Important Instructions: CKS


All exams administered on or after June 25, 2022 are proctored on PSI Bridge platform. Please refer to the following information page for more details:
We are now offering a Full Remote Desktop Experience on a Linux Desktop. Copy in the Remote Desktop = CTRL+C Paste in the Remote Desktop = CTRL+V Unless you're using the Linux Terminal Emulator - then use: Copy = CTRL+SHIFT+C Paste = CTRL+SHIFT+V for Paste OR Use the Right Click Context Menu and select Copy or Paste
You are NOT Permitted to Copy/Paste from the Remote Desktop to the Notepad provided by the PSI Secure Browser.

Exam Details

  • The exams are delivered online and consist of performance-based tasks (problems) to be solved on the command line running Linux.
  • The exams consist of 15-20 performance-based tasks.
  • Candidates have 2 hours to complete the CKS exam.
  • The exam is proctored remotely via streaming audio, video, and screen sharing feeds.
  • Results will be emailed 24 hours from the time that the exam is completed.

System Requirements to take the exam

Candidates should run the PSI Online System Security Check to verify that their machine meets the technical requirements for taking a proctored exam.
The online proctored exam is taken on PSI's proctoring platform "Bridge", using the PSI Secure Browser (a web browser created to guarantee a secure exam delivery over a virtual connection).
The secure browser download/installation will being when you Select “Launch exam” from the PSI Dashboard.
Candidates must provide their own computer with:
  • Supported OS: Please review the System Requirements, published by PSI, in particular the supported Operating System Information.
  • Reliable internet access
    • Ensure others on the same internet connection are not performing activities that use excessive bandwidth (i.e. holding conference calls, streaming content, gaming, etc.)
    • A wired connection is often more stable and robust than a wireless connection
    • Turn off bandwidth-intensive services (e.g. file sync, dropbox, BitTorrent)
  • One active monitor (either built in or external) (NOTE: Dual Monitors are NOT supported)
  • Microphone
    • Please check to make sure it is working before you start your exam session.
  • Webcam
    • Ensure the webcam is capable of being moved as you will have to pan your surroundings to check for potential violations of exam policy.
    • If you will be testing from an employer-provide ISP or will use an employer provided machine, please ensure that streaming will be allowed using WebRTC.
    Candidates are not allowed to have other applications or browser windows running except the one on which the Exam is being shown.
    Please review the PSI Bridge Platform: System Requirements to ensure your machine will meet the requirements of our online proctor.

Important Information to Consider:

  • Please disable firewalls or use a computer without a corporate firewall. Firewalls may interfere with installing the secure browser needed to take the test.
  • You should use a computer on which you have the privileges needed to install applications AND end system process' and services.
  • You cannot take an exam using a virtual machine even though the compatibility check may not display any issues
  • If possible, stop any antivirus software from running, and antivirus scanning during the exam time.

Acceptable Testing Location

Below are the expectations for an acceptable testing location::
  • Clutter-free work area
    • No objects such as paper, writing implements, electronic devices, or other objects on top of surface
    • No objects such as paper, trash bins, or other objects below the testing surface
  • Clear walls
    • No paper/print outs hanging on walls
    • Paintings and other wall décor is acceptable
    • Candidates will be asked to remove non-décor items prior to the exam being released
  • Lighting
    • Space must be well lit so that proctor is able to see candidate’s face, hands, and surrounding work area
    • No bright lights or windows behind the examinee
  • Other
    • Candidate must remain within the camera frame during the examination
    • Space must be private where there is no excessive noise. Public spaces such as coffee shops, stores, open office environments, etc. are not allowed.
Please see the Candidate Handbook for additional information covering policies, procedures and rules during the exam

Taking the Exam

We recommend that candidates review the Take Exam section of our Candidate handbook, to become familiar with the PSI Secure Browser Download and Installation steps, and the candidate's Self Check-In Process.

