Running SAS University Edition on Fedora 25

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.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

Hello, World.


4 thoughts on “Running SAS University Edition on Fedora 25

  1. Would you be able to provide the exact qemu command?
    I can get the image to boot but I cannot figure out the -net parameters so that the host may access the UI in browser.

  2. I don’t think it would be relevant; the network setup on your machine is going to be different from mine.

    My VM has a NIC attached to the “Default” network. If has an IPv4 Network of, and DHCP Range of – and NAT forwarding enabled. I think NAT is essential. If you can ssh in to the machine, you should be able to point a browser at it, to.

  3. Thank you for your guide. It worked very well and I could run the virtual machine. However, I have a question: How did you configured the “myfolders” shared folder? I am having trouble to initialize the session and I receive this error “The launch of the server process failed with an unknown status code.” which I have read is mostly due to problems with the shared folder. In your tutorial I see you receive the same message, so I wonder if you took an additional step to make it work. Again, thank you a lot, this is a lot easier method than working with VirtualBox.

  4. On regards, my previous comment. Please disregard it, I downloaded a more recent ova file of SAS and I was able to install it according to your instructions. Thank you a lot again, I have learned a lot from your post.

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