Stata 15 help for ssc

[R] ssc -- Install and uninstall packages from SSC


Summary of packages most recently added or updated at SSC

ssc new [, saving(filename[, replace]) type]

Summary of most popular packages at SSC

ssc hot [, n(#) author(name)]

Describe a specified package at SSC

ssc describe { pkgname | letter } [, saving(filename[, replace])]

Install a specified package from SSC

ssc install pkgname [, all replace]

Uninstall from your computer a previously installed package from SSC

ssc uninstall pkgname

Type a specific file stored at SSC

ssc type filename [, asis]

Copy a specific file from SSC to your computer

ssc copy filename [, plus personal replace public binary]

where letter in ssc describe is a-z or _.


ssc works with packages (and files) from the Statistical Software Components (SSC) archive, which is often called the Boston College Archive and is provided by

The SSC has become the premier Stata download site for community-contributed software on the web. ssc provides a convenient interface to the resources available there. For example, on Statalist, users will often write

The program can be found by typing ssc install newprogramname.

Typing that would load everything associated with newprogramname, including the help files.

If you are searching for what is available, type ssc new and ssc hot, and see [R] search. search searches the SSC and other places, too. search provides a GUI interface from which programs can be installed, including the programs at the SSC archive.

You can uninstall particular packages by using ssc uninstall. For the packages that you keep, see [R] adoupdate for an automated way of keeping those packages up to date.

Command overview

ssc new summarizes the packages made available or updated recently. Output is presented in the Stata Viewer, and from there you may click to find out more about individual packages or to install them.

ssc hot lists the most popular packages -- popular based on a moving average of the number of downloads in the past three months. By default, 10 packages are listed.

ssc describe pkgname describes, but does not install, the specified package. Use search to find packages; see [R] search. If you know the package name but do not know the exact spelling, type ssc describe followed by one letter, a-z or _ (underscore), to list all the packages starting with that letter.

ssc install pkgname installs the specified package. You do not have to describe a package before installing it. (You may also install a package by using net install; see [R] net.)

ssc uninstall pkgname removes the previously installed package from your computer. It does not matter how the package was installed. (ssc uninstall is a synonym for ado uninstall, so either may be used to uninstall any package.)

ssc type filename types a specific file stored at SSC. ssc cat is a synonym for ssc type, which may appeal to those familiar with Unix.

ssc copy filename copies a specific file stored at SSC to your computer. By default, the file is copied to the current directory, but you can use options to change this. ssc copy is a rarely used alternative to ssc install ..., all. ssc cp is a synonym for ssc copy.

Options for use with ssc new

saving(filename[, replace]) specifies that the "what's new" summary be saved in filename. If filename is specified without a suffix, filename.smcl is assumed. If saving() is not specified, saving(ssc_result.smcl) is assumed.

type specifies that the "what's new" results be displayed in the Results window rather than in the Viewer.

Options for use with ssc hot

n(#) specifies the number of packages to list; n(10) is the default. Specify n(.) to list all packages in order of popularity.

author(name) lists the 10 most popular packages by the specified author. If n(#) is also specified, the top # packages are listed.

Option for use with ssc describe

saving(filename[, replace]) specifies that, in addition to the description's being displayed on your screen, it be saved in the specified file.

If filename is specified without an extension, .smcl will be assumed, and the file will be saved as a SMCL file.

If filename is specified with an extension, no default extension is added. If the extension is .log, the file will be stored as a text file.

If replace is specified, filename is replaced if it already exists.

Options for use with ssc install

all specifies that any ancillary files associated with the package be downloaded to your current directory, in addition to the program and help files being installed. Ancillary files are files that do not end in .ado or .sthlp and typically contain datasets or examples of the use of the new command.

You can find out which files are associated with the package by typing ssc describe pkgname before or after installing. If you install without using the all option and then want the ancillary files, you can ssc install again.

replace specifies that any files being downloaded that already exist on your computer be replaced by the downloaded files. If replace is not specified and any files already exist, none of the files from the package is downloaded or installed.

It is better not to specify the replace option and wait to see if there is a problem. If there is a problem, it is usually better to uninstall the old package by using ssc uninstall or ado uninstall (which are, in fact, the same command).

Option for use with ssc type

asis affects how files with the suffixes .smcl and .sthlp are displayed. The default is to interpret SMCL directives the file might contain. asis specifies that the file be displayed in raw, uninterpreted form.

Options for use with ssc copy

plus specifies that the file be copied to the PLUS directory, the directory where community-contributed additions are installed. Typing sysdir will display the identity of the PLUS directory on your computer.

personal specifies that the file be copied to your PERSONAL directory as reported by sysdir.

If neither plus nor personal is specified, the default is to copy the file to the current directory.

replace specifies that, if the file already exists on your computer, the new file replace it.

public specifies that the new file be made readable by everyone; otherwise, the file will be created according to the default permission you have set with your operating system.

binary specifies that the file being copied is a binary file and that it is to be copied as is. The default is to assume that the file is a text file and change the end-of-line characters to those appropriate for your computer/operating system.


Users can add new features to Stata, and some users choose to make new features that they have written available to others via the web. The files that comprise a new feature are called a package, and a package usually consists of one or more ado-files and help files. The net command makes it reasonably easy to install and uninstall packages regardless of where they are on the web. One site, the SSC, has become particularly popular as a repository for additions to Stata. Command ssc is an easier to use version of net designed especially for the SSC.

Many packages are available at the SSC. Packages are named, such as oaxaca, estout, or egenmore. At SSC, capitalization is not significant, so Oaxaca, ESTOUT, and EGENmore are ways of writing the same package names.

When you type

. ssc install oaxaca

the files associated with the package are downloaded and installed on your computer. Package names usually correspond to the names of the commands being added to Stata, so one would expect that installing the package oaxaca will add command oaxaca to Stata on your computer, and expect that typing help oaxaca will provide the documentation. That is the situation here, but that is not always so. Before or after installing a package, type ssc describe pkgname to obtain the details.


Describe most recently added or updated packages at SSC . ssc new

Describe the most popular packages at SSC . ssc hot

Describe the package oaxaca . ssc describe oaxaca

Describe the package oaxaca and save the description to the file oaxaca.log . ssc describe oaxaca, saving(oaxaca.log)

List all packages, along with a brief description, that begin with the letter o . ssc describe o

Same as above, but also save the listing to the file o.index . ssc describe o, saving(o.index)

Install package oaxaca . ssc install oaxaca

Uninstall previously installed package oaxaca . ssc uninstall oaxaca

Type file whitetst.hlp that is stored at SSC . ssc type whitetst.hlp

Copy file whitetst.ado from SSC to your computer . ssc copy whitetst.ado

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