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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Long story short: SAP HANA, express edition 2.0 SPS 05 has been made available for download as of June, 30 2021.

You can run the express edition inside a virtual machine or download the binaries for installation, either on your own computer (provided enough resources are available) or on a cloud-hosted VM.

The express edition comes with support from the SAP Community which unfortunately tends to duplicate and scatter a bit with some nuggets even spilling into Stack Overflow. Hence, in a modest effort to provide an anchorpoint for the FAQ's, tips, hacks, and other information, here is a blog post about the latest SPS05 edition.

The SAP HANA, express edition is the perfect companion to get certified on the SAP HANA platform. For the ins and outs, see

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Hands On 

Cloud versus Express

SAP HANA, express edition first appeared with the SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12 release in 2016 with a free license for development purposes. Since, the focus of SAP development changed to cloud-first in 2018 with the SAP HANA service followed by SAP HANA Cloud in 2020 with updates every quarter. As a consequence, should you be interested in the latest features and functionality for SAP HANA, we suggest to consider the cloud edition.

For the platform edition on-premises, the release cycle switched to a slower cadence with the SPS 05 release going back to June 2020 and with SPS 06 planned for December 2021.

A little later but just in time for the end of mainstream maintenance support of the SPS 04 and all previous releases, we can now welcome the express edition for SPS 05.

Unlike the cloud edition, where you are up and running in a few clicks, working with the express edition requires a bit more effort and skill. First we need to to download the software, which requires a download manager, which requires a Java runtime (we cover a few of the first hurdles below). Next, you either need to install the software (advanced) or run it as virtual machine and here again, you may need to tweak and fiddle with configuration settings to get the virtual networking working and be able to connect with a client running on your host computer. Next, we may wish to make changes to the SUSE Linux operating system (for example to receive support pack updates) or the SAP HANA database (for example to update certificates). For those less familiar with a command line interface and tools like yast and vi, hdbsql, editing /etc/hosts files, and similar activities, you may find working with SAP HANA, express edition a bit challenging at times. Again, for ease of use and the latest functionality, consider SAP HANA Cloud. For those that enjoy tinkering, please proceed.

To download the (download manager for the) express edition, you visit the SAP Store first for window shopping and promotion material

Alternatively, proceed directly to the sign-up page

To download the HANA tools Eclipse plugin a.k.a. SAP HANA studio, go to

Learn More

For the latest blog posts and Q&A on the topic, follow the SAP HANA, express edition tag

For the latest tutorials, visit the SAP Developer Center

SAP HANA Academy YouTube Tutorials

Although the latest tutorial was recorded in 2018, you may still find some questions answered by the videos on the playlist

Getting Started

Download Manager

On macOS, when you double-click the downloaded JAR file, you will get a warning that the file cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. One workaround is to open the file while holding the control key and answer the are-you-sure question affirmatively.

Next, the file may not execute because a Java Runtime could not be found. Again, multiple solutions, one of which is to download the SapMachine JDK. For macOS, as documented, run command
brew install sapmachine-jdk

For the other operating systems and fine print, visit

Start the download manager with the java command.
java -jar HXEDownloadManager.jar

Getting Started Guide

Before downloading any software, you may want to start with the Getting Started installation guide for information about the packages and any issues you may encounter.


The Getting Started guide documents 8 GB RAM minimum for the server-only virtual machine and 16 GB RAM minimum, 24 GB RAM recommended for the server plus applications VM, i.e. SAP HANA database plus the XSA runtime environment with all provided applications. To this you need to add (at least) 4 GB for your host operating system. In other words, for smooth sailing with some margin of comfort and rounding off numbers, you need a computer with 16 GB for the database VM and 32 GB for the database with XSA.

VMware Side Channel Mitigations

When starting the VM, you may get a message that you are running with side channel mitigations enabled and that this provides enhanced security but also lower performance. For a local laptop dev box, you can disable side channel migration under the advanced settings of the VM. For the fine print, see


The Getting Started Guide documents (p. 25) how to configure VMWare Workstation on Microsoft Windows in case the VM starts without an IPv4 address by using Bridged Networking settings. This may or may not solve the issue.

Notice that the ifconfig command shows an IPv4 and IPv6 address for the loopback adapter (lo) but only an inet6 address for the eth0 virtual NIC.

Changing the network adapter setting for the VM from bridged networking to "Private to my Mac", changes this behaviour and provides an IPv4.

Upon startup, the welcome message displays an IP address. If you want to connect with Terminal, SAP HANA studio, or any tool installed on your computer, add an entry to the /etc/hosts file.

SAP Issue

For those with a sharp eye, you may have noticed that the Welcome message displays SAP HANA, express edition 2.0 SPS04. Should you prefer this message to be factually correct, you can easily modify this by editing the file /etc/issue-sap as root.
sudo vi /etc/issue-sap


Caveat Emptor

Of course, we all read the documentation and prefer to do things right but every once in a while you might find yourself a bit of a hurry, need to get something done, and care a little less about how the objective is achieved. Here we enter the space of the workarounds, the quick fixes,  a.k.a. gambiarras.


What follows are hacks and workarounds which may or may not solve the issue but are generally considered bad practice.


Upon first log on you were prompted to change the password from the hxeadm user to a hard-to-guess password as security good practice. But what-if you have a developer policy to always use the same easy-to-guess password to avoid forgetting your passwords or having to write them down? For those situations and more, you could consider to activate the root user.

As the hxeadm user edit the file /etc/passwd and change the root entry.
sudo vi /etc/passwd
# change /sbin/nologin to /bin/bash

You can now login as root or use the interactive sudo command to start a root session.
hxeadm> sudo -i
root # passwd hxeadm


Of course, the Peter Parker principle applies: With great power comes great responsibility. Make sure you are in the /var/tmp and not in / before executing rm -rf.

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Over the years, for the SAP HANA Academy, SAP’s Partner Innovation Lab, and à titre personnel, I have written a little over 300 posts here for the SAP Community. Some articles only reached a few readers. Others attracted quite a few more.

For your reading pleasure and convenience, here is a curated list of posts which somehow managed to pass the 10k-view mile stone and, as sign of current interest, still tickle the counters each month.