Zapisi in dokumenti iz področja prava, človekovih pravic in tehnologije.

PSPP Guide

Note to readers: On this website we are maintaining PSPP user guide. User guide is in English, all posts about PSPP are published  only in category PSPP.

This website is otherwise in Slovenian language and is about information security, IT related law and human rights. If you really like to read it (and don’t know the language), you can try with Google Translate.

* * *

What is PSPP?

PSPP is an application for statistical analysis of data. PSPP is a completely free replacement for the commercial application SPSS (now PASW) and is very similar to it. PSPP syntax files and data files are also compatible with SPSS, so you can use SPSS data and syntax files with a free and opensource PSPP replacement.

PSPP Output Window

PSPP Output Window

PSPP can perform several data transformation (including count, recode, weighting and handling of missing values), compute descriptive statistics (frequencies, descriptive statistics), compute crosstabs , T-tests (independent samples T-test, paired samples T-test and one-sample T-test), One Way ANOVA, linear regression, bivariate correlation, factor analysis, reliability, some non-parametric tests (Chi-square and binominal) and ROC curve. The number of statistical operations it can perform is growing. PSPP was designed to perform these tests as quick as possible, regardless of the number of cases.

PSPP data view.

PSPP data view.

Key features of PSPP

  • PSPP supports over 1 billion cases and over 1 billion variables;
  • syntax (SPS) and data (SAV) files are compatible with SPSS;
  • it is cross platform (works on multiple operating systems, including Linux and Windows) and Free Software, licensed under GPLv3 or later;
  • it is absolutely free and has no expiration date;
  • you can using a command line interface (pspp) a graphical interface (psppire);
  • it can produce output in text, PostScript, PDF, HTML or text format;
  • it is interoperating with Gnumeric, OpenOffice.Org and other free software;
  • statistical procedures are performed fast, even with very large data sets.

The official PSPP website is located at Information about how and where to download binary packages of PSPP for several platforms is also located at this guide.

Stable and development version

PSPP is available in two branches (versions):

  • stable branch is a PSPP version which is stable and thoroughly tested, but does not has some new functions;
  • master branch contains the latest development, with more functions, but is not so stable and tested as stable branch yet. This guide describes features in master branch.
PSPP variable view.

PSPP variable view.

History of PSPP

In 1998, original developer Ben Pfaff decided to write a clone of SPSS. SPSS was (and still is) is closed-source and includes a restrictive licence and digital rights management. The author of PSPP considered this ethically unacceptable, and decided to write a SPSS clone, but without licence expiry and completely free. This clone was first named Fiasco (Fiasco Implements Accurate Statistical Computations or Fiasco Is An SPSS Copy), but then renamed to PSPP.

The first version of an application, released in August 1998, basically worked from the command line. Next version was released in January 2000, followed by a four-year pause. Next releases were in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. In the meantime, the authors of the program transferred it to the Free Software Foundation.

The first GUI version (PSPPire) was released in June 2008 (version 0.6.0). In February 2012 there was released version 0.7.9, which has a lot of features and could be sufficiently used for several statistical analysis performed by students and researchers. The development team has now seven developers.

PSPP manual

In this guide you can find detailed instructions on how to use PSPP (graphical interface):


This guide is maintained by Matej Kovačič. You can find me on a PSPP-users mailing list or at, channel #pspp.