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To give it a spin try

docker run -it /opt/rir/build/release/bin/R

Building from Source

This is currently only tested on Ubuntu.

git clone
cd rir
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=build_type .    # possible build_types: release, debugopt, debug
# Fetch and build dependencies. This will build gnur from source, which takes a while.
# To build llvm from source (for debug symbols) set the following. This can take a long time to build.
make setup
# Run cmake again, this should now say "Found LLVM 11"
cmake .

Now run Ř with


If you want to develop Ř then it is highly recommended to use off-tree builds and ninja instead of make. See further down (Hacking).


macOS has some extra prerequisites:

  • A Fortran compiler (e.g. brew install gcc)
  • Xcode Command line tools

Running tests

To run the basic test, just execute


To run tests from gnur with rir enabled as a jit:

bin/gnur-make check-devel

Are we fast?

Check out our performance dashboard to see how we compare to GNU R and FastR in terms of performance. Select two jobs to compare against, to compare against GNU R, or FastR select all first. We periodically benchmark the performance of the optimizer.

PIR optimizer

The optimizer kicks in before the 3rd execution of a function (depending on R's bytecode-compile heuristic also 4th sometimes).

To print intermediate debug information set the PIR_DEBUG environment variable to a comma separated list of flags. For instance to show all functions that are optimized use:

PIR_DEBUG=PrintPirAfterOpt bin/R


To make changes to this repository please open a pull request. Ask somebody to review your changes and make sure CI is green.

Caveat: we use submodules. If you are in the habit of blindly git commit . you are up for surprises. Please make sure that you do not by accident commit an updated submodule reference for external/custom-r.

Off-Tree builds

It is highly recommended to use off-tree builds for hacking Ř. You can have multiple builds at the same time. Follow the build instructions as above, but run cmake in a separate directory. For instance you can create a sub-directory called build, cd into that directory, then replace . with .. in all the cmake commands from the build instructions. This will build Ř in the build directory. You can then have multiple build directories, with different build types.

Building with ninja

For faster build use ninja. To generate ninja files instead of makefiles add -GNinja to the cmake commands.

Using ninja means GCC and Clang will disable color output. To force color, run cmake with -DFORCE_COLORED_OUTPUT=true.

LLVM backend

If you need to debug issues in the llvm backend then it is useful to run make setup with BUILD_LLVM_FROM_SRC=1 set. This will give you debug symbols for LLVM, which unfortunately increases linking time. To switch between source and prebuilt LLVM you can switch the llvm-11 symlink between llvm-11-build and clang+llvm...ubuntu-.... After the switch a make clean is needed.

Assertions in native code are disabled in release builds.

If there are any issues with LLVM includes, you can rm -rf external/llvm-11* and then run make setup again.

Building on macOS with GCC 9

By default macOS will build gnuR and rir with clang, while Linux always uses GCC. There might be some differences between the 2 compilers. However, you can force macOS to use GCC via the following:

  • Install GCC 9 with homebrew (brew install gcc@9)
  • Pass -GMACOS_USE_GCC_9 to cmake

Making changes to gnur

R with Ř patches is a submodule under external/custom-r. This is how you edit:

# Assuming you are making changes in you local Ř branch
cd external/custom-r
# By default submodules are checked out headless. We use a
# branch to keep track of our changes to R, that is based on
# one of the R version branches. If you want to make changes
# you have to make sure to be on that branch locally, before
# creating commits.
git checkout R-3.5.1-rir-patch
git pull origin R-3.5.1-rir-patch
# edit some stuff ... 
git commit
git push origin R-3.5.1-rir-patch
cd ../..
# now the updated submodule needs to be commited to rir 
git commit external/custom-r -m "bump R module version"
git push my-rir-remote my-rir-feature-branch
# Now you can create a PR with the R changes & potential Ř 
# changes in my-feature-branch

If you want to test your R changes on ci, before pushing to the main branch on the gnur repository you can also push to a feature branch on gnur first. E.g.:

git checkout -b my-rir-feature-branch
cd external/custom-r
git checkout -b my-gnur-feature-branch
# edit and commit. Need to push, or ci will not be able to access the submodule reference
git push origin my-gnur-feature-branch
cd ../..
git commit external/custom-r -m "temp module version"
git push my-rir-remote my-rir-feature-branch

# Review....
# Now, with ci green, before merging, change it back:

cd external/custom-r
git checkout R-3.5.1-rir-patch
git pull origin R-3.5.1-rir-patch
git merge --fast-forward-only my-gnur-feature-branch
git push origin R-3.5.1-rir-patch
# delete old branch
git push origin :my-gnur-feature-branch
cd ../..
git commit external/custom-r -m "bump R module version"
git push my-rir-remote my-rir-feature-branch

# Merge PR

Fetch updated R:

git submodule update
cd external/custom-r && make -j4 

Or use make setup


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