux knowledge.

Do I have to answer in a particular order?

No. Questions may be answered in any order and you may move between sections or menus as you like. Once you have completed your exam, you will not be able to go back.

Can I change my answers to multiple choice questions?

Yes, you can go back and edit your answers after answering and saving them. Make sure to do so before completing the exam because you will not be able to go back once it is submitted.

Problems during the exam

What happens if I close my browser tab during the exam?

Should you unintentionally close your environment, please return to the your-exams to access it again or reopen the last closed tab. The exam timer will continue to run even if you are disconnected.

What happens if I destroy my node? Can I recover?

While some events may be nonfatal, please note that the environment is as realistic as possible. It is your responsibility to not put the system in an unrecoverable state. Should you disconnect from your testing environment during the exam, see section ‘What happens if I close my browser tab during the exam?’ .

What if I run into a problem with the test environment during my exam?

Please contact our exam delivery partners TrueAbility during the exam. Email them at

What if I run into a problem before or after the exam?

Please contact us at for assistance before and after the exam.

After the exam

When will I receive my result?

After your exam is completed, successful submissions are verified by the Credentials & Curriculum team and a badge is issued within 4 business days.

How are badges issues?

Digital badges are issued through Credly. If successful, an email with your badge information will be sent to the email used to take the exam.

Can I know which questions I got wrong?

No. Only the overall exam result is communicated to candidates. Detailed question scores are not made available.

Will each question have the same score value?

No. Questions are graded based on complexity of steps or variety of skills needed to answer. Performance-based questions are more heavily weighted than multiple choice. Final scores will be determined after item quality metrics have been performed.

Am I allowed to retake exams?

Yes. Quick Certification (QC) exams may be retaken one time within a calendar year. Please contact if you have any concerns about retaking the exam.

Will I get the same exam over again if I retake it?

No. There are multiple versions of each question, and exam variations are tracked and assigned accordingly. Retake exams will be pulled from a comparable, but different, group of questions.