My Wife is a statistician. Over the course of her career, she’s done a lot of work coding in SAS, and, due to the expense of licensing, I’ve never been able to run that code myself. So, when I heard about SAS having a free version, I figured I would download it and have a look, maybe see if I could run something.
Like many companies, SAS went the route of shipping a virtual appliance. They chose to use Virtual Box as the virtualization platform. However, when I tried to install and run the VM in virtual box, I found that the mechanism used to build the Virtual Box specific module for the Linux Kernel, the build assumption were not met, and the VM would not run.
Instead of trying to fix that situation, I investigated the possibility of running the virtual appliance via libvirt on my Fedora systems already installed and configured kvm setup. Turns out it was pretty simple.
To start I went through the registration and download process from here. Once I had a login, I was able to download a file called unvbasicvapp__9411008__ova__en__sp0__1.ova.
What is an ova file? It turns out is is a non-compressed tar file.
$ tar -xf unvbasicvapp__9411008__ova__en__sp0__1.ova $ ls SAS_University_Edition.mf SAS_University_Edition.ovf SAS_University_Edition.vmdk unvbasicvapp__9411008__ova__en__sp0__1.ova
Now I had to convert the disk image into something that would work for KVM.
$qemu-img convert -O qcow2 SAS_University_Edition.vmdk SAS_University_Edition.qcow2
Then, I used the virt-manager gui to import the VM. TO be sure I met the constraints, I looked inside the SAS_University_Edition.ovf file. It turns out they ship a pretty modest VM: 1024 MB of Memory and 1 Virtual CPU. These are pretty easy constraints to meet, and I might actually up the amount of memory or CPUs in the VM in the future depending on the size of the data sets I ended up playing around with. However, for now, this is enough to make things work.
Add a new VM from the file menu.
Import the existing image
Use the Browse Local button Browse to the directory where you ran the qemu-img convert command above.
Complete the rest of the VM creation. Defaults should suffice. Run the VM inside VM Manager.
Once the Boot process has completed, you should get enough information from the console to connect to the web UI.
Hitting the Web UI from a browser shows the landing screen.
Click Start… and start coding