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SPSS - Windows, Mac, and Linux


VCU Technology Services has a site license agreement with IBM, Inc., which allows currently enrolled/employed VCU students, faculty, and staff to use several popular SPSS products for Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux at no cost.

 Conditions of license

Please visit Conditions Of License

 Products supported

Please visit SPSS Product Availability

System requirements

SPSS Statistics 23:

SPSS Statistics 22:

SPSS Statistics 21:

Obtain SPSS installation files & instructions

Fix Packs (updates)

As with all software, SPSS will usually contain a few "bugs" (problems) that were not known when the software was first released.  As these problems are identified over time, IBM will release free updates, known as Fix Packs, that you can install to correct these problems.  In versions prior to SPSS 19, Fix Packs were known as patches.  Links are shown below for the Fix Packs that are currently available, as of this writing.

In general, you should install any Fix Packs that become available for your version of SPSS.  They are identified by number, for example Fix Pack Those beginning with 23 are for version 23 of SPSS, those beginning with 22 are for version 22, etc.  Only apply a Fix Pack if it is for the particular version of SPSS which you have installed.

To determine if you need a particular Fix Pack, launch SPSS on your computer and display the Help menu, then select About.  In the window that opens, you should see a release number.  For example, for SPSS 23 you may see Release  If a Fix Pack is available for your version of SPSS, and it has a number (such as that is higher than your displayed release number, then you should apply that Fix Pack.

Instructions for obtaining (at no charge) and applying available Fix Packs are found at the links below. 

Renew/Register your SPSS software

(please visit Renew/Register Your SPSS Software)

SPSS on App2Go Server

(please visit SPSS On App2Go Server)

Support for SPSS

For local assistance with installing or using SPSS, please contact the Technology Services helpIT Center.

The VCU Statistical Sciences & Operations Research Department provides statistical and programming consultation for using this product. 
To request a statistical consultation appointment.

SPSS manuals and training

(please visit SPSS Manuals and Training)

Using R within SPSS

You can run R programs within SPSS to analyze the data files that you have opened in SPSS.  R is a free software environment for statistical computing, graphics, and other applications.

To be able to run R programs within SPSS, you must first install the IBM SPSS Statistics - Essentials for R package.  This package and installation instructions are available (free) at the following download links:

Installation notes:

  • You must install R before you install the SPSS Essentials For R package.  And, it must be the correct version of R for your version of SPSS.
  • Read the Essentials For R installation instructions (found at the links above) to see which version of R is recommended for your version of SPSS.  Download and install that version of R (the instructions will tell you where it may be downloaded).
  • After R has been installed, install the Essentials For R package.  The installer may fail if R is not already installed.

To use R within SPSS, open an SPSS syntax window (from the SPSS menus, select File / New / Syntax).  Then type and run your R commands sandwiched between the "BEGIN PROGRAM R." and "END PROGRAM." commands (note the "." period at the end of those two commands).  Here is a simple example:


2 + 5

cat("\t\tHello, world.\n")


If desired, you can save the contents of the Syntax window to a file (from the Syntax window menus, select File / Save), so that you can re-use your program commands in the future by re-opening that file (from the menus of any SPSS window, select File / Open / Syntax).

Your R commands can read/write data from/to an SPSS data file.  Here are related articles of interest:

Compatibility between Windows, Mac, and Linux

For any given version of SPSS Statistics (e.g., for SPSS Statistics 23), SPSS Statistics data, output, and syntax files are compatible between all supported computer platforms, including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.  For example, an SPSS Statistics data file created in Windows SPSS may be opened in Mac SPSS.

Compatibility and differences between versions

New Features:

Here is a What's New list of the new features that were added in IBM SPSS Statistics 23 and in previous versions.

SPSS File Compatibility:

For information about file compatibility between versions (e.g., can an SPSS data file created in SPSS 23 be opened in SPSS 22), please see Compatibility of SPSS Files.  Note that the Legacy Viewer for Windows that is mentioned in that discussion is available here:  Legacy Viewer for Windows

Installing and running multiple versions

You can install different versions of SPSS on the same computer, as long as each version is installed in a separate folder.

Although you can simultaneously run different versions of SPSS (e.g., SPSS 22 and SPSS 23) on the same computer, it is not recommended, since only one version will be considered primary.

You can also simultaneously run multiple sessions of the same version of SPSS.  However, there is really no need to do so, since you may open multiple data files in separate Data Editor windows, all within a single SPSS session.

 Sign up for the SPSS Listserv (mailing list)

Listserv subscribers receive notifications of SPSS upgrades and maintenance fixes, training opportunities, and other related news.  There is a separate listserv for each platform.  If you obtained SPSS directly from Technology Services (via disk exchange or download), you should have been automatically subscribed to the listserv for your platform.

To manually subscribe to the SPSS ListServ, click one of the links below -- only provide your VCU email address (requests from non-VCU addresses will not be honored):

This article was updated: 02/3/2016

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