Skip to content
Pull request Compare This branch is 1 commit ahead, 42760 commits behind trunk.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


R @RVER@ for Windows

This distribution contains a binary distribution of R-@RVER@ to run on
Windows 95, 98, NT4.0 and 2000 on Intel/clone chips.  It is designed to be
as close as possible to the implementation on Unix, but see the list
of differences below.  The port was by Guido Masarotto and Brian Ripley.

See the file `CHANGES' for the new features of this version.


The distribution consists of several zip files: and		the base system				text help				compiled HTML help				HTML help files				latex help files for offline help				PDF manuals except				  PDF version of the reference manual				files to build packages from source

and optionally the installer rwinst.exe.

The simplest way to install is to run the installer (double-click on
the icon for rwinst.exe and navigate its wizard-like pages).

To install manually, unpack and anywhere you
like.  They will unpack to a directory tree under @RWVER@.  The help,
compiled HTML, HTML and latex help files are in separate files, and which should be
unpacked in the same directory you unpacked

Files and contains PDF versions of the
manuals for R, which unpack into @RWVER@/doc/manual.

You should install at least one of the text help and the compiled HTML help.


There are two executables in @RWVER@\bin:


Rgui.exe runs as a standard Windows GUI executable and provides an R
console in its own window.  It takes the standard R command-line
arguments; these are most easily set by making a shortcut to
...\@RWVER@\bin\Rgui.exe and adding the arguments in the Target field.
Set the `Start in' field of the shortcut to the directory you want to use
as the working directory (where workspaces and files are saved and
loaded from).

Command-line editing is available: see Help | Console for details.

The menus provide shortcuts to some R commands such as help, help.start,
apropos, ls, load, save.image, search.

The `load' menu items (Source R code, Load image) keep track of the
directory that was last used, and start their dialog boxes from that
directory the next time they are used.  That directory can be made the
working directory by the File | Change dir menu item.  All the `save'
menu items start dialog boxes at the current working directory: this
includes `Save Workspace' and the various ways to save graphics, as
well as saving the workspace at the end of the session.

Note that the text help files use the latin1 encoding.  To see all the
characters you must use an appropriate font (European-language True
Type fonts should be OK).  To check if your preferred font has latin1
capability, try "help(text)" and look at the examples.   [Note: only a
few help files make use of latin1 characters not contained in the
standard ASCII set so if you like a font without latin1 capability,
use it.]


Rterm.exe will run from a command line such as an MS-DOS or Commands
Window running the standard shells, (9x) and cmd.exe (NT),
as well as the ports of bash and tcsh that we use.  Its primary
purpose is to allow batch operation, but it does provide all the
facilities needed for interactive use, including command-line editing
(see the file README.Rterm).

Batch use: At its simplest, Rterm.exe can be used in a batch mode by
commands like

Rterm.exe --vsize=10M --nsize=400k --no-restore --no-save < infile > outfile

although users will probably want to set up simple .bat or .cmd files
to run batch jobs.

Use with ESS: You can use Rterm.exe to provide inferior R-mode in ESS
under NTEmacs, for example with ess-5.1.16.  The pager is
automatically set to "console" so help will be displayed in emacs


The screen device is called windows().  This is launched automatically,
and can also be launched explicitly by windows() or win.graph() (or
x11()) from both Rgui.exe and Rterm.exe.  A printer device can be
opened using win.print(), and graphs drawn as metafiles by

The graphics device pops up a separate window which has two menus.  The
device's File menu allows saving or printing or to run

The History menu allows the recording of plots.  When plots have been
recorded they can be reviewed by PgUp and PgDn, saved and replaced.
Recording can be turned on automatically (the Recording item on the
list) or individual plots can be added (Add or the INS key).
The whole plot history can be saved to or retrieved from an R variable
in the global environment.

There is only one graphics history shared by all the windows devices.


There are several options for help, depending on which help files you

(i) Text help.  This is the default, and the fallback option.
It will display in the currently set pager (use options(pager=) to change).

(ii) Compiled HTML files.  Set this as the default by
options(chmhelp=T) or for individual help items by help(topic,
chmhelp=T).  Full text search is available from the Search tab.
According to Microsoft, to make use of this you will need to have IE3
or later installed and a recent version of Windows or (not Windows
2000) use the updater hhupd.exe at

(iii) Windows .hlp files.  Set this as the default by
options(winhelp=T) or for individual help items by help(topic,
winhelp=T).  Full text search is available from the Search tab.  The
conversion to this format is a little rough, and tables may be
incomplete.  The help on Hershey and Japanese fonts has been omitted.

