Research Computing >> Software >> S-Plus




S-Plus version 6 is currently installed Kellogg's UNIX server, Skew3. The license allows up to three concurrent users. S-Plus is also available in the SSCC cluster.


S-Plus is a programming environment for data analysis. Highlights of S-Plus are its graphic capabilities, its orientation to exploratory data analysis and data mining, and the inclusion of many non parametric statistical methods. The main disadvantage of S-Plus is the steep learning curve to learn the programming language. S-Plus is based on the S language, developed at Bell Laboratories by statistician John M. Chambers.

Vendor information

Insightful Corporation
1700 Westlake Ave N, #500
Seattle, WA 98109-9891
Tel: 206-283-8802 (Support: extension 235)


In order to get support from MathSoft, users must have the S-Plus version number and the corresponding serial number. To obtain this information:

  • Version number: S-Plus shows the version number each time it starts. Within an S-Plus session, the version number can be obtained by issuing the "version" command.
  • Serial number: From the Unix prompt, issue the "splus SERIAL" command.

MathSoft's technical support can be reached by e-mail at, calling (206) 283-8802, extension 235 or by submitting an online form to request technical support.

Running S-Plus

S-Plus is an object oriented programming language. The first time a user launches S-Plus, it will create a directory called "MySwork" in the user's home directory. Within the "MySwork" directory, S-Plus stores its objects in a sub-directory called ".Data".

To ... The command is
Start an interactive S-Plus session splus
End an S-Plus session q()
Run S-Plus in graphic mode under UNIX splus -g &
Run S-Plus in batch mode splus BATCH input outputfile
To open a graph window (X Windows session) motif()
To send a graph to a postscript file postscript("")
To close the postscript device

Alternatively, quit S-Plus

Examples and solutions

Examples of S-Plus code can be found in the different tutorials referenced in the links section below. In addition, there are S-Plus examples in the following locations:

Manuals available at Research Computing

Note: The S-Plus manuals are online, in Acrobat PDF format.

Hard copies:

  • Chambers, John M. (1998). Programming with Data. A Guide to the S Language. Lucent Technologies.
  • Getting Started with S-Plus 5.1 (May 1999)
  • Guide to Statistics (Sep. 1998)
  • Installation and Maintenance Guide (May 1999)
  • User's Guide (Sep. 1998)

Useful links

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