Record, Rewind, Replay


Sometimes you find yourself wanting to repeat a SAS® software installation or deployment with the same, or slightly different, options. Perhaps you want to start an installation again after realizing that you chose a wrong option the first time around. Maybe you want to test out a slightly different configuration. It might be that you are planning on doing multiple client installs, choosing exactly the same settings each time, and want to automate the process. For all of these reasons, you might be interested in the SAS Deployment Wizard’s ability to record an installation and replay it later. You might make the replay automatic and silent so there is no interaction, or you might just want to use the smart defaults from an old installation and make a few minor changes here and there.

It’s such a handy feature, that you might even decide to always record your installs, just in case you need them later.

For more information, have a look at the following SAS documents:

I’ve listed the SAS 9.4 documents above, but there’s equivalent documentation available for the earlier SAS releases too.

Here are a few examples:

1. Record a manual install/deploy:

/sasdepot/sas94ts1m0-rev940-13w30/ -record -deploy -responsefile /opt/sas94m0/sasdw-response.txt

If the response file already exists it appears to be overwritten without reading the contents. I haven’t yet found a way to get the SAS Deployment Wizard to read an existing response file, make changes and save an updated or new response file. If someone knows how to do this please let me know.

2. Interactively replay a previously recorded install/deploy, picking up defaults from the response file, and allowing changes to be made along the way (these changes are not saved in the response file however):

/sasdepot/sas94ts1m0-rev940-13w30/ -responsefile /opt/sas94m0/sasdw-response.txt

3. Quietly and non-interactively replay a previously recorded response file for automated install/deploy:

/sasdepot/sas94ts1m0-rev940-13w30/ -quiet -responsefile /opt/sas94m0/sasdw-response.txt

The SAS Deployment Wizard has several other options and modes that you might find useful, so check the documentation for more info.

If you have any extra tips for using response files with the SAS Deployment Wizard, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

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  1. ronan
    Posted 1 August 2013 at 20:20 | Permalink

    Hi Paul,

    There is a middle way between full interactive replay (your example no.2) and the full command-line one (no.3), namely the “-partialprompt” mode.
    It only displays key questions and shows the operator the execution report eventually which I have found to be very helpful.

    In the case of SAS Unix, this prevents bypassing the setUID root script at the Foundation level and is less cumbersome than the full interactive replay in my opinion.

    When the quiet mode is invoked, the SDW.log file might be useful :


  2. Paul Homes
    Posted 1 August 2013 at 21:20 | Permalink

    Thanks for those tips Ronan.

  3. Fred Janssen
    Posted 2 August 2013 at 00:18 | Permalink

    Great article Paul – and timely. We just stood up three new, identical environments this month. In the first environment we recorded our responses. For the two installations and configurations that followed all we had to do is search and replace hostnames and multicast IP addresses. The response files also serve as another source of documentation about the configuration of an environment.

  4. Paul Homes
    Posted 2 August 2013 at 05:50 | Permalink

    Thanks Fred, those are good points. I particularly like the idea of copying the response file to help ensure consistent additional deployments (like dev,test,prod).

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