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Integration with Rserve, a TCP/IP server for R framework
JavaScript R



Build Status NPM version NGN Dependencies

RIO, R Input Output, connects an app to Rserve, a TCP/IP server which allows other programs to use facilities of R.

It supports double, double array, integer, integer array, string, string array, boolean, boolean array objects and raw vector (images or files).

It supports also the plain text authentication, if Rserve is configured for that capability.

The main goal is to pass a string containing a script call using a JSON object as parameter. Then, inside the script, using RJSONIO package, deserializing the JSON object, calling a method, serializing the response and returning to NodeJS.


var rio = require('rio');

rio.evaluate("pi / 2 * 2");
rio.evaluate('c(1, 2)');
rio.evaluate("as.character('Hello World')");
rio.evaluate('c("a", "b")');
rio.evaluate('Sys.sleep(5); 11')

See examples directory.

  • ex1: Getting started with evaluate api.
  • ex2: How to evaluate a script, to call a function passing params with sourceAndEval.
  • ex3: How to call sourceAndEval with a config object including connection details.
  • ex4: An example with utf-8 chars.
  • ex5: How to retrieve a plot.
  • ex6: How to call functions already loaded in R session.



To install with npm:

npm install rio

Tested with node 0.10.x and Rserve 1.7.3 (on Windows 7) with R 3.1.1.

Don't forget to start Rserve. For instance, from R console, after installing the package Rserve:


To shutdown the server from R console:

c <- RSconnect()


evaluate(command, options)

Evaluate a command, connecting to Rserve, executing the command and then disconnecting. The result is passed to the callback.

The defaults for the options parameter:

options = {
    callback: function (err, res) {
        if (!err) {
        } else {
            util.puts("Rserve call failed. " + err);
    host = "",
    port = 6311,
    path = undefined,
    user = "anon",
    password = "anon"

Either define path, the path of a Unix socket, or host/port.

sourceAndEval(filename, options)

It loads the content of a R file and calls the evaluate method, merging, finally, the options parameter:

options = {
    entryPoint: "main", // entryPoint is called
    data: { foo: "bar" } // data is stringified and passed to entryPoint

bufferAndEval(buffer, options)

It is an helper method to call evaluate, adding to the buffer string, the call of the entry point. Options are the same as for evaluate. If buffer is null, it is called only the entry point.


Sends the CMD_shutdown command to the Rserve server. Options are the same as for evaluate.


It enables debugging mode, printing the packet and logging messages on client side.

You may start also a Rserve instance in debugging mode with following commands:

export R_PATH=/c/My/Programs/R
export PATH=$PATH:$R_PATH/bin/x64

$R_PATH/library/Rserve/libs/x64/Rserve_d.exe --

Set your paths accordingly.

enableRecordMode(isRecordMode, options)

It enables record mode, dumping the incoming data to a file specified in the options.

options = {
    fileName: "node-rio-dump.bin"

It is useful to record a Rserve session to replay it in an environment without Rserve (for example Travis CI). For instance,

> var rio=require("./index.js")
> rio.enableRecordMode(true, {fileName: "test/dump/integer-test.bin"});
> rio.evaluate("as.integer(3)")
> 3
(^C again to quit)

Then, you need to export the variable CI to emulate CI environment: export CI=true

Eventually npm test.

enablePlaybackMode(isPlaybackMode, options)

It enables playback mode, reading a dump file instead connecting to the server.

options = {
    fileName: "node-rio-dump.bin"


 project  : node-rio
 repo age : 3 years, 4 months
 active   : 74 days
 commits  : 177
 files    : 43
 authors  :
   152  icebox                  85.9%
     7  Manuel Santillan        4.0%
     6  albertosantini          3.4%
     5  Alberto Santini         2.8%
     3  Karthik Madathil        1.7%
     2  Anand Patil             1.1%
     1  Alex Proca              0.6%
     1  Farrin Reid             0.6%
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