When I started working with ABAP, I was lucky enough that my previous company provided me with two weeks training. That way, I could learn everything that I needed to be able to start my SAP adventure. However, when I got home, I always felt that I needed something to sharpen my newly acquired tools. However, I couldn’t.
Several years later, ABAP 7.4 and 7.5 came along and I was really excited about its new functionalities. I went to work, loaded up a development system and started experimenting. Compilation/Syntax error! At that point, I was ignorant of the syntaxes/requirements needed to be able to write the new lines of code I had just now read about.
That was a moment that took me back to that first year as an SAP ABAP novice. I needed to have something, somewhere, in which I could practice the new skills required for my work. If only I could install SAP on my home computer…
Enter miniSAP!!! MiniSAP is a BASIS SAP system, without the business modules (no FI, no CO, no nothing, so my apologies to everyone that thought we could make mini purchase orders or mini invoices), allowing us to practice ABAP or BASIS administration from our own personal computer.
So, hopefully, after you finish this article you would be one of the proud owners of an SAP installation with which you can play around with. It had been handy for the novice Sérgio and I hope it will be handy for anyone trying to learn ABAP or for anyone trying to get up-to-date with its new functionalities
You already have SAP System? Write your first HANA ABAP Program.
A computer with Windows, Linux or MacOS, 64-bit version required!
We will use a Virtual Machine on our computers, like VirtualBox or VMWare. In this tutorial, we will go with Oracle’s VirtualBox.
So, it is for the best to have at least 6 GB of RAM (recommended, not necessary) that we can spare.
For the VM image, we’ll need around 100 GB of hard disk space. If you have an SSD, go for it, you’ll thank yourself later.
Since you’re reading this on SAPYard, I believe you have an internet connection. 🙂 The downloaded files are quite large, so it helps to have a decent internet speed.
Patience. Some of the steps listed here require a considerable amount of time to get through. If you don’t have patience, I suggest a six pack of beer and a recording of one your most memorable Football (or Usian Bolt’s sprints or Cricket or American Football :D) matches playing on TV to help you spend the time.
What is not required is to have a knowledge of Linux based systems, although it can help, since we’re installing a Linux image.
So, let’s get started!
Getting the SAP files
Save this page for later, because you’ll need to access it from time to time to renew your license.
Disclaimer: The Reddit user ndboost generously provided us with a mirror to download the SAP files. If you have trouble downloading from the official page, you can find the mirror here. He has told me that he doesn’t plan to delete them. However, if they aren’t there anymore, blame me for nagging him and asking for these files and not him. Thank you ndboost!
Once you’re on the official page, click on Trials and Downloads.
You’ll see a list of SAP products to download. In our case, we want to download SAP Netweaver AS ABAP 7.x Developer Edition. At the time of writing this tutorial, the version is 7.5 SP2:
By clicking on Download, we have our first scary prospect. 🙂
Put all these files to download and we’ll get back to them as soon as it is finished.
Remember, as I’ve mentioned before, you may download the files from a mirror site kindly provided by the Reddit user ndboost, here. In my case, it was faster, but your mileage may vary. Thanks again, ndboost!
In the meantime…
Installing Linux in VirtualBox
Go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and download the version corresponding to your operating system.
In my case, I’ll download the Windows version of VirtualBox.
To install VirtualBox you just click on the installation file and we’ll be just like that aunt everyone has that constantly installs malware on her computer by clicking Next all the way to the end. 😀 You’ll be safe this time, I promise. You may want to uncheck the boxes to create Desktop icons and such, but if you just click Next all the way to end, you’ll be fine. This procedure is the same either you have a macOS machine or a Linux powered one.
When we have VirtualBox up and running, we are greeted with a screen similar to this.
Ignore the virtual machines already installed on my computer. I will start one from scratch alongside you.
We need to have an operating system to run SAP on VirtualBox and my personal preference is Linux Mint. Ubuntu is more generally known so if you want to install Ubuntu, go ahead. Just read the rest of my article with a scornful tone of voice, instead of a happy one. :O
To install Linux Mint, go to https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php and select your favourite flavour. It doesn’t matter which one, although I recommend either Cinnamon or Mate. I use Cinnamon on my personal computer as a full fledged OS, but to use in a VM I’ll go with Mate since it’s lighter on resources. Choose 64-bit, it is required for the SAP installation:
Next, choose the country from which you want to download from (usually yours or the one closest to you) and we’re off.
Now that we have Linux’s image file, we can start the installation. For that, in VirtualBox, click on New.
On the following screen, choose a name for your system. I’ll call it Linux4SAP. Make sure that the Type is Linux and that the Version is the 64-bit version.
