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The 4 Best CompTIA Linux+ Study Guides

Article by Jane Newsom. Last Updated: Monday, Oct 5, 2020.

Overview Of The CompTIA Linux+ Exam

The CompTIA Linux+ is a globally recognized, vendor agnostic certification that demonstrates to current or prospective employers that you have a strong baseline knowledge of Linux server and device administration. Linux is a core component of many Enterprise and cloud IT infrastructure strategies, so this is an extremely valuable cert to have. The certification comes from the same group that brings you the A+, Security+, and Network+ certs. If you’re studying for these as well, checkout our handy A+ Study Guide, Security+ Study Guide, and Network+ Study Guide reviews. The Linux+ certification exam will verify the successful candidate has the knowledge and skills required to install, maintain, network, and secure Liux based IT infrastructure.

We’ll cover the Linux+ exam (XK0-004) in detail, and give you our picks for the best CompTIA Linux+ study guides, review guides, and practice tests to ensure your test prep success! The details are below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s the short list:

Linux+ Exam Details

The ComptTIA Linux+ Exam (XK0-004) validates the skills of IT professionals with hands-on experience configuring, monitoring, and supporting servers running the Linux operating system.

The exam is currently priced at $329, and is recommended for people with 1 year of Linux admin experience.

The CompTIA Linux+ covers hardware and system configuration, including topics like kernel modules, network parameters, storage, and virtualization. You’ll also learn troubleshooting and diagnostics for process, user, and hardware issues. Simple automation scripting with bash, git, and similar processes are also covered. Finally, you’ll go over the best practices for permissions and auth, firewalls, and file management.

The exam is 90 minutes in length, and includes 90 multiple choice (single and multiple response), fill in the blank, and performance-based questions.


The CompTIA is administered by Pearson VUE, and your results will be calculated on completion of each exam automatically. It’s scored on a scale of 100-900, and a passing score is 720.

Best CompTIA Linux+ Study Guides

The Official CompTIA Linux+ Self-Paced Study Guide

The Official CompTIA Linux+ Self-Paced Study Guide
Kindle Edition
by James Pengelly

Pros: Official CompTIA publication, with complete and comprehensive review of all exam topics.
Cons: Formatting could be better.
Our Rating: 4.8 / 5

The Official CompTIA Linux+ Certification Study Guide is our overall top pick for people studying for the Linux+ Exam. As the name suggests, this is the official guide from the certification org, which means the material is the most reflective of what they expect you to know in order to pass the exams. All topics, including organizational linux, cryptography, access controls and more!

The full list of features include:

  • A complete look at all topics covered in the CompTIA Linux+ Exam.
  • Representative review questions so you know what to expect on test day.
  • A strong, logical layout of material that’s easy to digest.

With incredibly strong content, this book is an easy recommendation for Linux+ test prep. Our one negative on this book is that the actual formatting of the digital copy makes it difficult to read. We recommend grabbing this for the majority of your study, and supplementing with one of the cheaper options below for drilling and final review before the exam. It’s great as a stand-alone resource, or to compliment other materials. Either way, we’re sure you’ll love the results.

CompTIA Linux+ Certification Kit

CompTIA Linux + Certification Kit
1st Edition
by Bresnahan, Blum, Suehring

Pros: Fantastic online resources, including practice tests and electronic flashcards.
Cons: Organization isn't as strong as it could be.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

CompTIA Linux+ Certification Kit is our second place pick, and one that we think is a fantastic alternative to those who don’t like the kindle formatting option of the Official guide above. The book itself is a comprehensive overview of critical test topics, but we recommend it most highly for the practice questions and related material that acts as a great supplement.

The full list of features include:

  • Over 1,000 practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam.
  • Access to additional online study tools, including hundreds of bonus practice exam questions, electronic flashcards, and a searchable Glossary of important terms.
  • Comprehensive coverage of all test topics.

While it didn’t take the top spot, you’d still do well to consider this guide. It’s enough for those looking to recertify or first time test takers alike. Between the 2 books there are well over 1000 practice questions that will help you identify where you need to focus your studies.

CompTIA Linux+ All-in-One Exam Guide

CompTIA Linux+ All-in-One Exam Guide
1st Edition
by Ted Jordan

Pros: A great review book with good online content
Cons: Some typos and other minor inaccuracies
Our Rating: 4.2 / 5

Written by Linux experts and technology trainers, the book provides learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, exam tips, practice exam questions, and in-depth answer explanations. Designed to help you pass these challenging exams, this definitive volume also serves as an essential on-the-job reference.

Features include:

  • Over 100 practice exam questions
  • Downloadable virtual machines
  • 20+ video clips

If you can look past the occasional typo, this is a decent resource that should be sufficient for most people to pass the exam. There are plenty of great study books out there, and this is definitely one of them.

CompTIA Linux+ Portable Command Guide

CompTIA Linux+ Portable Command Guide
2nd Edition
by William Rothwell

Pros: Abbreviated guide to linux commands covered on the exam
Cons: Not as comprehensive as the more expensive study systems above.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

The CompTIA Linux+ Portable Command Guide rounds out our list. It’s a handy reference containing all of the most important commands you’ll need to succeed, and covers each exam objective. We don’t recommend this as your only study resource, but it’s an absolutely fantastic compliment to the other fully featured guides on this list above.

Features include:

  • Summarizes all commands, keywords, command arguments, and associated prompts.
  • Configuration examples are provided throughout the book to give a better understanding of how these commands are used.
  • Supplementary guide to assist readers in the proper use of the many different commands to use on a regular basis.

Since this isn’t a stand-alone full length study guide, we placed it last on our list. However, if you have the budget for it, we recommend picking it up alongside any of the resources above. It’s a perfect compliment to the official guide book that came in at number 1.

Wrapping Up

If you’re an aspiring Linux Admin, or an established one who’s just looking to spruce up the resume for prospective employers, the Linux+ is a tremendous asset. The knowledge it contains will demonstrate to the world that you have what it takes to manage and maintain a sizable Linux infrastructure.

Study manuals, flashcards, and practice tests are a huge help to many people, and if you’ve read this far you’re probably one of them.

We’ve rounded up the top Linux+ study guides and presented them above.

Our top pick for most people is the The Official CompTIA Linux+ Certification Study Guide. It’s the most comprehensive and accurate guide on our list, produced by CompTIA, and is the single best resource available.

We recommend people compliment that with the CompTIA Linux+ Portable Command Guide. It has all the frequently used cli commands you’ll need for the exam in a handy format.

Whatever your circumstance, supplemental study and review materials are a key part of ensuring success. We’ve listed some of the best books available. Good luck, and study hard!

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