Running SPSS Jobs on Linux

SPSS for Linux does not include a graphical user interface like the Windows version, but has all the same capabilities. In fact the requirement to write your programs as syntax files can be considered an advantage of the Linux version, as it encourages working in a systematic and reproducible way.

Full documentation of SPSS for Linux has been made available on our web server. If you are in the SSCC's domain (basically the Social Science building) you will be able to access it automatically. If you need to access it remotely, contact the Help Desk to get the user name and password. This article will just tell you how to run an SPSS program you've written.

Running SPSS Jobs

The syntax for running an SPSS job is:

> spssb -f program.sps -out program.log

where program is the name of your SPSS syntax file. The "b" in spssb is for batch mode. Note that the file extensions (the three characters after the dot) don't matter. It's good idea to be consistent, but if you'd like all your log files to end in .txt for example (so Windows recognizes them as text files) that's just fine.

Note that all the usual job management tools work just fine with SPSS jobs, such as putting them in the background, terminating them, etc. See Managing Jobs on Linstat for more information.

Last Revised: 5/29/2008