Ubuntu Server Edition

The Submitty Homework Submission Server is currently supported on Ubuntu 16.04
64-bit Server
and Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit Server.

We use the server edition of Ubuntu because it saves a lot of disk space and doesn’t include a lot of extra packages which will require more frequent updates. You also have more options in some cases, and you can always add a graphical display manager to it after the fact if needed.

We encourage the use of 18.04 as we plan to deprecate support for 16.04 at some point. If you choose to use 18.04, it is important to download Canonical’s traditional server release.

The default ISO that Canonical provides as an automatic download, at their main server download page, is a new “Live” server edition with a new installer called “Subiquity”. This version is missing some package repositories required by Submitty, and therefore is unsupported.

Please download the traditional server edition ISO with the traditional installer from Canonical.

NOTE: amd64 is the edition compatible with Intel processors.

Initial Setup

After selecting your language, you can generally just select “Install Ubuntu Server”. (If you find you have hardware compatibility issues, you may need to look at the “Modes” or “Other Options”.)

Unless you have an unusual keyboard, it is generally not worth having it detect your keyboard layout and you can accept the defaults.

Setting up networking

If you have more than one network interface, select the one you want to be the primary interface for the host.

If you are using a static ip address rather than dhcp, you may want to cancel the dhcp detections when they come up, or select “Go back” to fix it. It is also possible to edit it manually after installation is complete.

Partitioning the disk

If this is a standalone machine with no other information on the disk, it is ok to let it unmount partitions that are not in use. You may want to select manual partitioning and set up more partitions to keep submissions from filling up the root partition.

/     30G   (set as the primary partition and make it bootable)
swap  (1-2 times the amount of memory you have)
/usr  30G
/var  the rest of the space to hold the bulk of the submissions

Select “Finish partitioning and write changes to disk”


Unless you know otherwise, assume you are not using a proxy server. (If you know you have one available, it may speed up the process through caching if you have a lot of machines to set up that use the same files).


We suggest selecting “Install security updates automatically” to keep the server as secure as possible. If you have a lot of systems, Landscape will let you administer a lot of machines through a central interface for a fee.

Selecting packages

It is fine to select “OpenSSH Server” from the menu, but do not have it set up LAMP/Apache from the menu. You will need more control over the options and will do it later.

Install git

After the machine reboots, log in and install git:

apt-get install git