SORTSIZE System Option: UNIX

Specifies the amount of memory available to the SORT procedure.
Valid in: configuration file, SAS invocation, OPTIONS statement, SAS System Options window, SASV9_OPTIONS environment variable
Categories: Sort: Procedure options

System administration: Memory



Default: depends on your operating environment
UNIX specifics: value of MAX
See: SORTSIZE= System Option in SAS System Options: Reference


–SORTSIZE n | nK | nM | nG | hexX | MIN | MAX
SORTSIZE=n | nK | nM | nG | hexX | MIN | MAX

Required Arguments

n | nK | nM | nG
specifies the number of bytes in multiples of 1 (bytes); 1,024 (kilobytes); 1,048,576 (megabytes); or 1,073,741,824 (gigabytes). You can specify decimal values for the number of kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes. For example, a value of 8 specifies 8 bytes, a value of .782k specifies 801 bytes, and a value of 3m specifies 3,145,728 bytes.
specifies the amount of memory as a hexadecimal value. You must specify the value beginning with a number (0–9), followed by hexadecimal characters (0–9, A–F), and then followed by an X. For example, the value 2dx sets the amount of memory to 45 bytes.
specifies 0 bytes, which indicates that there is no limit except the limitation specified by the MEMSIZE system option.
specifies the maximum addressable memory for the operating environment.


The SORT procedure uses the SORTSIZE system option to limit the amount of memory that it acquires or allocates for sorting. The amount of memory that SAS uses for the SORT procedure also depends on the values of the MEMSIZE and REALMEMSIZE system options. By contrast with the SORTSIZE option, the MEMSIZE system option places a limit on the total amount of virtual memory that SAS dynamically allocates at any time. This virtual memory is supported by a combination of real memory and paging space. The operating environment begins paging when the amount of virtual memory that is required exceeds the real memory that is available. To prevent paging and the associated performance problems, the SORTSIZE system option should be set to a subset of real memory. You can set SORTSIZE to MAX if MEMSIZE is set to a subset of real memory. In most cases, you can set SORTSIZE=MAX because this value will limit the amount of memory that is used by the SORT procedure.

See Also

System Options: