GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator – GCUX

by Mirek Burnejko

GCUXYou cannot find too much IT certifications that prove your knowledge about security in UNIX and Linux systems. GCUX from GIAC is one of them.

GIAC with certifications like GISF or GCUX has built a great value for owners of these certs, but some people tell these certifications are too expensive to get.

For sure know the GCUX certification isn’t as much popular as Security+ or certifications from LPI, but the value on the job market is high. Let me show you how to obtain the GCUX certification.

What Exams You Must Pass to Become a GCUX

You must pass only one online, proctored exam – GCUX.

Format of the Exam

Exams are delivered online through a standard web browser. You must answer 75 questions and you have 2 hours for that. The passing score is equal to 65,3% (49/75).

Where You Can Pass the GCUX Exam

You can pass the proctored GISF exam in the nearest Kryterion Testing Center

How Much Does the GCUX Exam Cost

The exam costs $899. If you attend the official SANS training, you will pay for the exam $499 (live training) or $549 (online training).

How To Renew your GCUX Certification

The certification is valid for 4 years.
To renew the certification you have two options.

  • First Option
  • You must collect 36 CMUs (Certification Maintenance Units) after two years, from the date of passing the GCUX exam. You have few options to earn CMUs.
    • Pass any other GIAC exam (36 CMUs)
    • Attend to SANS or ISO 17024 related training (1 CMU for 1 hour)
    • Publish information assurance research paper or book (36 CMUs)
    • And much more
    • You must also pay $399 for maintenance of the GCUX certification.
  • Second Option
  • Pass the actual GCUX exam (You will pay for that $399)

Scope of the GCUX Exam

A list of topics you must know before the exam:

  • Configure AIDE
  • Configure securely an Apache server
  • Know Best Practices for Kernel Tuning and Warning Banners
  • Disable unnecessary Boot Services
  • Configure Chroot()
  • Implement the best practices for BIND
  • Understand and configure DNSSec
  • Evidence Collection and Preservation
  • Forensic Analysis on images of compromised systems
  • Forensic Preparation and Incident Handling
  • Configure IPTables
  • and much more

How To Prepare to the Exam

Examples of Job Opportunities



Success Story

If you interested with sharing your success story with GCUX please contact me.

Questions and Answers

Q: Can I find a list of people with the GCUX certification?
A: GIAC has this list on the official website.

Q: Will I receive any official certification after passing the exam.
A: Yes, you will receive a GIAC framed certificate.

Q: I have two certifications from GIAC. Can I collect 36 CMUs and renew both certifications?
A: No, 36 CMUs are for one certification. For two certifications you must collect 72 CMUs, pay $598 ($399 for the first certification and $199 for each next) or you must pass each exam one more time.