If you are are developing or testing the distributed system for automated grading, you may want to set up one or more worker machines in addition to your primary vagrant virtual machine.

Automated Virtualbox Worker Installation

These steps will create a worker machine alongside the normal Submitty machine.

  1. Destroy ubuntu-20.04 and submitty-worker vagrant machines (if they exist) with
    vagrant destroy
  2. Create the Submitty VM and the worker VM with
    WORKER_PAIR=1 vagrant up

    On Windows you will have to first set the environment variable to 1 which lasts for the session of that console, then call vagrant up.

    vagrant up

    If you want to unset the variable, you can do


    NOTE If you encounter error messages relating to IP addresses, you may need to change the IP for the submitty-worker machine in the Vagrantfile to avoid collisions.

    When not using the Worker VM, it is recommended to set enabled: false under the submitty-worker machine in /usr/local/submitty/config/autograding_workers.json to avoid prolonged wait times when running INSTALL_SUBMITTY.sh.

  3. To boot up both VMs after they have been halted, simply run
    WORKER_PAIR=1 vagrant up

    using the same method as in step 2.

Manual Virtualbox Worker Installation

  1. Open the Virtual Box application.

  2. Click New to create a new machine. Give it a useful name: e.g., worker_machine_a Specify the type: Linux And the version: Ubuntu 64

  3. Specify the amount of memory: 2048 = 2GB should be sufficient.

  4. Create the disk as a new virtual disk. Specify RAM memory: 2048 (2GB) Create new virtual disk. Choose VDI Choose Dynamically allocated Specify size: e.g., 20GB

  5. Download the Ubuntu 20.04 installer 64 bit .iso. Save this somewhere on your host computer.

  6. Click on Start to power on. Browse your files to find the Ubuntu installer .iso we downloaded earlier. Press Start.

  7. Follow the Ubuntu installation menu… Click Install Ubuntu. Select English keyboard. Select normal installation. Agree to Erase disk & Install Ubuntu. Specify your timezone. Then specify your username, computer name, password. Then click through various menus, and wait a while installing system. Then restart the VM to finish installation.

  8. At some point, it will suggest that you install updates for Ubuntu 20.04, go ahead and do that. You’ll probably have to reboot.

  9. Allow ssh connections to the worker VM from outside (e.g., from your primary machine): from virtual box, select the VM, click on Settings, then Network, Enable Network Adapter should be checked, then set Attached to: Bridged Adapter

  10. From the VM, open a terminal and install a bunch of additional packages:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install net-tools
    sudo apt install openssh-server
    sudo apt install git
  11. Install Guest Additions (Improves screen resolution, copy paste to/from the VM, etc.)

    While the VM is running, focus on the VM window. Then from the menu, select Devices -> Insert guest additions CD image Open a terminal in the VM Go to the guest additions CD directory, and run the guest additions installer:

    cd /media/<USERNAME>/VBox_GAs_<VERSION>/
    sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
  12. Get a permanent IP address for your machine Go to your router, assign a fix ip address for your mac address E.g., in a browser, go to and log in… Helpful command to find your mac address & current IP address:

  13. Prevent worker VM from going to sleep (so you can send autograding jobs to it at any time). Settings -> privacy -> screen lock -> turn off screen lock Settings -> power -> suspend & power button -> automatic suspend == off Settings -> power -> blank screen == never

  14. Follow the worker installation instructions