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SAS 8.0.0 on Microsoft Windows

We aimed to help users runnning exclusively Microsoft Windows, without having to develop a native version of SAS on such platform based on the well known Cygwin environment. That is why since SAS 7.0.0 we provide SAS for Linux bundled specifically to run on a Virtual Machine on Microsoft Windows, a package we have called "Virtual Machine for SAS" (VM4SAS).

We have obtained such a success (in fact SAS on Windows is one of the most demanded OS), that we offer it again for the new SAS 8.0.0, as we did for 7.1.0.

A virtual machine (VM) is a software that allows to run an operating system inside another. The VM's technology used here is VMWare which is well known since several years ago. VMWare is a comercially licensed software but thanks to its free VMWare player product, it is now possible to deploy and run any specific VM bundled to a particular software.

VM4SAS8

VM4SAS8 contains a CentOS 4.6 based virtual machine image created with VMWare Workstation. The image contains the SAS 8.0.0 (xmmsas_20080701_1801) release natively built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (EL4), already installed plus the external software tools required to work with SAS, ds9, grace, heasoft, etc, and the reduced set of CCF.

SAS 8.0.0 has been installed under the following directory of the virtual machine: /opt/sas/xmmsas_20080701_1801.

Hardware and Sofware requirements

In order to install this software in Microsoft Windows you need:

Installation instructions

Download and install first the VMWare Player for Microsoft Windows. Once done, download and unpack in your disk the compressed VM4SAS8.zip file containing the virtual machine components (notice that the zip file is about 2.65 GBytes). As a result of the unpack you should get a folder named VM4SAS8 with about 14 files in it. At this point you may wish to remove the zip file to save disk space.

Running the virtual machine

To start the virtual machine, just simply double click the mouse on the icon for the file SAS8.vmx within the VM4SAS8 folder. Alternatively you may start the VMWare Player and select the File Menu, then select the Open option and choose the mentioned file in the referred folder.

The VM will boot by default the CentOS 4.6 standard kernel vmlinuz-2.6.9-67.EL which is intended for a standard Intel monoprocessor. Alternately you may select at boot time the vmlinuz-2.6.9-67.ELsmp which is adapted to run on an Intel Core Duo type processor. As far as we have tested, that kernel will hang on a non-Core Duo processor. The selection of any of the two available kernels is made at boot through the Grub menu.

Once the VM is up and running, you need to log in into it as you would do for a real Linux system. For this purpose we have provided a predefined user to run SAS whose name is xmmsas with password xmmsas. The administrator (whose name is root in Linux) has the same password.

Running SAS

To run SAS proceed as for any other platform. First initialize the SAS environment by sourcing the respective script which is provided in the installtion of SAS. For the xmmsas Bash shell, this is done as follows

. /opt/sas/xmmsas_20080701_1801/setsas.sh

Alternately you may use as well

. $HOME/setsas.sh

CCF files are provided within the VM under the /ccf directory. Please set the respective SAS_CCFPATH environment variable having this into account.

External Software included

The following packages required to work with SAS 8.0.0, are included:

Display settings

The virtual machine is configured to use a screen resolution of 1024x768 by default. This means that you at least need such a physical display resolution. If your physical display admits a bigger resolution, you can change the configured screen size at your convenience. If your physical display is smaller you still might start the virtual machine and change the virtual screen size until it fits in the physical size. However, using resolutions below 1024x768 is highly discouraged if you pretend to use SAS interactively.

Network settings

VMware Player is able to use the pysical network interface available in your PC to provide a virtual network interface to the virtual machine. Hence, if your PC has an active Internet connection, you should be able to access the Internet from inside the virtual machine without major problems.

Support

The VM is provided as is. We will not provide official support on the VM software nor on any other aspect related to it on Microsoft Windows. However, support is foreseen to solve minor problems or doubts related with using SAS in this environment, which might be reported by users throught the XMM-Newton HelpDesk. By using the same mean we are open to suggestions and modifications for subsequent VM4SAS releases.


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Any question about SAS should be addressed to the XMM-Newton help desk.

Updated on: September 10, 2008