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Ruby client for Rserve, a Binary R server (

Follows closely the new Java client API, but maintains all Ruby conventions when possible.


  • 100% ruby
  • Uses TCP/IP sockets to interchange data and commands
  • Requires Rserve installed on the server machine. On debian / ubuntu, you should use sudo apt-get install r-cran-rserve Pros:
  • Work with Ruby 1.9.3, 2.0.0, 2.1.1, 2.3.1 (tested on Travis) and and JRuby 1.5.
  • Retrieve and assign various R's datatypes: integer, doubles, chars, logical vectors, lists and raw data.
  • Session allows to process data asynchronously. You start a command, detach the process and retrieve result later. You can marshall the session, store on file or database and use it when you need it.
  • Ruby API follows closely the Java API, so any change on the server API could be adopted without much problem
  • Fast: 5-10 times faster than RinRuby.
  • Easy management of differences between R and Ruby, or "You can have your cake and eat it, too!"
    • From R side: The evaluation of expression retrieves REXP object, with a lot of information from original variables on R. You can construct your REXP objects and assign them to variables on R fast using binary TCP/IP port or send complex expression without lost of time using void_eval
    • Between R and Ruby: Every REXP object implements methods to convert to specific Ruby type: as_integers, as_doubles, as_strings
    • From Ruby side: Every REXP objects has a to_ruby method, which automagicly converts every R type on equivalent Ruby type. So, a vector of size 1 is converted to an integer or double, a vector of size>1 returns an array, a named list returns a hash and so on. If you need to create a complex expression, you could always use method eval without problem Cons:
  • Requires Rserve
  • Limited features on Windows, caused by limitations on Rserve on this platform: single concurrent connection allowed, server crash on parse errors and can't spawn sessions.


  • Rinruby []
    • 100% ruby
    • Uses pipes to send commands and evals
    • Uses TCP/IP Sockets to send and retrieve data
    • Pros:
      • Doesn't requires anything but R
      • Works flawlessly on Windows
      • Work with Ruby 1.8, 1.9 and JRuby 1.5
      • All API tested
    • Cons:
      • VERY SLOW on assignation
      • Very limited datatypes: Only vector and Matrix
  • RSRuby
    • C Extension for Ruby, linked to R's shared library
    • Pros:
      • Blazing speed! 5-10 times faster than Rserve and 100-1000 than RinRuby.
      • Seamless integration with ruby. Every method and object is treated like a Ruby one
    • Cons:
      • Transformation between R and Ruby types aren't trivial
      • Dependent on operating system, Ruby implementation and R version
      • Ocassionaly crash
      • Not available for alternative implementations of Ruby (JRuby, IronRuby and Rubinius)



  • Original test


  • Test suite on Rserve Java new API
  • First tutorial on R


require 'rserve'

# Evaluation retrieves a <tt>Rserve::REXP</tt> object

=> #<Rserve::REXP::Double:0x000000010a81f0 @payload=[(4807469545488851/9007199254740992)], @attr=nil>

# You could use specific methods to retrieve ruby objects
x.as_doubles => [0.533736337958596]
x.as_strings => ["0.533736337958596"]

# Every Rserve::REXP could be converted to Ruby objects using
# method <tt>to_ruby</tt>
x.to_ruby => (4807469545488851/9007199254740992)

# The API could manage complex recursive list

=> #<Array:19590368 [#<Array:19590116 [[(2/1), (3/1)]] names:nil>, [(1/1), (2/1), (3/1)]] names:["l1", "l2"]>

# You could assign a REXP to R variables

=> #<Rserve::Packet:0x0000000136b068 @cmd=65537, @cont=nil>
=> #<Rserve::REXP::Double:0x0000000134e770 @payload=[(3/2), (2589569785738035/1125899906842624), (5/1)], @attr=nil>

# Rserve::REXP::Wrapper.wrap allows you to transform Ruby object to 
# REXP, could be assigned to R variables


=> #<Rserve::REXP::GenericVector:0x000000010c81d0 @attr=nil, @payload=#<Rserve::Rlist:0x000000010c8278 @names=nil, @data=[#<Rserve::REXP::String:0x000000010c86d8 @payload=["a"], @attr=nil>, #<Rserve::REXP::String:0x000000010c85c0 @payload=["b"], @attr=nil>, #<Rserve::REXP::String:0x000000010c82e8 @payload=["c", "d"], @attr=nil>]>>


  • R
  • Rserve


sudo gem install rserve-client


REngine - Java interface to R Copyright (C) 2004,5,6,7 Simon Urbanek Copyrigth (C) 2010-2017 Claudio Bustos (Ruby version)

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA


Pure Ruby client for Rserve. Based on 'new' Java client provided with server, but with modifications to adhere to POLS






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