Clicking Next brings us to a screen where we will have to select the RAM size that will be used by our system. This option depends on how much we have available on our own system. My computer has 16GB of RAM, so I have enough to spare. I think we can run well enough with just 4GB of RAM, but I prefer to go a bit higher than that. Let’s go with 6GB.
You can drag the slider or just write 6000 on the box. Yes, I know 6GB is actually 6144MB, but let’s play along. 🙂
Click Next and choose Create a virtual hard disk now, and click Create.
On the next screen choose Expert Mode:
You can just copy my settings from the next screen. Notice that while we are selecting 100GB of space, the dynamically allocated option means that this is the amount of hard disk space that the virtual machine may occupy, not the amount that it will. According to your needs, it can grow in size, but only up to 100GB.
Be sure to use VHD and Dynamically allocated.
Next, we click on the icon in the File location, to choose where the virtual machine files will reside on our computer:
You can use an external hard drive, to avoid cluttering the hard drive on your computer. Since I’ve been a bit of a megalomaniac (mean: a person who is obsessed with their own power) while building my own computer, I have three internal hard drives, one of which is being used to store SAP exclusively:
Click Save, and finally click Create:
We are brought to the following screen, detailing the several components of our virtual machine.
We are almost good to go, but first, let us change some Settings:
In Network, choose Bridged Adapter.
And choose your network card from the drop-down menu. This will allow us to be connected to the internet while we’re running our virtual machine later.
Also, go to Shared Folders and press the Plus button:
In Folder Path choose Other…
… and create a new folder in the same folder you’ve located your Linux image in VirtualBox earlier.
It is not really necessary to be in this exact folder, but I like to have things organized this way. Anything you place in this folder will be seen both from your computer and from inside the virtual machine, which makes it handy to be able to copy files from one system to the other. Now press Select Folder and tick Auto-mount on the options shown below. This way, every time your virtual machine starts, this folder is automatically mounted on it, allowing us to access it.
Click OK twice and we’re back to VirtualBox’s main screen. Here we will now Start the virtual machine.
After a while (sometimes it takes a minute, so take another sip of that beer), the following screen shows up and you’ll click on the folder icon.
You’ll select the ISO file that you downloaded from the Linux website earlier, and click Open.
… and let it run for a bit.
After a while, we have something like this.
First I want to talk to you about the first message on top. What it means is that every time you have VirtualBox on focus, it will capture the keyboard inputs that you give. That is if you are on Windows and you run VirtualBox and suddenly you want to ALT+TAB out of it… good luck, because you’ll be ALT+TABing on Linux. Try it out, see how frustrating it can get. But there’s a way out of this. 😛
By clicking the key indicated on the bottom right corner (in my case it’s the CTRL DIREITO – for non-Portuguese speakers, that is the right CTRL key). By pressing it once (no need to hold it), I can ALT+TAB out of VirtualBox. Of course, you can click with your mouse anywhere outside the VirtualBox window to achieve the same thing, but where’s the fun in using the mouse? It’s one less hand to hold your beer bottle with. 😀
But enough of that. Let’s install Linux! Wait! Isn’t it installed already? No… Sorry. This is just a live image, a Linux image that we can play with for testing. To properly install Linux, just click on the Install Linux Mint icon that is on the desktop.
Let’s skip through most of these screens. First, select your preferred language.
Click on Install third-party software for graphics, etc.
If you’re installing with Ubuntu, select also the Download updates while installing Ubuntu. Although why would you install Ubuntu instead of Mint? Mint is so pretty… 🙂
Then choose Erase disk and install Linux Mint and press Install Now.
Choose your time zone and click Continue:
Choose your keyboard and press Continue. If you are not so sure about your keyboard layout, then press Detect Keyboard Layout. It will ask you some questions and it will make the decision for you.
And finally, fill the next form to choose a username and password.
ATTENTION: We are going to be using the same password for this system and the SAP installation. For the SAP installation, the password needs to meet the following requirements – at least 7 characters, with at least a capital letter, small letters, digits and no other characters. We’re going to go here with Abap2017.
ATTENTION-2: In the Computer name field we really must put the following – vhcalnplci – and nothing else would work. What I’ve read is that somewhere in the miniSAP instance there are some hard-coded values referring to this computer name and as such, nothing else would work.
The rest can be up to your preference:
I also chose Log in automatically because I am quite confident on my home network and I think it’s a nag to enter my username and password when entering the system.
Press Continue and you can pop open the other beer that you left in the fridge and wait for the Linux installation to finish – this is where the HDD owners have an advantage over the SSD owners, you have more excuses to drink your beer. 😛
When it is finished, click Restart Now:
We’ll open the next screen and just press ENTER:
And here you go. Linux is installed:
Since this post is getting quite big, let’s make a break here and continue on Part 2.
To relax your tired self, Lazy Vs Smart ABAPers.
The complete parts of this article can be accessed on the following links (all the parts would be LIVE soon):