[ESS] Install experiences

Rodney Sparapani rsparapa at mcw.edu
Mon Nov 25 15:45:10 CET 2013

On 06/21/2012 07:54 AM, Rodney Sparapani wrote:
> Actually, Paul Johnson started the thread "Windows suggestion..."
> where he looked at various alternatives to discovering Rterm from
> the registry.  I tested the following on Windows XP (sorry, I don't
> have access to a Windows 7 test machine).  I call it find-rterm.cmd
> It's not elegant, but it seems to work.

You know I love resurrecting old threads ;o)  Anyways, Gabor
Grothendieck has produced R.bat which is exactly the kind of
thing we were trying to invent; see below.

On 11/24/2013 09:44 AM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:
I also have some Windows batch files that can help with this, the main
benefit being that no enviornment variables or registry keys need to
be set for R or for Rtools (although it will use them if set).  A
secondary benefit is that they do not require Admin privileges since
they make no permanent changes to your system.

R.bat is a single self contained Windows batch file that can start
R.exe or Rgui.exe .  It looks up the location of R and Rtools using
the registry or if not found looks in standard locations.  It also
scans Rtools to discover the appropriate path to its directories. It
works by temporarily setting the required environment variables
eliminating the need to set any such variables yourself.

Using it installation of R is as simple as installing R and Rtools
using the defaults (they both have automated installers so this is
simple) and then placing R.bat anywhere on your path.  Running is just
a matter of using (1) 'R.bat' in place of 'R.exe' and (2) 'R.bat gui'
in place of 'Rgui.exe'.

They are available by downloading these two files (the second is the


On some systems its heuristic won't work and in that case use:


which is a simple batch file that can be edited manually (so its not
as automatic as R.bat but due to its simplicity you may have fewer
problems).  It also eliminates the need to set any environment
variables or to make other changes in the registry and is also
documented in the above md file.

Some of these installation simplifications are alternately provided in
some form in Rcpp itself as well as in the devtools and installr
packages.  These packages allow one to do this from within R whereas
these batch files work from the Windows cmd line.

In addition to the cited documentation there is some info on these and
other batch files on the home page:


Rodney Sparapani, PhD
Manager of Statistical & Computational Operations
Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR)
Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee, USA

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