SAS FULLSTIMER—turn it on!


SAS FULLSTIMER is a SAS system option that takes operating system information that is being collected by SAS process runs and writes that information to the SAS log. Using it can add up to 10 lines additional lines to your SAS log for each SAS step in your SAS log—so why would I recommend turning it on?

This additional information includes memory utilization, date/time stamp for when each step finished, context switch information, along with some other operating-specific information regarding the SAS step that just finished.  Why would you need this much information?

This data is very useful in helping your SAS administrator and SAS support personnel determine why a SAS process may be running slower than expected. Having this information collected every time a SAS job is run means that data can be used to help determine which SAS step ran slower and at what time and under what circumstances.

Since the IT staff for most organizations are collecting hardware monitor data on daily basis, they can then use the information from the SAS log to pinpoint what time of day the performance issue occurred, on what system and using what file systems.

Again, this is just one way SAS users can be proactive in trying to solve any future performance issues. And all you need to do is add –FULLSTIMER to your SAS configuration file or to the SAS command line that you use to invoke SAS.

If you have any questions on the above, please let us know.  Here are additional resources if you want to learn more about SAS FULLSTIMER and its use:

SAS timer - the key to writing efficient SAS code

Improving performance: Determine the cause

Tune your SAS system for max performance

Troubleshoot Your Performance Issues: SAS® Technical Support Shows You How

Increasing IT’s awareness of SAS: A few good practices


About Author

Margaret Crevar

Manager, SAS R&D Performance Lab

Margaret Crevar has worked at SAS since May 1982. She has held a variety of positions since then, working in sales, marketing and now research and development. In her current role, Crevar manages the SAS Performance Lab in R&D. This lab has two roles: testing future SAS releases while they're still in development to make sure they're performing as expected; and helping SAS customers who are experiencing performance issues overcome their challenges.


  1. Thanks for recommending this. But how can I use this option? I tried the option- system but could not even find this option. Please add the basic information in this post.

  2. Kalyan Chebiyyam on

    We can separate all these metrics obtained by options FULLSTIMER and save in a sas dataset using the following macros

    1. %LOGPARSE
    2. %PASSINFO

    you can store this results in a sas dataset and generate reports out of this.

    This is useful especially when you have migrated your jobs from one platform to other and when you need obtain metrics for parallel run.

  3. This is a great command but what would be nice is to be able to put this into a seperate file of choice so as not to muddy the water for what the .log file is truly used for.
    Just an opinion and food for thought.

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