A trial version (30 days) of ASReml can be obtained from VSN’s International web site. Licensed users can upgrade to newer versions from the specific update page. An alpha development ASReml 3 version is http://www.austatgen.org/asreml3alpha/ available here.
The latest version of the software can be used as a standalone program or be called from the S+ or R statistical packages. There are separate PDF User Guides (manuals) for standalone and S+/R use, which can be downloaded from http://www.vsni.co.uk/resources/doc/.
You can also download the User Guide from this site (PDF, 1 MB).
I need to confirm what is the current way to subscribe to the ASREML list
There is an ASReml users’ email list. Once subscribed, you can email the list using firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the old messages can be found at http://www.arm.li.csiro.au/lists/asreml/. There is also a web forum.
Since 2002, ASReml users also need to acquire a license to use it. The current costs for single licenses are £195 (academic), £425 (not for profit) and £558 (commercial). Check here for current exchange rates: http://www.x-rates.com/. There are discounts available for multiple copies and site licenses. The payment system has then moved from a ‘purchase a license, pay a small maintenance, no academic pricing’ one to a ‘rent the software (like SAS), higher cost for commercial licenses, reasonably priced academic licenses’ one.