Spss Installer Not Working Mac

Spss Installer Not Working Mac

IBM’s silent installer for SPSS Statistics is a binary file that requires a Java JDK to be installed on a client before it can be run. It is bizarre that this is the case, since the SPSS Statistics application includes an embedded Java Runtime Engine (JRE) that could trivially be included in the installer by the developers, but that’s another story.

The installer is run as follows, allowing installation preferences to be pre-defined in an installer.properties file:

If the binary detects Java, the following output is generated:

Apr 28, 2021 Go to the IBM SPSS Software Page. Click on 'Download IBM SPSS'. Select the 'IBM SPSS Statistics' folder, then select 'Mac'. Select the installation file; click on 'Download' then 'Direct Download'. Tip: The download button is located in the top right of the web page. Warning: The file download time may vary based on the device. As of SPSS 27 IBM is finally shipping an Apple installer package for macOS instead of their Java based silent installer. Looking at the installer, it has a few minor issues but is for the most part sane. The package can be imported into Munki without much fuss. As in the past, activation will need to be scripted post install to. The bundle id for SPSS for Mac is com.ibm.SPSS.Statistics. SPSS for Mac is sometimes distributed under different names, such as 'SPSS Installer', 'SPSS16', 'SPSS 11'. Our built-in antivirus scanned this Mac download and rated it as 100% safe. The most popular versions of the application are 22.0, 21.0 and 20.0. This Mac app is a product of IBM.

No “completed” message is outputted, but the installation proceeds successfully.

SPSS Statistics 25 and OpenJDK 11 - all good


I previously reported about the changes to Oracle’s Java licensing that prevent use of Java SE 8 except for personal and development use. AS per the new license FAQs:


If you are using Java on a desktop or laptop computer as part of any business operations, that is not personal use.

This has led many to migrate to various versions of OpenJDK.

At the time, I tested the SPSS Statistics silent installer (version 25) with the current AdoptOpenJDK 11. It worked. Sigh of relief.

SPSS Statistics 26 and OpenJDK 11 - nope

Shortly afterwards we received version 26 of SPSS Statistics from our suppliers. We ran the AutoPkg recipe, a package was generated and uploaded to our Jamf Pro server, and I ran the installer from Self Service.

Nothing got installed. Hmm.

So I ran the supplied SPSS_Statistics_Installer.bin manually from the command line:

Huh? The same version of Java is still installed on the device. Let’s check:

Spss installer not working macbook

The installer binary is failing to detect that Java is present, but since there is a Java installed, we don’t get the popup prompt from macOS telling us that there’s no Java.

I removed OpenJDK 11. This time, we got the expected popup prompt when running the SPSS installer, as well as the identical error message:

(interestingly, the “More info…” button still directs you to the official Java download page, which contains a link to the version of Java you are most likely not licensed to install…)

Seems pretty clear that the SPSS 26 installer ignores any new JDK. Weird since the previous version did, but perhaps they inadvertently introduced a hard-coded version check?

SPSS Statistics 26 and OpenJDK 8 - we are good again

I decide to add AdoptOpenJDK 8 to our Jamf Pro servers and install it from Self Service:

Trying the SPSS installer again:

Iphone Installer Not Working

Bingo! So, I just need to make sure a JDK 8 is on the device before running the installer.

SPSS Statistics 26 with OpenJDK 8 and 11 concurrently installed - no go!

Sadly it’s not that simple. What if OpenJDK 11 is already on the device and I install OpenJDK 8 to facilitate the installation of SPSS? Sadly, SPSS will fail to find that Java 8 is installed - I suspect it is using the environment variable JAVA_HOME, which defaults to the newest version.

Please make it work!

To ensure that SPSS Statistics 26 can get installed, you have to do one of the following:

  1. Check for and delete any newer JDK, or move its folder away from /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines.
  2. Manually change the JAVA_HOME environment variable, e.g.

Either of these methods will ensure that SPSS Statistics 26 will install on the client.


It is non-trivial engineering work to build a safe workflow that detects and move/removes any Java JDK newer than version 8 from the device, installs version 8, runs the SPSS silent installer, and then removes Java 8 and replaces the Java that was previously in place on the client.

