Installation of the judgehosts

A DOMjudge installation requires one or more judgehosts which will perform the actual compilation and evaluation of submissions.


System requirements

  • The operating system is a Linux variant. DOMjudge has mostly been tested with Debian and Ubuntu, but should work on other environments. See our wiki for information about DOMjudge and WSLv2.

  • It is necessary that you have root access.

  • A TCP/IP network which connects the DOMserver and the judgehosts. The machines only need HTTP(S) access to the DOMserver.

Software requirements

  • PHP command line interface with the curl, json, xml, zip extensions.

  • Compilers for the languages you want to support.

For Debian (with some example compilers):

sudo apt install make sudo debootstrap libcgroup-dev lsof \
      php-cli php-curl php-json php-xml php-zip procps \
      gcc g++ default-jre-headless default-jdk-headless \
      ghc fp-compiler

For RedHat:

sudo yum install make sudo libcgroup-devel lsof \
      php-cli php-mbstring php-xml php-process procps-ng \
      gcc gcc-c++ glibc-static libstdc++-static \
      java-11-openjdk-headless java-11-openjdk-devel \
      ghc-compiler fpc

Building and installing

After installing the software listed above, run configure. In this example to install DOMjudge in the directory domjudge under your home directory:

./configure --prefix=$HOME/domjudge
make judgehost
sudo make install-judgehost

For running solution programs under a non-privileged user, a user and group have to be added to the system that acts as judgehost. This user does not need a home-directory or password, so the following command would suffice to add a user and group domjudge-run with minimal privileges:

sudo useradd -d /nonexistent -U -M -s /bin/false domjudge-run

Sudo permissions

The judgedaemon uses a wrapper to isolate programs when compiling or running the submissions called runguard. This wrapper needs to be able to become root for certain operations like changing to the runuser and performing a chroot. Also, the default script uses sudo to gain privileges for certain operations. There’s a pregenerated snippet in etc/sudoers-domjudge that contains all required rules. You can put this snippet in /etc/sudoers.d/.

If you change the user you start the judgedaemon as, or the installation paths, be sure to update the sudoers rules accordingly.

Creating a chroot environment

The judgedaemon executes submissions inside a chroot environment for security reasons. By default it mounts parts of a prebuilt chroot tree read-only during this judging process (using the script lib/judge/ This is needed to support extra languages that require access to interpreters or support libraries at runtime, for example Java, C#, and any interpreted languages like Python, Perl, Shell script, etc.

This chroot tree can be built using the script bin/dj_make_chroot. On Debian and Ubuntu the same distribution and version as the host system are used, on other Linux distributions the latest stable Debian release will be used to build the chroot. Any extra packages to support languages can be passed with the option -i or be added to the INSTALLDEBS variable in the script. The script bin/dj_run_chroot runs an interactive shell or a command inside the chroot. This can be used for example to install new or upgrade existing packages inside the chroot. Run these scripts with option -h for more information.

Finally, if necessary edit the script lib/judge/ and adapt it to work with your local system. In case you changed the default pre-built chroot directory, make sure to also update the sudo rules and the CHROOTORIGINAL variable in

Linux Control Groups

DOMjudge uses Linux Control Groups or cgroups for process isolation in the judgedaemon. Linux cgroups give more accurate measurement of actually allocated memory than traditional resource limits (which is helpful with interpreters like Java that reserve but do not actually use lots of memory). Also, cgroups are used to restrict network access so no separate measures are necessary, and they allow running multiple judgedaemons on a multi-core machine by using CPU binding.

The judgedaemon needs to run a recent Linux kernel (at least 3.2.0). The following steps configure cgroups on Debian. Instructions for other distributions may be different (send us your feedback!).

Edit grub config to add cgroup memory and swap accounting to the boot options. Edit /etc/default/grub and change the default commandline to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet cgroup_enable=memory swapaccount=1" On modern distros (e.g. Debian bullseye) which have cgroup v2 enabled by default, you need to add systemd.unified_cgroup_hierarchy=0 as well. Then run update-grub and reboot. After rebooting check that /proc/cmdline actually contains the added kernel options. On VM hosting providers such as Google Cloud or DigitalOcean, GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT may be overwritten by other files in /etc/default/grub.d/.

You have now configured the system to use cgroups. To create the actual cgroups that DOMjudge will use, run:

sudo systemctl enable create-cgroups --now

Note that this service will automatically be started if you use the domjudge-judgehost service, see below. Alternatively, you can customize the script judge/create_cgroups as required and run it after each boot.

REST API credentials

The judgehost connects to the domserver via a REST API. You need to create an account in the DOMjudge web interface for the judgedaemons to use (this may be a shared account between all judgedaemons) with a difficult, random password and the ‘judgehost’ role.

On each judgehost, copy from the domserver (or create) a file etc/restapi.secret containing the id, URL, username and password whitespace-separated on one line, for example:

default  judgehost  MzfJYWF5agSlUfmiGEy5mgkfqU

The password here must be identical to that of the judgehost user in the admin web interface. Multiple lines may be specified to allow a judgedaemon to work for multiple domservers. The id in the first column is used to differentiate between multiple domservers, and should be unique within the restapi.secret file.

Starting the judgedaemon

Finally start the judgedaemon:


Upon its first connection to the domserver API, the judgehost will be auto-registered and will be by default enabled. If you wish to add a new judgehost but have it initially disabled, you can add it manually through the DOMjudge web interface and set it to disabled before starting the judgedaemon.

The judgedaemon can also be run as a service by running:

sudo systemctl enable domjudge-judgehost
sudo systemctl start  domjudge-judgehost