Free SAS Software for students!


Remember the episode where Oprah gave a free car to everyone in her studio audience? - Well Jim Goodnight goes one better, and gives free SAS Software to all students in the world!

When I was in graduate school, I felt very fortunate to be at NC State University, because SAS let us use their software for free. I don't know how I could have done my data/graphics intensive research without it. And now SAS is making their software available (for free) for teaching, learning, and research in higher education all over the world, with the SAS University Edition!

SAS University Edition page


Here are the basic steps to install the software (do this once) ...

Download the free Oracle VirtualBox - this is the only thing that's really 'installed' on your computer.

Download the free SAS University Edition (this basically places a pre-installed copy of SAS in the VirtualBox environment).


Here are the basic steps to start up the software (do this each time you want to run a new SAS session) ...

Double-click the Oracle VM VirtualBox icon on your desktop.


You will then get a VirtualBox window, with SAS-University-Edition visible along the left side. Click the 'Start' button (green arrow).


You'll see this window as the SAS server starts in the background ...


And after about a minute (depending on the speed of your computer) you'll see the following VirtualBox window:




And here is how to use SAS - simply enter the following URL in a Web browser on your computer:



If you have run SAS in the past, you have probably used the Display Management System (DMS) as your user interface, which lets you edit and submit code, view your results, etc. The clever SAS developers have recently implemented a new interface called SAS Studio that is very much like DMS, but runs in a web browser. Here's what it looks like:


I plan to write several blog posts describing how to do various useful things in the University Edition, but I want to wrap up this blog with a simple graph, using sample data that is shipped with the software. Type the following into the CODE window, and then click the 'Run' button (picture of the little man running).


And you get the following graph:



If you've got friends that are college students and/or faculty, be the first to tell them about this great news, and you'll be their "SAS Hero" :)


About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over a quarter century, and his specialty is customizing graphs and maps - adding those little extra touches that help them answer your questions at a glance. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University.


  1. It says something about the "Term" or period that it can be utilized for free. Can it be renewed? And if so, how would I go about it?

  2. Thanks, I appreciated the short guide.

    I teach biostatistics to post-graduate MD's, and we've been using R in recent years. So I'm obviously intrigued by this offering, as our public health people like SAS a lot.

    It's easy to install and configure, and I like the SAS Studio interface. For the most part, the packages you don't get in the 'learning environment' (like Enterprise or Text Miner) aren't vital in this setting, but it would be nice to have SAS Graph.

    • Robert Allison

      A few of the map-related SAS/Graph procs have been moved to Base so they're available in the Learning Edition now. Perhaps with enough customer feedback/demand, all the SAS/Graph procs could be made available there. :)

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  4. Just and FYI for anyone trying to log into SAS to access the download: logging in won't work from Chrome and I had to use Firefox instead. Googling suggests this a problem that very few people are aware of so I just want to get the word out!

  5. hi,
    I was able to install VM and SAS as described in the first two steps. However, when I tried to import SAS into VM, it kept giving me the following error:
    Result Code:
    VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)
    Please help on how to resolve this issue.

  6. Hello All

    The error VT-x is not available indicates that your laptop does not support hardware visualization.
    The SAS University Edition requires this capability.Computer with Intel Pentium core-I3 and above, (some Pentium and Celeron do support it )and most AMD processors (AMD-V) should support it.
    It should not matter if the laptop runs Linux /Windows OS/MAC.
    Incidentally all generations of Core i3 and above have this support. Make sure you have 4GB RAM
    If the machine does support hardware visualization and if the error is still present, then one needs.
    to check if it is enabled in the BIOS or not.
    My request to SAS is to release a VM with 32 bit OS in place of 64 bit OS so that users with older machines can use it.
    It being a learning edition, limited capability would not matter.

  7. Hi when I try open it I get the following Error message.

    VT-x is not available (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX).
    Result Code:
    E_FAIL (0x80004005)
    IConsole {872da645-4a9b-1727-bee2-5585105b9eed}

    Can anyone help?

    • Julie,

      The error: VT-x is not available (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX). is telling you that you need a newer laptop or computer. Or you have a new device with the BIOS/CPU setting telling virtualization at the CPU to be disabled. Find a computer savvy friend to check the setting for you. VT-x is required for any virtual machine running a 64-bit operating system.

      Hope this helps!

  8. My wife is looking to practice her SAS skills from home until either her workplace decides that SAS is in fact worth the payout now for time/money saved later or she gets another job that understands the worth of SAS.

    I understand that SAS UE runs off of a Virtual Machine that comes packaged with some distro of Linux. However, because it is running from a VM, there are some slowdowns/connection-issues and other things that can arise from using software emulation.

    My question is this: Is it possible to install SAS UE against an existing Linux box w/o the VM (as in doing all the setup even if manually via an apache server or w/e is necessary) to skip out on the need for a VM? As a laptop has enough trouble running it's own windows processes, adding a VM that can steal a-lot of memory on top of what's used to support the browser based editor, I imagine her current laptop wouldn't cut it. However, as many decent distro's of linux are freely available, I could easily re-purpose a spare machine giving her a faster SAS experience AND more experience in the Linux environment.

    Is this possible?


    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Nope - this SAS UE is only designed to run in the virtual machine.

      Once you get the VM up and running, imho it provides very good response time! :)

  9. Monali Malawade on

    I am getting below error while starting SAS UE wwith oracle virtual box 5.0:

    Failed to open a session for the virtual machine SAS-University-Edition.

    VT-x is not available. (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX).

    Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
    Component: ConsoleWrap
    Interface: IConsole {872da645-4a9b-1727-bee2-5585105b9eed}

  10. Hey, II have installed the VM Virtual Box and importet SAS. However, when I try to start SAS i get the following error message:

    VT-x is not available. (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX).

    Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
    Component: Console Wrap
    Interface: IConsole {872da645-4a9b-1727-bee2-5585105b9eed}

    I tried changing several settings but i keep getting this error message. Can anyone help? :)

  11. I have installed VM and downloaded SAS but when I am pressing the green arrow as shown above I get the error message:

    Failed to open a session for the virtual machine SAS-University-Edition

    VT-x is disabled in the bios

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    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Hmm - I haven't seen that happen before. Try shutting all the software down, and rebooting, and see if it works when you start it up again. If that doesn't work, get in touch with SAS Tech Support, and I bet they can help you!

  14. Dear all
    I have a problem when SAS start up it stops & an error massage said
    "root unexpected inconsistency run fsck manually"

    anyone has an idea how I could resolve this problem?
    Thank you.

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Hmm ... in traditional Unix, I think that usually means something like your machine shut down 'ungracefully' or you have a disk that's going bad. The 'fsck' is a unix command to do a 'file system check'. When it comes to virtualization software, I'm not sure - but I would lean towards downloading the SAS image again and re-installing it. But the best thing to do would probably be contact SAS Tech Support ... chances are, they've heard of every problem you can encounter, and already know what the fix would be! :)

      Tech Support might need to know, did it work before and then stop working? Or has it never worked for you?

  15. I am teaching an Applied Biostats Analysis class and some of my students are using the University Edition. We seem to be having a lot of problem with Proc Import though, are there fixes to that?

    I realize that we could use an infile statement, but given that there are hundreds of variables, this is not a good solution.


    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      If you can send me an example of the data, and the code you're trying to use, I'd be happy to try to help.

      But it might be even better to contact SAS Tech Support - they have a group of SAS/Access experts who know much more about that than I do! :)

  16. Hi,

    I have downloaded and installed the software. After Starting VM ware and the SAS software has started and when I give the link http://localhost:10080 in IE it says Page cannot be displayed.
    Can any one let me know if we need to do any other settings to start?

    Thank for the help!

  17. patricio fuenmayor on

    Hi, i have integrated SAS and R in some of my analysis via SAS-IML, I can do it in this version ?
    Thanks for your coments...!!!

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      I checked with our IML expert, and he says you can’t install software such as R on the Linux VM, and the SAS on the VM can’t connect to a version of R outside the VM (such as on your PC).

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  19. I am encouraging all my public health students and faculty to try the SAS Univerity Edition. You posted above that 'SAS University Edition software ... will be available to anyone, inside or outside higher education, for learning or academic research. It cannot be used for commercial purposes." Many of my students work in local health departments or non-profit agencies that can't afford a SAS licence. Can they use the SAS Unveristy Edition in these settings as well?

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Hi Marian,

      Sorry for the delay in answering this question - I had to check around to find out what the exact/official answer should be. Here is the official answer:

      "No, SAS University Edition cannot be used in that scenario. SAS University Edition is designed to provide free access to SAS products for teachers, students, adult learners and academic researchers who are using SAS for non-commercial learning purposes. SAS offers software licenses in a variety of price ranges to suit the needs of many organizations, including non-profit. Please contact Mary Rios ( to discuss your software license needs."

  20. Hi,

    Thanks for the info!

    I was able to install VM and SAS as described in the first two steps. However, when I tried to import SAS into VM, it kept giving me the following error:
    Result Code:
    VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)

    I am using ubuntu 14.04.

    Anyways, anyone has an idea how I could resolve such an issue? Thank you.

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Hmm ... evidently something in your configuration (maybe ubunto? maybe something else) has strayed from the "happy path" installation (ie, and easy/smooth installation, where everything goes as it should). I'd recommend getting in touch with SAS tech support, and see if they can help you!

  21. I started using SAS University edition big issue is that the connection between VM and the localhost keeps dropping every few minutes. You need to reset to make it work again. Needless to say it is frustrating as you loose all code etc.

    Does anyone know of a workaround?

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Hmmm ... I've left my session up for hours and never lost the connection or lost any code. It would probably be best to call SAS Tech Support and see if they can figure out what's causing the problem you're seeing!

  22. Finally a SAS free educational edition for everybody. I was however hoping to see SAS Enterprise Miner included in the free edition as it is hugely required in the job market now as a result to the Data Mining / Data Science booming.
    It would also be great if SAS can prepare and run a MOOC in statistical analysis / SAS programming employing this SAS free edition, using one of the popular MOOC delivery platforms (Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc).

  23. I try to install the Oracle VM but gives me an error and doesn't finish the installation.
    Where can I get help about this issue?

    Thank you very much

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  25. Suzanne Dorinski on states "SAS University Edition is designed for anyone wanting easy access to statistical software
    to perform quantitative analysis in an academic setting. This includes undergraduate
    and graduate students, professors, adult learners, high school students, researchers
    and postdocs."

    Why not include middle schoolers? Is there an age minimum to participate in the online community?

    Thanks to Prashant for pointing out that an internet connection isn't required once you've set this up.

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  27. Leonid Batkhan on

    I am glad to see this revival of SAS Learning Edition! However, targeting only university students might be a little too late. Because high school graduates already know (and 18 year olds know everything!) what they are going to learn and what courses to take at the university. What about high schoolers? I think that is where demand is born. If this software is offered to a wider audience than just university students than its name (or at least offering description) should reflect that. Otherwise, if high school students come across this offer, it will not click with them as something relevant to them.

  28. Prashant Chegoor on

    Robert. just 2 things i would like to add:

    1) The Software is FREE for ANYONE who wants to learn SAS ,not just Students.

    2) Once installed, the software can be used even without the INTERNET connection. So no more worries when one is moving and wants to learn SAS on his machine but has no Internet Connection.

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