Under simple practical assumptions, the theory of feedback linearization can be applied to a physical model of an electrohydraulic rectilinear actuator. This paper presents the derivation of a near input-output (IO) linearizing force tracking controller and its experimental implementation on a fatigue testing electrohydraulic actuator. Comparisons are conducted against a linear state feedback with integral controller and a standard PID controller. It is shown that, within the limits of investigated system bandwidth and smoothness restrictions of the desired force trajectory, the near IO linearizing controller has better tracking properties. It is also noted that a sliding mode controller can be interpreted as a robust version of the near IO linearizing controller. Experiments are conducted to investigate the robustness of the controlled system to the parameters of the near IO linearizing controller.