SAS Basics


SAS is a comprehensive statistical software that provides a wide variety of analytical capabilities, data management, and visualization options. It offers an interactive matrix programming language and integration with R. SAS is most often used for handling large-scale management systems, data mining, and statistical analysis.

Availability and Setup

SAS version 9.3 is available on the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC). Along with the Base SAS procedures, the current installation includes many packages. Listed below are a set of the most popular/useful packages:

  • STAT – Statistical analysis
  • GRAPH – High quality graphics for presentations
  • ETS – Econometrics and Time Series Analysis
  • FSP – Integrated tools for data entry, computation, query, editing, validation, display, and retrieval
  • OR – Operations research
  • AF – Applications facility (menus and interfaces)
  • IML – Interactive matrix language
  • QC – Quality control
  • ACCESS – Transparently share data with non-native datasources
  • CONNECT – Provides ability for SAS sessions on different platforms to communicate with each other

To enable the Graphics User Interface, SAS should be invoked under the X Window System on X terminals or workstations.

Running SAS

To run SAS interactively on the SCC, type:

    scc1% sas

To run SAS in command-line mode without the GUI, type:

    scc1% sas -nodms

The option -nodms stands for No Display Manager. The system will invoke SAS system and it will give you a prompt with a line number and a question mark. To exit SAS in no display manager mode do

    > endsas;.

To run a SAS program (e.g. in batch (non-interactive) mode, type:

    scc1% sas myprogram


    scc1% sas myprogram &

if you wish to run it in the background.

When the program finishes there will be two files created in your working directory. One of them – myprogram.log – contains the log of the SAS session; the other – myprogram.lst contains the output from the program.

If you want to direct your output and/or log to other files, use the -print and/or -log options:

    scc1% sas myprogram -print myoutput -log mylog.log

Batch Considerations

To submit a batch job to the batch system for running on the compute nodes execute:

     scc1% qsub -b y sas -noterminal

See for more information about options when submitting a job.

Additional notes on default SAS options: On all nodes in the Cluster the MEMSIZE is capped at 4G and SORTSIZE is capped at 2GB. Threading is turned on but the default CPUCOUNT is set to 1. So by default a user will only use 1 CPU even if he or she asks for more slots. These options are changeable by the user.

The SAS manual shows the different ways a user can change these options.

Additional Help/Documentation

To get help during an interactive GUI session select Help -> SAS Help & Documentation.

Most of the SAS documentation is also available online at

A catalog of textbooks available from SAS can be found online at

Document Name: SAS
Author/Maintainer: Katia Oleinik
Executable: /usr/bin/sas
Keywords: sas, statistics
Machines List: SCC
Created December 18, 2012; Last Revised February 21, 2014; Last Modified February 21, 2014
URL of this document:
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