Alternatives to Installing SAS

If you don’t have a Windows computer or can’t install SAS on Windows, there are a few alternatives that may work for your purposes if you only need basic SAS functions. Mac users may find SAS OnDemand for Academics easier, however it may lack certain functionality of the full SAS suite.

SAS OnDemand for Academics

SAS OnDemand for Academics is a web-based version of SAS Studio, a trimmed down version of the full SAS suite that can run basic SAS code and some other products.

To start using it right away, click this link to go to the Quick Start Guide, courtesy of SAS. It has basic instructions to get you signed-up and writing SAS code in a short amount of time.

For more detailed information about using it, including videos walkthroughs and how to import datasets, click here to visit the SAS OnDemand for Academics Support Portal. When using these guides, follow the steps directed towards Independent Learners.

Once you have an account setup, this is the link for the login portal.

If you have difficulty logging-in or signing up for SAS OnDemand, call SAS Support at 1-800-727-0025.

SAS University Edition

SAS University Edition is free software that can be used for teaching and learning statistics and quantitative methods. This version is designed to allow the user to access SAS software while being offline. In addition to this option providing access to the fully functional software, users will also gain access to free introductory courses, online videos, The SAS Analytics U community, and curriculum development materials for professors at no cost.
(Supported SAS methods: Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/IML, SAS Studio, SAS/ACCESS, and SAS/ETS)

To get started with SAS University Edition use their quick start guide found here,click this link to go to the Quick Start Guide. It provides instruction on how to set up SAS University Edition on your machine using latest release of Oracle VirtualBox.

If you are looking for more information about SAS University Edition you can check out their fact sheet here, click this link to go to the fact sheet.

Linux Virtual Lab

Research Computing at the Charles River Campus provides a general purpose Linux server environment called the Linux Virtual Lab which includes SAS for Linux. At that link, it explains how you can request access by emailing and then provides steps to connect from a Windows or Mac computer. Mac users need to configure X11 in order to connect. Mac users who are familiar with Linux environments may find this easier to configure than the SAS Virtual Machine.


  • Alumni Medical Library, 72 East Concord Street 11th and 12th floor has computer labs with SAS installed.
  • The BU Common computer lab at Mugar Memorial Library, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, has workstations with SAS.