The contest uses a special computing environment based on Linux.

During registration, you have the option to bring your own laptop. This has a number of benefits and conditions:


Our system should work with Macs; however, they have many more problems than other systems, so we strongly recommend bringing a Windows or Linux laptop if you can. You may need to create the USB key on a non-Mac system and use it on a Mac.
  1. Download the ISO image.
  2. Copy the image to an USB stick. On Linux, you can use cp 2017hc2.iso /dev/sdb On Mac, the command is dd if=2017hc2.iso of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m (you may need to unmount the device first) On Windows, Rufus can do this. (Replace sdb or rdisk2 by the device corresponding to your USB drive. All data on that drive will be erased)
  3. Reboot the computer from the USB stick. It should boot on any modern 64-bit system; you might have to explicitly enable it in the BIOS/UEFI, and possibly disable Secure Boot.
  4. The system should start. If you are in the BC building at EPFL, it should find our special network and connect to it automatically, then launch an application. Otherwise, it will make sure it can find your Wi-Fi card, and that is enough. If the system displays an error message, or if you have trouble booting it, please email info [at] immediately!


Frequently Asked Questions

My computer doesn't boot from USB stick...
Try looking around your BIOS/UEFI for an option to do that, or even disabling UEFI and using the BIOS instead.
Can we also bring our own keyboard, screen, mouse, ...
Yes, sure!
Can we use two screens?
No, sorry... this would give an unfair advantage to your team.
Do I need to install anything?
No, the system runs as a live system and does not modify your computer.
Can I run this inside a virtual machine during the contest?
No, sorry (that would make it too easy to cheat during the competition).