SAS Download Manager in Console Mode

SAS® 9.4 M3 is now available (as discussed by Andy Ratcliffe in his recent NOTE: blog post), so I’m downloading a new SAS depot using the SAS Download Manager. I’m downloading it onto a Linux server that happens to have X11 available, but I’m choosing to use console (text) mode, rather than the default X11 windowed mode.

Using SAS Download Manager in console mode is my preferred method because I find it more flexible. Why Console mode? I know from experience that a SAS depot download is going to take a few hours and, if I run SAS Download Manager in windowed mode, I risk losing the remote X connection if there are any network disruptions between me and the server. By running SAS Download Manager in console mode, in combination with screen over an SSH session, I can easily disconnect/reconnect as required. I can disconnect (Control-A D) when I leave the office to go home, and reconnect (screen -r) when I get home to check on progress. I can also get screen to capture a log of the session in a text file (screen -L).

Of course, I could have used a Windows or Mac version of the SAS Download Manager to download onto a laptop and then upload onto the server, but that ties the laptop to a single location for the duration of the download. Plus if I’m not near the server at the time, I’d have to download and then upload nearly 50GB of SAS depot. If I’m traveling with my 4G mobile broadband connection, the server also has a much faster and much cheaper internet connection than I do! These are some of the reasons I prefer console mode.

To run SAS Download Manager in console mode Continue reading “SAS Download Manager in Console Mode”

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.

Finding SAS Depot Release Numbers

Checking the detailed release number(s) for SAS® software in a depot is one of those things I do rarely enough that I have to look it up each time I need to do it. I know it’s in the depot somewhere, but I keep forgetting exactly where. This is the main reason for this blog post :).

One of the reasons I don’t check it that often is, once I’ve downloaded a depot, I rename the depot directory so it’s very obvious which release it is (e.g. sas94ts1m0-rev940-13w30). Of course this method only works if you don’t mix orders for different releases in the same depot, which I try to avoid. I do keep multiple orders in a depot when they are for the same release. Single release depots means more disk space and bandwidth, but I find it helps me more easily find the right depot for the SAS release I need (In testing our Metacoda software we use various different versions and maintenance releases).

Documentation for how to find out the full release number(s) can be found in the following SAS documents:

There can be multiple SAS software orders in a depot, and they could each be different releases, so there may be multiple soi.html files to review.

When I look in the <sas_depot_dir>/install_doc/<order_no>/soi.html file, I can see the release number for our newly downloaded SAS 9.4 depot:

Product: SAS 9.4 64-bits TS1M0, Rev. 940_13w30

Finally, if you find yourself in a position where you have multiple orders in a SAS depot and you want to extract an order out into it’s own depot, have a look at the Create a Depot by Using the SAS Deployment Wizard section of the SAS® 9.4 Intelligence Platform: Installation and Configuration Guide (or earlier versions).

Hotfixing a SAS Depot

I’ve been doing a few SAS® platform installations lately and I noticed in the documentation some neat enhancements in SAS 9.3 M2:

  1. The SAS Download Manager, in addition to downloading a SAS software depot for your order, also downloads specially selected hotfixes for the products in that depot.
  2. The SAS Deployment Wizard will then apply those downloaded hotfixes during installations from that depot (so you don’t have to manually apply them post-deployment).
  3. The SAS Deployment Wizard also provides the ability to refresh that depot by downloading additional, more recent, hotfixes. This can be useful if the installation/deployment is being done a little while after the depot was initially downloaded.

You can find a summary of these enhancements in the What’s New in Installation and Configuration for the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform section of the SAS® 9.3 Intelligence Platform: Installation and Configuration Guide.

Here’s an example of using the SAS Deployment Wizard to refresh a depot. First step is to select the “Manage this SAS Software Depot” action: Continue reading “Hotfixing a SAS Depot”

Getting SAS Software running on CrunchBang Linux 64-bit

This is a follow-up to my prior post on Getting SAS® Software running on Arch Linux 64-bit. In my quest for a new Linux distro the next stop was CrunchBang Linux. I like the look of CrunchBang because it’s lightweight, based on Debian, and uses Openbox by default. Being Debian based, like Ubuntu, I get to re-use the knowledge I gained from using Ubuntu over the last few years (it’s hard not to automatically type apt-get whenever I want to install something!). CrunchBang is not a rolling release distro like Arch or Gentoo but it’s other attributes make it well worth a look. I’ve seen a disclaimer on the web site where they say it “… could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG!” but from everything else I’ve read it sounds pretty stable. Anyway, I like my (own) computers to go crunch bang every now and then – it’s a great opportunity to learn something new ;)

I installed the CrunchBang 11 “Waldorf” 64-bit testing image in a multi-boot configuration, alongside Arch and Ubuntu, to test it with our existing SAS deployments. These are the steps I needed to take to get the existing SAS software installation running on CrunchBang 64-bit. As with Arch, no changes were needed to the SAS deployments, it just required a few minor changes and additional libraries for the CrunchBang installation.

After CrunchBang had been installed and I’d mounted the SAS installation volume, I tried to run SAS 9.3 M2 first and got the following error: Continue reading “Getting SAS Software running on CrunchBang Linux 64-bit”