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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SAS Unix Process ID

Today a friend called and wanted to know if there was an easy way to use the Unix Process ID as part of the name of the log file when invoking SAS in batch mode. She wanted to make (semi-)unique log files. She is concerned about uniqueness enough to not want to immediatly overwrite another log file, but not so much that she's worried about possible collisions when the system recycles a process ID.

Well, it just so happens the script variable $$ contains the process ID of that script. So you can use that when constructing your log file name. Such as:

nohup /home/sas -log "/tmp/mySAScode_$$.log" &

In the above, nohup tells unix to keep the process alive even after we've closed down our terminal and logged off.
/home/sas is the sas executable (or the script that executes SAS).

An example of the log file created by this command would be /tmp/mySAScode_1298656.log

If you wanted to get the process ID that SAS was started with you can use the automatic macro variable &SYSJOBID within SAS.

If you wanted to learn some more about running SAS on Unix you could also bounce over to It has some very good tips.