I have reached out to IBM Analytics Support regarding the issue, and they stated that this is a known issue, and the workaround is to install Oracle Java SE 8 (212) when running the installer, until a fix is released. I pointed out that we are no longer licensed to use Oracle Java 8 SE 212, and that the installation will regardless fail if a newer Java version is already installed on the client. The case is being updated as a result - hopefully a fix will be quickly forthcoming.

If any software developers are reading this, please try to ensure that your software installer does not have dependencies. If they absolutely must, it is your responsibility to stay up to date with the releases of those dependencies and ensure that your products are compatible.

This post will detail how to activate your SPSS software if you are unable to open the SPSS License Authorization Wizard. This will require the use of the command prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac). It is recommended that you are relatively experienced with computers and using command lines. You can also visit the IBM SPSS Student Support Portal for help.

IBM SPSS Activation Problem

Some users are unable to open their SPSS License Authorization Wizard. This problem can manifest in two ways that I am aware of. One way it manifests is that the wizard opens, but the window is too large for the screen and you cannot click on any buttons. Another way it manifests is that the wizard simply does not open, which makes it impossible to activate the software.

How to Fix your IBM SPSS License Authorization Wizard

If you are experiencing the problem where the wizard is too large on your screen and you cannot click on the buttons, follow the procedure outlined here before you do anything else. Typically, following that procedure will solve the issue of the window being too large.

If your license wizard is not opening at all, you will need to activate your software using the command line. This process works for both SPSS Statistics and SPSS Amos. Follow the below instructions to do this.

For Windows:

  1. Go to your start menu and type “cmd”. You should see a “Command Prompt” application show up in the start menu, as seen here:

    Right-click on the “Command Prompt” app and choose “Run as Administrator”.
    You MUST run this program as an administrator to accomplish what we need to.
  1. Once the command prompt is open, type the following:
    For Statistics, type cd Program FilesIBMSPSSStatistics24
    For Amos, type cd Program Files (x86)IBMSPSSAmos24
    It is possible you have Statistics installed to the x86 folder. If you cannot open the above directory, then type this command instead:
    Cd Program Files (x86)IBMSPSSStatistics24NOTE: the “24” in the file path is the version of statistics that you have installed. If you have version 23 installed, you would want to replace the “24” with a “23”.

Spss Installer Not Working Mac 10

  1. Press Enter.
  2. Now you need to type licenseactivator.exe <authorization code>
    <authorization code> is where you would put in your 20-character authorization code for your software. Here’s an example with a fake authorization code: licenseactivator.exe 1234567890abcdefghijStatistics
  1. Press Enter.
  2. You should receive a message that says
    Authorization in Progress…(LICENSEKEY)
    Authorization succeeded
  1. Now your software should be activated and usable.

For Mac OS X

Note that I do not have a Mac available to me so I cannot take screenshots of this process, but if you follow these instructions then you should be fine.

  1. Click on the “Go” menu and open “Utilities”.
  2. Inside the utilities folder, you will need to scroll down and find the “Terminal” application. Double-click on the Terminal application to open it.
  3. Once terminal is open, type cd /Applications/IBM/SPSS/Statistics/24/SPSSStatistics.app/Contents/binNote: if you have a different version of Statistics that is not version 24, then replace the 24 in the above command with the version number you own.
    Note: Amos is not compatible with Mac so you cannot run the licenseactivator for Amos through terminal.
  1. Press Enter
  2. Now type sudo ./licenseactivator <authorization code><authorization code> is where you would put in your 20-character authorization code for your software. Here’s an example with a fake authorization code: sudo ./licenseactivator 1234567890abcdefghijNote: if they above command doesn’t work for some reason, try removing the “sudo” part of the command so the command reads ./licenseactivator <authorization code>.
  1. Press Enter
  2. You should receive a message that says
    Authorization in Progress…(LICENSEKEY)
    Authorization succeeded
  1. Your software should be activated and ready to use.


Spss Installer Not Working Mac Os

If you follow the above rules, then your software should be activated and ready to be used. It is entirely possible that the above-mentioned solutions might not work. If you continue to have issues with your activation and you purchased your product through Studica, then you can contact us at [email protected] and we will do our best to help resolve your issue.

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Blogger: Mark Philipp, Application Engineer at Studica