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Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Cannot Boot Remote Exam Live ISO USB for Remote Exam, Boot hanging at 100%

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Hello all,

i’m having some issues with the boot of the Remote Exam Live ISO.

During the preparation for the Remote Exam for ROL Course DO288, i tried to boot my Laptop using the Remote Exam Live ISO. I'm following the docs available here:

Downloaded and written it to USB Stick by using the dd utility.

The boot process is starting until the screen "environment is loading into memory" appears, it counts up to 100% and then nothing more is happening. 

I tried different USB-Stick, always the same result.

For tests, i also used the rhrexboot-2020-08.iso Image, which i found as reference in an redhat Issue description, this one is working for me. Boot is without error, and the hardware compatibility checks are successful.

I plan to do the exam soon, thanks to advice how to proceed. I only have one Laptop available for the training/exam, it's a Lenovo Thinkpad P50.



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Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

My suffering is neverending. The image finally agreed to work on another USB drive, but when I start it from company's laptop, I can't get audio or ethernet to work. On my home computer everything works, except that the image on the camera is flipped and autofocus doesn't work, so my ID card is not legible. Another problem is that rules dictate that my desktop tower would need to be on the desk, but at home I just don't have anywhere to put it, it would have to be on the floor.

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Oofff, that's harsh, dude. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

So, putting things upside down: you wouldn't happen to have a PearsonVue testing center somewhere close by, would you? After all the hassle, it might be easier to go that route.

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

There is just a single Red Hat examination center in this entire city, which was quite surprising, as there used to be none. Look, I need to get this to work, because there will be six other guys from the company taking the same exam soon after me. The company is an official Red Hat partner, everyone in the department will be certified in a year of so from now. As I'm going first, it is up to me to set a clear path for others to follow when they are ready. I can't just avoid the hustle, I got to make it work.

BTW, I have tried the older image. It won't boot.

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Ugh, that's a tough situation to be in. 

In my case, I have an i7 laptop from ~2017/2018 which seems to work well enough with the 2020-08 image. It does not work with the modern ISO, most likely because of the M970 GPU I have in there. 

It might feel silly, but you could see if you could find a relatively simple, older laptop from that era. Then you can use that laptop (plus the webcam you're adding) as the testing setup for all of your students. 

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Here is an update, NONE of our spare laptops agree to boot with RH exam image. This is a total embarassment for RH, don't know why did they even bothered to offer remote exam option if they were going to do it this shoddily. And I also learned that I can't take an exam at the only exam center in town because our company does not cooperate with them.


The good news is that network on my laptop suddenly agreed to work in the office, it wouldn't work with my home network. The integrated sound still doesn't work, but since proctor only communicates with you over the chat, that doesn't matter, as long as mic on the camera is working. So, my only remaining problem is that camera feed is too blurry to read my ID, so we're currently searching for another cam that would work better. Another member here also mentioned that during the exam they let him use the laptop's built-in camera to show the ID.

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

The ordered Logitech C922 Pro camera has arrived and I tested it today, works like a charm with the RH exam image. Mic has a nice volume and auto focusing works normaly, so my ID is readable. I am all set for the exam next week and if other team members can't get their laptops to work with the image, worst case I can borrow them mine.

Overall, it has been a very unpleasant experience so far and I only hope that I won't run into more technical issues during the exam.


Good luck with the exam! @morbius 

Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer

Thank you! The exam was a horrible eperience, even more than expected. The camera briefly refused to autofocus, but then started working normally just as I wanted to try laptop's camera to show ID. Laptop's fan was working on max the whole exam, I thought the machine was going to melt down, yet everything was working so slowly and iresponsively. Then there were other problems, one host could not connect to the repos, meaning I couldn't install packages that were required for some tasks. Unhelpful proctor tells me everything was working on their side, so I'm doing something wrong. How is it my fault that DNS server RH told me to put can't resolve the hosts?

I'm glad I passed only because I won't have to go through that ordeal again. Felt to me like 3 hours of drowning.


I think folks are reluctant to respond to your comments because RH does not want us to comment on the actual specifics of the exams as it may violate terms of the exam agreement, HOWEVER...the issues faced and that you mention are REAL and others are having these REAL issues at the exam level, they are not mindless observations. When there is no sense of response from Red Hat as to what to do about these issues it leaves us to wonder why they continue and why they don't seem to care. Considering that our dollars and time are all valuable?


Maybe a team can be put together at RHLearning to sandbox outside of their their own environment. In other words, test it out like a home exam user would and see if they can reproduce these errors and offer some sense of direction as a fix or workaround.

I am merely offering this comment as a possible solution, since we have heard the complaints on the issues faced ?? RH your thoughts?


So there are several things that are issues with RHRE that people can face and we do test several things as a student would. I have taken several exams and tested several of them as a student at my home with my own equipment. I have also tested several different laptop models. Some of the problems with this are the lockdowns and various settings that are on some of the systems causing Boot disks to display "BLACK" screen when it should have switched over to a graphical target ... the issue there, missing Kernel modules for specific video cards or driver components not part of exam boot environment. Red Hat must balance these things and add/update things and complete a battery of tests. Unfortunately, since we don't have all the hardware and anyone could have any device with any BIOS/uEFI settings, it is hard to test all of those, which is why we encourage testing the boot environment and reporting. This is also why we have the older boot ISO, but unfortunately, it may not always support the newest hardware.

The next challenge is the actual exam delivery and taking the exam. Since things are delivered via web-browser/KIOSK mode and using VNC, many of the normal desktop shortcuts don't work or perform the wrong tasks, therefore, those are disabled as part of the RHRE environment. In terms of navigation, this isn't always the best for the exam as it does take time to get used to shortcuts not working.

Finally, the actual exam content. There will be exams where you might need to configure or change networking, setup repositories or perform any number of tasks based on objectives for that specific exam. So this leads to problems created by exam candidates as it is possible that networking, DNS, repositories or any number of things could have typos or be configured incorrectly which would result in not being able to install software.

The exam proctors can look at the exam environment and ensure that the remote exam environment and virtual machines as well as the supporting networking is functioning properly. They cannot and will not look at system configurations and say "you've got a problem with your network setup" or "you've made a mistake with DNS", the only thing they can state is that the systems and environment is operating as expected.

In the event that there are issues, the proctor will inform you via chat and may request a phone call. If you still believe there are back-end issues or something else wrong with the exam, candidates can submit feedback directly to the certification team via the web feedback form as it is the only approved way of providing feedback or comments on the actual exam.

I'm not a member of the certification team, but I am a member of the delivery team and serve as both an instructor and examiner and I can definitely tell you some of the same problems have been reported to me by candidates and I cannot tell them what they've done wrong even when it is staring me in the face. 

@Lene - Tagging you for awareness.



Travis Michette, RHCA XIII
Red Hat Certification + Training
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