This page contains information about electronic submission
Starting this semester, we will be using a new submission software
It behaves very differently from the old
submit program that you are used to.
The current time at the submission server at merlot.usc.edu is 22Feb2024-22:03:34
(refresh this page to see the current time).
Platform for Projects
You should use your USC accounts and preferably work on the
Solaris machines via ssh for testing. The
final (submitted) program must run on
we are going to test it in that environment. But you should
not do there the whole program development, as nunki is a
general purpose server - under heavyuse from many students.
Languages for Projects
You must use C for your programming assignments. Files must be named as
You must not
submit any binary files
(since we cannot verify if you wrote it or not).
If your submission included binary files, they will be discarded. In additional, points may be
deducted (please see grading guidelines for details).
Compilation for Projects
have a Makefile
for your program even in the case of single file submission.
Please read the information on Makefile
very carefully because it may have great affect your project scores.
So, make sure you
verify your submission
before you submit!
README File for Projects
include a README
file to comment on anything pertinent
to someone trying to run/grade your project.
Please read the requirements about the
If you have nothing
to say in your README
file, please state that the file
is left blank intentionally.
On Time Submission
Due to clock skews,
electronic submissions of projects and homeworks assignments will
be accepted within 15 minutes after the specified deadlines without
penalties. If you submit with the next 24 hours,
you will receive 90% of your grade.
Although in the first 50 minutes of this period,
you will only lose 1% of your grade every 5 minutes.
24 hours after the submission deadline, you will starting
losing 1% of your grade every 5 minutes. By 7:30am the next
morning, there's no need to make a submission because you
would have lost 100% of your grade.
The procedure described below is a general submission procedure.
Within the spec of every programming assignment, there is a "Submission" section
where a command is given inside a table so you can copy that command from a web browser
and paste it into a terminal running on nunki.usc.edu
. You should simply use those
commands to submit your programming assignments.
The text below are for your information only.
When you are ready to submit it for grading, here is what you should do:
- Create a gzip compressed .tar file containing all the source files
needed to compile your project. Do not add .o files, executables, or
core files to the .tar file.
Please note that including
.o files, executables, or core files will result in an automatic
deduction of as much as 10% of the points allocated to the
For example, if your project
(with Makefile, README,
some .c and some .h files)
resides in a directory named, for example,
proj1 in your home directory, this must be done by
(if your source code filename extensions are not .c and .h,
you should replace .c and .h by what you want to submit):
% cd ~/proj1
% /usr/usc/bin/gtar cvzf proj1.tar.gz Makefile README *.c *.h
Please note that the 2nd commandline argument of the gtar
command above is the output filename of the gtar command.
So, if you omit proj1.tar.gz above, you may accidentally replace
one of your files with the output of the gtar command.
So, please make sure that the first commandline argument is
cvzf and the 2nd commandline argument is
If for some reason
you cannot run the commands above and decide to use another method, you
must inform the TA and the instructor through e-mail as soon
as you submit your assignment.
Also, you will be doing this at your own risk!
If you submit through e-mail, please note that it can take a lot
of time for the e-mail to get delivered to the instructor's mailbox.
Depending on your e-mail client and your service provider, an
e-mail can take anywhere from seconds to hours before it is delivered.
Unless you know your e-mail server well, it's probably a good idea
to submit early this way.
Also, since the header of e-mail messages can be spoofed easily,
the only timestamp the instructor can use (in order to be fair
to all) in an e-mail submission is the time the e-mail arrived into
the instructor's mailbox.
For homework assignments, the only acceptable formats are
ASCII text, PDF, Postscript, and HTML.
All other formats will
receive a score of zero. If you are planning to
submit PDF, Postscript, or HTML files, please make sure in advance
that your machine is capable of generating files in the format
you want and that you are familiar with the procedure.
It is recommended that you extract the .tar.gz file you created to
a temporary directory somewhere else, and try compiling and running your
code there. This will provide some assurance that your project
submission will work at grading time. Please see the
verify your submission section below.
- Submit the .tar.gz file you created, use the
executable in the ~csci551b/bin directory on
nunki.usc.edu (or any Solaris machine which you can find
The syntax is:
~csci551b/bin/bsubmit upload -email your_email -event event_id -file submission_file
Please note that this bsubmit
submission software is new and
behaves very differently from the old submit program you
are used to.
Please see the Submission section in the specification of each
assignment to see what event_id you need to use.
- Check the output of the bsubmit program carefully.
It should tell you:
- where a copy of your submission is stored,
- where the upload ticket is stored,
- where the receipt is stored,
- and at what time did the server received your submission.
By default, these files are stored in:
where $evid is the event_id for the corresponding event.
Please also check the output and make sure that you have submitted
to the correct event.
The bsubmit program can be used multiple times for a given
By default, we will grade your last submission. Therefore, a
later submission is considered to supersede previous
submissions. If you would like us to grade an earlier submission
instead of the last on time submission, you need to send e-mail to
the instructor within 12 hours after the original submission deadline.
We will use the timestamp of the submission which we grade to determine
if you get extra credit for early submission or get penalty for late submission.
After you submitted, for example, proj1.tar.gz
, you should verify
what you've submitted can be compiled as is. Let's say your proj1.tar.gz
is in your ~/proj1
directory on nunki.usc.edu
. Do the following on
% cd ~/proj1
% mkdir xyzzy
% cd xyzzy
% gunzip -c ../proj1.tar.gz > proj1.tar
% tar xvf proj1.tar
% [ follow the steps in the grading guidelines to build the executable ]
% [ follow the grading guidelines and re-run all your tests to make sure that they all work ]
% [ make sure your README file is perfect and contains no "?" in required sections ]
% [ check against the "minus points" section of the grading guidelines to make sure that you won't get any deduction ]
% cd ..
% rm -rf xyzzy
is on Ubuntu, you should run the following command
on your Ubuntu system to "secure copy" it to nunki.usc.edu
scp proj1.tar.gz YOURLOGIN@nunk.usc.edu:proj1.tar.gz
then "scure shell" to nunki.usc.edu
ssh -X -Y YOURLOGIN@nunki.usc.edu
Also, before you run the mkdir
command, make sure you don't
have the xyzzy
directory. If you do, delete it first.
A few things to note:
- If the gunzip command failed, the proj1.tar.gz
file your've submitted is not properly gzipped.
- If the tar command failed, the proj1.tar.gz
file your've submitted is not properly created.
- If the make command failed, you probably forgot to include
something in your submission. Please remember that if this does not
work, you may lose quite a few points.
- If any of the above failure occurs, you must recreate your submission
and submit again and verify again. If you are not sure how to do something,
please contact the instructor or the TAs.