A media release from the Foundation, a non-profit which works to promote the growth of Linux and also provides employment for some of the higher profile kernel developers, including Linux creator Linus Torvalds, said to mark the release of the new programme, it would allow 1000 people at the ongoing LinuxCon and CloudOpen conferences to take the exam free.
Another 500 people would be able to take the exam, which will cost $US300 and is available online, for a cost of $US50.
The Foundation said the course would help to expand the pool of Linux professionals worldwide. "Demand for experienced Linux professionals continues to grow with this year's Linux Jobs Report showing that managers are prioritizing Linux hires and paying more for this talent," the media release said.
Reflecting the fact that people use different Linux distributions, candidates can use CentOS, openSUSE or Ubuntu to take the exam.
"Our mission is to address the demand for Linux that the industry is currently experiencing. We are making our training program and Linux certification more accessible to users worldwide, since talent isn't confined to one geography or one distribution," Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin was quoted as saying in the media release.
"Our new certification programme will enable employers to easily identify Linux talent when hiring and uncover the best of the best. We think Linux professionals worldwide will want to proudly showcase their skills through these certifications and that these certificates will become a hallmark of quality throughout our industry."