(iv) HTML help to be displayed in your normal browser.  Set this as
the default by options(htmlhelp=T) or for individual help items by
help(topic, htmlhelp=T).  Using help.start() sets the browser to the
top-level page, from which you can access a search engine.

(v) Latex help files are available for use with help(topic, offline=T).
You will need to customize the file @RWVER@\bin\helpPRINT.bat: it
contains instructions.


Environment variables can be set as NAME=value on the command line,
including in a short-cut.  They can also be set (as NAME=value lines)
in the file .Renviron in the working directory, or if that does not
exist HOME\.Renviron.

Many aspects of the console (size, appearance, font, font size,
colours) can be customized by editing the file etc\Rconsole, and a
copy with a user's settings can be put in her HOME directory or in the
working directory.  (The exact sequence is to search the directory
pointed to by the first found of the environment variables R_USER then
HOME then {HOMEDRIVE}{HOMEPATH} then the working directory, finally
R_HOME\etc.  This also applies to .Renviron and other uses of `HOME'
in our documentation.)  The file contains a description of the
settings that can be altered.  See also ?Rconsole.

An alternative way to edit the Rconsole file is to use the GUI
preferences item on the Edit menu in Rgui.exe.  This can change some
of the settings (for example colours, font and window sizes) on the
current running console.

The mapping between Windows fonts and R font's number can be set by
editing the file etc\Rdevga, and a copy with a user's settings can be
put in the HOME or working directory (see the description of
Rconsole).  This mapping applies to both the screen device and the
printer device.

Many R defaults can be set in the file R_HOME\etc\Rprofile or a user's
file .Rprofile.  In particular:

- The pager is set by options(pager=).  The default is "internal" which
  brings up a separate console-like window.  The internal pager can use
  a single window or a different window for each topic shown
  (configurable in Rconsole).  Other possibilities we have
  used are "notepad" and "pfe32 /v", and "console" to list the files in
  the console (Rgui.exe) or terminal window (Rterm.exe).

Adding packages

Binaries for many packages are available at
CRAN/bin/windows/windows-NT/contrib.  These are zip files which should
be unpacked in @RWVER@\library.  They are then available for use.  You
can also use the installer rwinst.exe to selectively unpack the zip

The list of packages and functions given by HTML help and used by the
search engine can be updated from a running R process by the command

provided the owner of the process has write permission on
@RWVER@\doc\html.  If you have the source-package files and Perl
installed you can (and should in preference) use

	cd ...\@RWVER@\src\gnuwin32\help
	make indices

Private libraries of packages can be used and can be specified by the
environment variable R_LIBS.  (Separate directories by ";" in this
version.)  They will not be linked to HTML help.  In more detail, to
use packages installed in directory R:\libraries\gm, set


in the environment or your .Renviron file or on the command line, or
add the line

.lib.loc <- c("R:/libraries/gm", .lib.loc)

to your .Rprofile or at the end of R_HOME\etc\Rprofile.

To install a package from source code you need the source-package
distribution installed (but not the R sources).  This
contains detailed instructions.

Differences from Unix versions of R

- R can be interrupted by Esc in Rgui and by Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Break in Rterm:
  Ctrl-C is used for copying in the GUI version.  C-c C-c works
  under NTemacs.

- Command-line editing is always available, but is simpler than
  under readline-based input on Unix.  For Rgui.exe, see the menu item
  `Help | Console', for Rterm.exe the file README.Rterm.

- The HTML function and package lists and search database are not
  re-generated automatically by help.start().  Use

- Paths to files can be specified with "/" or "\\".

- Using help.start() does not automatically send help requests to the
  browser: use options(htmlhelp=T) to turn this on.

- system() is enhanced here and does not automatically use a shell.
  See its help page and that of shell().

- graphics device bmp() is available in this version.

Using package tcltk

The package tcltk introduced in version 1.1.0 provides somewhat
experimental support for building graphical interfaces with Tcl/Tk.  To
use this you need to install tcl831.exe from, and
you will need the Tcl and Tk dlls in your path.  Also, you need to set
the environment variable TCL_LIBRARY, to something like
c:/Program Files/Tcl/lib/tcl8.3.

How you set environmental variables under Windows is system-dependent,
but with R you can always use the form
TCL_LIBRARY="c:/Program Files/Tcl/lib/tcl8.3"
at the end of the command line or Target field of a shortcut.

The demos(tk*) will work on Windows.

Building From Source

See the file INSTALL in the source distribution and the rw-FAQ.


Please send comments and bug reports to (preferably both of)

    Guido Masarotto <>
    Brian Ripley <>
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.