For a long time I only had SAS running in -nodms mode on the latest XUbuntu, my desktop's OS. Today I finally figured it out, and wanted to share just in case anyone else has had this problem.
First off, I'm running Xubuntu Wily (15.10), and SAS 9.4. The installation didn't work in graphical mode, because when I sudo su sas, then ./sasdm.sh, it complains: Can't connect to X11 window server using ':0' as the value of the DISPLAY variable. Whatever, ./sasdm.sh -console works. Anyway, the first problem when launching SAS is that it complained about the SASHELP Portable Registry being corrupted. Turns out it didn't exist at all. So I had to copy regstry.sas7bitm from a working version of SAS 9.3 (yeah, it worked across versions somehow) to my local sascfg directory (/opt/SASHome/SASFoundation/9.4/nls/en/sascfg/). Once that was there, I started getting errors about missing libraries. First libXp.so.6, which doesn't exist on the Wily repo any more, and must be downloaded from the Vivid repo here:
And secondly libjpeg.so.62, which can be installed with sudo apt-get install libjpeg62-dev libjpeg62. Finally once that was done, SAS loaded in dms mode. It also now runs in X11 mode forwarded over ssh now too.