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

  • Sudo

  • Debootstrap

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

For Debian:

sudo apt install make pkg-config sudo debootstrap libcgroup-dev \
      php-cli php-curl php-json php-xml php-zip lsof procps

For Red Hat:

sudo yum install make pkgconfig sudo libcgroup-devel lsof \
      php-cli php-mbstring php-xml php-process procps-ng

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

The judgedaemon can be run on various hardware configurations; - A virtual machine, typically these have 1 or 2 cores and no hyperthreading, because the kernel will schedule its own tasks on CPU 0, we advice CPU 1, - A default office machine, these sometimes have hyperthreading. Verify if the machine has hyperthreading and consider turning it off and as a rule of thumb pick CPU 2 as CPU 1 could be a hyperthreading core, be on the same die as CPU 0 and therefore share memory with that CPU. If more cores available as a rule of thumb moving to the highest CPU should be considered. - Multiple on a single high-grade server with multiple CPUs or a CPU with multiple cores. Check for hyperthreading and if possible run the judgedaemons on separate CPU packages/dies both from each other and when possible different from CPU 0. See the section Multiple judgedaemons per machine for running multiple judgedaemons on a single host.

For the next section we assume a machine with possibly hyperthreading and 3 or more CPUs. This can be checked with:

lscpu | grep "Thread(s) per core"

having a value above 1 indicates hyperthreading or:

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/smt/active

a value of 1 or on. The target CPU core to restrict the judgedaemon to below should be in the range of:

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/online

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-2 with minimal privileges with the judgedaemon restricted to CPU core 2:

sudo useradd -d /nonexistent -U -M -s /bin/false domjudge-run-2

The -2 suffix corresponds to a judgedaemon bound to CPU core 2 with the option -n 2, see Starting the judgedaemon. If you do not want to bind the judgedaemon to a core, create a user domjudge-run and start the judgedaemon without -n option. See the section Multiple judgedaemons per machine for running multiple judgedaemons on a single host.

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 compiles and 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/ The chroot needs to contain the compilers, interpreters and support libraries that are needed at compile- and at runtime for the supported languages.

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 (compilers and runtime environments) 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" Optionally the timings can be made more stable by not letting the OS schedule any other tasks on the same CPU core the judgedaemon is using: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet cgroup_enable=memory swapaccount=1 isolcpus=2"

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 exact URL to use can be found in the Config Checker in the admin web interface; the password here must be identical to that of the judgehost user. 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:

bin/judgedaemon -n 2

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 change the config setting to automatically pause judges on first connection or manually add it 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 --now domjudge-judgehost