ID Requirements to take the Exam

  • Candidates are required to provide a non-expired Primary ID that contains Candidate’s photograph, signature and full name (see acceptable forms of ID in the table below)
  • The name on your Primary ID must exactly match the verified name on your exam checklist.
  • If the Candidate’s full name on their Primary ID contains non-latin characters, then the Candidate must ALSO provide a non-expired Secondary ID containing their full name in Latin Characters and signature, OR a notarized English translation of their Primary ID along with the non-latin character Primary ID
Primary ID
(non-expired and including photograph and signature)
Secondary ID
(non-expired and including signature with Candidate name in Latin characters)
Government-issued driver’s license/permit
Government-Issued local language ID (with photo and signature)
National Identity card
State or province-issued identity card
住民基本台帳 (Basic resident register with Photo) or マイナンバーカード(My number card)
Debit (ATM) Card
Credit Card
Health Insurance Card
U.S. Social Security Card
Employee ID Card
Student ID Card
Japanese Health Insurance Card
Additional Allowances:
  • Some government issued ID such as a passport, driver’s license, military ID or state/country card may be a biometric type and may or may not contain a signature. In these cases Primary ID will be accepted without a signature on condition that you also present a Secondary ID which does contain your signature (e.g. bank, credit or debit card)
  • For candidates testing in Japan, a Driver’s License (with name and recent recognizable photo) is acceptable as a primary ID as long as it is accompanied with a Japanese health insurance card (健康保険証). In Japan, the Japanese health insurance card (健康保険証) is an acceptable form of secondary ID
  • Minors, between the age of 16-18, are permitted to take an online proctored exam with PSI, provided they complete the following requirements:
    • A Parent/Guardian must complete the Parental Release for Testing of Minors form, and submit it to, at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam
    • At check in, the minor candidate must present a valid student ID as a form of identification
    • During the PSI check-in process, the candidate's guardian must also present a valid ID and must provide verbal consent during the PSI check-in process.

Sanctioned Countries

Exams may be administered to citizens of a sanctioned country listed below PROVIDED the citizens are tested OUTSIDE the sanctioned country and their exam registration and current ID show an address OUTSIDE the sanctioned country.
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Sudan
  • North Korea
  • Crimea Region of Ukraine

Resources allowed during exam

During the exam, candidates may:

Exam Technical Instructions

  1. 1.
    Root privileges can be obtained by running 'sudo −i'.
  2. 2.
    Rebooting of your server IS permitted at any time.
  3. 3.
    Do not stop or tamper with the certerminal process as this will END YOUR EXAM SESSION.
  4. 4.
    Do not block incoming ports 8080/tcp, 4505/tcp and 4506/tcp. This includes firewall rules that are found within the distribution's default firewall configuration files as well as interactive firewall commands.
  5. 5.
    Use Ctrl+Alt+W instead of Ctrl+W.
    5.1 Ctrl+W is a keyboard shortcut that will close the current tab in Google Chrome.
  6. 6.
    The Terminal (Terminal Emulator Application) is a Linux Terminal; to copy & paste within the Linux Terminal you need to use LINUX keyboard shortcuts:
    Copy = Ctrl+SHIFT+C (inside the terminal) Paste = Ctrl+SHIFT+V (inside the terminal) OR Use the Right Click Context Menu and select Copy or Paste
  7. 7.
    Installation of services and applications included in this exam may require modification of system security policies to successfully complete.

CKS Environment

  • Each task on this exam must be completed on a designated cluster/configuration context.
  • Sixteen clusters comprise the exam environment, one for each task. Each cluster is made up of one master node and one worker node.
  • An infobox at the start of each task provides you with the cluster name/context and the hostname of the master and worker node.
  • You can switch the cluster/configuration context using a command such as the following: kubectl config use-context <cluster/context name>
  • Nodes making up each cluster can be reached via ssh, using a command such as the following: ssh <nodename>
  • You have elevated privileges on any node by default, so there is no need to assume elevated privileges.
  • You must return to the base node (hostname cli) after completing each task.
  • Nested−ssh is not supported.
  • You can use kubectl and the appropriate context to work on any cluster from the base node. When connected to a cluster member via ssh, you will only be able to work on that particular cluster via kubectl.
  • For your convenience, all environments, in other words, the base system and the cluster nodes, have the following additional command-line tools pre-installed and pre-configured:
    • kubectl with kalias and Bash autocompletion
    • yq and jqfor YAML/JSON processing
    • tmux for terminal multiplexing
    • curl and wget for testing web services
    • man and man pages for further documentation
  • Further instructions for connecting to cluster nodes will be provided in the appropriate tasks
  • The CKS environment is currently running etcd v3.5
  • The CKS environment is currently running Kubernetes v1.23 The CKS exam environment will be aligned with the most recent K8s minor version within approximately 4 to 8 weeks of the K8s release date.
Additional Resources
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