Last update: 30.03.2014

Computing Environment

Trying it out

You will have time to try out the system during the dry run before the contest.

Additionally, you are encouraged download an image of the system so that you can try it out at home. To do so,

  1. Download the polyprog-live image (742 MB). It's all free software, you are allowed and encouraged to distribute it!
  2. Copy the image to a USB stick. On Linux, you can use
    cp polyprog-live.iso /dev/your_usb_stick
    (you have to replace your_usb_stick by the device that represents your stick, for example sdb. All data on the device will be erased./li>
  3. Re-boot the computer from the USB stick. The stick should boot on any modern 64-bit system. You might have to enable booting from USB in the BIOS, though.
  4. Send any comments to jonas (at

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my keyboard layout?
For Swiss French, use the setxkbdmap ch fr command in a terminal.
Can we also bring our own keyboard, screen, mouse, ...
Yes, sure!
Do I need to install this?
No, it runs as a live system and does not modify your computer.
What if the system crashes during the contest?
We remotely connect to your machine and create backups of your files every five minutes. If the live system crashes, you should not lose more than ten minutes of time. Note that we cannot backup files if you don't save them, though.
Can I just run this inside a virtual machine?
No, sorry (that would make it too easy to cheat during the competition).
There is a message about missing network connectivity...
We're working on it... check again from time to time for new releases of the system.
Does it work on a Mac?
It should... try the following:
  • Prepare the USB stick. On mac, it’s something like dd if=2014hc2.iso of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m. You can use the Disk Utility to see the device name of your USB stick.
  • Insert the USB stick into the computer
  • Reboot, pressing the ALT key during boot
  • Select the USB drive (it’s probably labeled “Windows”)


The Contest will take place on computers with the following specification:
  • Hardware:
    CPU:Intel Core i7-4770 CPU @ 3.4GHz
    RAM:8 GB
    Keyboard:Standard Swiss-French keyboard
     (keyboard layout can be changed in the desktop environment)
    Mouse:Standard 2 button mouse with scroll wheel.
  • Software:
    OS:Linux (distribution: Debian live)
    Editors:gvim, emacs, geany, scite, sublime text 2, eclipse
    Debugger:gdb, ddd
    C compiler:gcc 4.8.2
    C++ compiler:g++ 4.8.2
    Java compiler:OpenJDK 7
    Scala compiler:Scala 2.10.3
Alternatively, you can bring your own computer (register on your team page if you plan to do this). The computer needs to run the HC2 live system as described below. We will provide you with electricity and network cables. Note that the system will need to run on bare hardware, not inside a virtual machine.