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Warning: this version of Ubuntu was not tested by SAP HANA Express Edition engineers as a valid platform for HXE. The latest version confirmed by the HXE developers is 17.04. The process described here is not recommended or supported by SAP.

SAP Hana Express Edition 2.0, or simply hxe, is a free version of the in-memory database of SAP that can be installed both locally (on-premise) or in the cloud.

Two variants are available for installation:

  • Server Only - that requires a minimum of 8GB RAM (recommended 16GB RAM)
  • Server + Applications - minimum of 16GB RAM, recommended is 24GB

It is also required that you have 120GB of free disk space.

Each version is available either as as application you install on top of your Linux OS or as a preconfigured VMWare image.

The on-premisse installation of hxe is supported by SAP only in SUSE Enterprise Linux or Red Hat Enterprise, but it is works with other Linux distributions.

As my Ubuntu laptop only have 8GB RAM, I decided to go with the Local Server Only installation and this is the configuration I will be using in this tutorial.


Go to, click on Free Download (or visit

Register, and in the new screen, download the Download manager for your OS.

Run the Download manager and in the screen, select the image Binary Installer from the dropdown box and set the location where you want to download the files.

Make sure that Server Only Installer is checked, then click on Download.


After the download is finished, you will have a new file called hxe.tgz in the download directory you selected in the previous step.

Now execute:

$ tar zxfv hxe.tgz

Before continuing with the installation, we need to run some commands to make sure that the  system can run the installer.

First, we need to change the sh binary to point to bash

$ sudo cp /bin/sh /bin/sh/orig
$ sudo ln -s /bin/bash /bin/sh

Also, on Ubuntu 18.04, update-rc.d script no longer contain the -n flag, that is used by the hxe installer when it calls update-rc.d .

Due to this, the installation would fail with:

Installation of SAP HANA Express Edition System failed.
01:32:45.346 – ERR : Installation of SAP HANA Database failed
01:32:45.345 – INFO: Installation failed
01:32:45.346 – INFO: error installing
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Cannot create system
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Error checking sapinit
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Starting external program update-rc.d
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Command line is: update-rc.d -n sapinit defaults
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 1: update-rc.d: error: unknown option
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 2: usage: update-rc.d [-f] <basename> remove
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 3: update-rc.d [-f] <basename> defaults
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 4: update-rc.d [-f] <basename> defaults-disabled
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 5: update-rc.d <basename> disable|enable [S|2|3|4|5]
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 6: -f: force
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 7:
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Output line 8: The disable|enable API is not stable and might change in the future.
01:32:45.346 – INFO: Program terminated with exit code 1

As a temporary workaround for this, run these commands:

$ sudo cp /usr/sbin/update-rc.d /usr/sbin/update-rc.d.orig
$ sudo sed -i "321i if (/^-n$/) { next }" /usr/sbin/update-rc.d

Finally, now you can now execute the setup script:

$ sudo ./

The installer will make some questions about the installation, that you can leave the default values, and ask you to choose a password that will be used by OS users hxeadm, sapadm and HANA SYSTEM user.

The installer should finish after some time, and you HANA DB will be up and running.

You can confirm that by running these commands after the installation is finished:

$ su - hxeadm

hxeadm@hanadb01:/usr/sap/HXE/HDB90> HDB info

HDB info should show something similar to this:

And that’s it.

You can now connect to your hxe instance using eclipse with Hana tools ( or your favorite programming language.

Remember that the DB is running at port 3xx15, where xx is the instance number. If you used the default value from the installer, it should be 39015.

Finally, don’t forget to restore the original update-rc.d script:

$ sudo cp -f /usr/sbin/update-rc.d.orig /usr/sbin/update-rc.d


In this howto, I tried to described how I did the installation of HANA Express Edition on a local computer running Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).

Let me know if this method worked for you using the comments section.

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  1. Gunter Albrecht

    Hi Rafael,

    nice one! I ran into the same problem and added Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as a package source, then downgraded  via

    sudo apt-get install init-system-helpers=1.51

    And later upgraded.

    Unfortunately it seems not to be working with tinc (decentral VPN) together, the hdbdaemon doesn’t come up anymore. I think it might be related that a second network interface is up (/dev/net/tun)? Anyway, must explore further. A plain installation works.

  2. Palaniappan Sivakumar

    Hi Rafael


    Excellent documentation


    A couple tips to add for future use in Ubuntu folks


    1. Ensure that FQDN hostname and entry in /etc/hosts file
    2. Ensure that media install files are not hosted in an external storage such as USB drive.Ideally copy it to locally attached drives, I will most likely avoid NFS mounts too 🙂


    Following your steps with two additional hints, I was able to finish.


    Two small  issues – Tenant database to add streaming (HXESTR in my case) failed to register with cockpit. I plan to register manually at a later time.

    If autostart is enabled – login response (in Gnome in my case) is slow. Since this is POC, I could start it whenever needed.


    Thanks for your tips. 🙂




    1. Vivekanandan Ramalingam

      Hello Guys,

      I struck with the SAP Hana Express(Server+Application) binary installation on Ubuntu 18.04. My server installation is successful but XSA installation is failing. (Is it because of RAM I need to upgrade it to 32GB)

      I checked the log file but there is no information captured since it shutdown’s the box once it reaches the XSA installation phase. I am using binary installation with SUSE files.

      I searched a bit on this issue and found RAM as a problem. Can I try different installation options like install VM on Ubuntu with Suse Linux or Windows and then install?

      My system –

      Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic)

      Intel Core™ i7-8750H

      RAM 16GB DDR4

      SSD – 512 GB NVMe

      I request your help in fixing the above issue.




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