The BSDA (BSD "Associate") Certification Requirements Document, also known as the BSDA Exam Objectives, contains the seven study domains for the BSDA certification as well as detailed objectives for each domain. In addition, it describes the BSDA candidate, the operating system versions covered by the exam, and the recertification requirements for the exam.

This document is not only of interest to those considering taking the BSDA certification, but it also provides a framework that can be used to construct course curricula as well as study guides.

The BSDA Certification Requirements Document, published by the BSD Certification Group in October 2005, is based on the BSD Certification Group's Job Task Analysis. The survey results were used by a psychometrician to ensure that the certification is an accurate, up-to-date and valid measurement of the skills needed by BSD system administrators.

Information about the BSD Certification Group is available via


The following is a record of the changes to the BSDA Exam Objectives since the October 2005 document. Note that some of these changes have already been updated in the BSD Certification Group's document and some are reflected in the BSDA Exam Questions. We had probably around 20 minor clarifications, objective moves or changes between October 2005 and March 2007. (TODO: list them all here.) The BSD Certification Group plans to publish the updated version in July 2007. The following also lists some TODO suggestions.

Recognize which commands are available for upgrading the operating system

  • TODO: make and build target requirements sorted by BSD flavour

Monitor disk input--output

  • TODO: add gstat(8) to more info

Query a DNS server

  • TODO: ping and telnet references removed -- but probably should be kept: "note that ping or telnet can be used to show hostname lookups as the systems sees."

View and modify ACLs

  • remove "modify" from concept (yes wikipage URL still says "modify")

Determine which filesystems are currently mounted and which will be mounted at system boot

  • change du to df in more information

Chapter Basic Unix Skills

  • TODO: for this domain make it clear that this doesn't cover all commonly-used Unix utilities. Here is my suggestion:

    "The BSDA candidate should be proficient in the most commonly-used Unix command line utilities. Nevertheless, the BSDA Examination doesn't test the variety of Unix utilities other than those specifically covered in this BSDA Requirements Document."

Configure system logging

  • added: Recognize the syslog configuration and be able to add or change a logging entry.
  • split into Configure log rotations
  • TODO: add logger(1) to more info (practical)

Configure log rotations

  • This is a new objective title, split out from Configure system logging.
  • Added new objective with: Understand that the system automatically maintains many different logs.
  • And: Be able to configure log rotation by either time or size.

Configure a system to use NTP

  • add another man page for more info: ntp.conf(5)

Locate files and binaries on a system

  • TODO: locate.conf(5) on NetBSD
  • TODO: locate.rc for OpenBSD?

View and configure system hardware

  • Update objective title and concept: The focus is on "recognize" utilities on BSDs.
  • Add pcictl(8) to more info.

Recognize methods for verifying the validity of binaries

  • Add mtree(8) to more info.
  • TODO: remove "some of" from concept.

Configure a service to start at boot time

  • TODO: rc.conf(8) on OpenBSD (not man section 5)
  • TODO: move "inetd" to its own objective

Recognize the BSD methods for restraining a service and Recognize alternate authorization schemes

  • TODO: systrace not in NetBSD -- verify this
  • TODO: maybe change subject from "authorization"?

Determine who is currently on the system or the last time a user was on the system

  • TODO: add "ac(8)" to practical
  • TODO: change concept: s/determining login information/determining current and past login information/

Enable accounting and view system usage statistics

  • TODO: remove "ac(8)" from practical
  • TODO: remove last(1) from practical
  • TODO: improve concept because only one utility to enable it and it is not really statistics: "Concept: The BSDA candidate should be aware of when it is appropriate to enable system process accounting, recognize which utility is available to do so, and know how to view and analyze the resulting accounting details."

Recognize methods for verifying the validity of binaries

  • changed title from binaries to files