Here are some common questions about Microsoft R Open. Got a question that isn’t answered here? Contact us.

 

General

On what version of R is Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 based?
 
    Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 is based on R-3.4.0.
How can I tell which Microsoft R Open version I have?
 

    To determine which version of Microsoft R Open is running, run the command Revo.version at your R prompt. The Revo.version object contains the version string (the major and minor release numbers) for the Microsoft R Open version you are running. This is similar to running R.version to retrieve the R version details.

    Note: Revo.version is an object and not a function. Therefore, do not use parentheses () after the object name.

    For example, for RRO 8.0.1, the object would return:

    > Revo.version

    major 8
    minor 0.1
    >

Can Microsoft R Open work alongside other R installs on Mac OS X?
 
    While not officially supported, advanced users could try the Homebrew Package Manager to work side-by-side with any other version of R on OS X. This is described in the user forum.
Is Microsoft R Open a fork of R?
 
    No. Microsoft R Open is a downstream distribution of R with added components. As a result it is 100% compatible with the latest version of R, and will continue to be so.
Is Microsoft R Open free?
 
    Yes. Like R, Microsoft R Open is distributed under the GPLv2 license.
Where can I post questions about Microsoft R Open?
 
    You can submit questions to other Microsoft R Open users to the Microsoft R Open Forum. It’s free to join and participate.

 

Getting Started / Resources

I'm new to R. Where can I find resources to learn R online?
 
    Check out our Getting Started page for tips and resources to help you get started with R. We also recommend you visit the What is R page.
Where can I find data to explore with Microsoft R Open?
 
    Check out our data source page for a list of data sources organized into categories. Most are free. Some sources are already in R format or have existing R commands for direct data import from R.

 

Installation

 

About Microsoft R Open Source

Where's the source code for Microsoft R Open?
 
Can I build from source and include Intel MKL on Linux & Windows?
 
    You will need the Intel MKL developer kit to build from source and include the Intel MKL libraries on Linux & Windows. While the binaries include Intel MKL on Linux & Windows, the Microsoft R Open sources are configured by default to build with standard BLAS and LAPACK libraries. If you have the Intel MKL developer kit, follow these instructions to build with it. The R Installation and Administration Guide also provides instructions on building R with various BLAS libraries including MKL, ATLAS and OpenBLAS.

 

About Packages

What packages are included with Microsoft R Open 3.4.0?
 
Why can't I update to or install the latest CRAN packages?
 

    By default, Microsoft R Open offers its users predictability using a static CRAN snapshot date. For example, the CRAN repository for Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 is configured to point to a snapshot date of May 1, 2017. Consequently, with Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 you'll always get packages as they were at midnight UTC on May 1, 2017 by default whenever you use install.packages.

    Using a fixed CRAN repository snapshot means that every user of Microsoft R Open has access to the same set of CRAN package versions. This makes sharing R code that relies on R packages easier, and reduces the chance of incompatible R packages being installed on the same system. Learn more about fixed CRAN repository snapshots.

    It is possible to change the default repository date.

Why are the packages on MRAN more recent than those I can install with Microsoft R Open?
 

    When you search for packages on the MRAN website, you'll always see the latest CRAN packages.

    By default, Microsoft R Open offers its users predictability using a static CRAN snapshot date. For example, the CRAN repository for Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 is configured to point to a snapshot date of May 1, 2017. Consequently, with Microsoft R Open 3.4.0 you'll always get packages as they were at midnight UTC on May 1, 2017 by default whenever you use install.packages.

    Using a fixed CRAN repository snapshot means that every user of Microsoft R Open has access to the same set of CRAN package versions. This makes sharing R code that relies on R packages easier, and reduces the chance of incompatible R packages being installed on the same system. Learn more about fixed CRAN repository snapshots.

    It is still possible to get packages from another date.

Can I change the default repository for Microsoft R Open?
 

    Using a fixed CRAN repository snapshot means that every Microsoft R Open user has access to the same set of CRAN package versions and makes sharing R code that relies on R packages easier. It is, however, possible to change this behavior.

    To change this default repository, choose one of the following:

    • Update the .Rprofile to point to a different snapshot date: options(repos = c(CRAN = "https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/YYYY-MM-DD"))
    • Or, set the default repository to a standard CRAN mirror that refreshes daily, for example: options(repos = c(CRAN = "https://cran.revolutionanalytics.com"))

    However, if you just need a few packages from a different date, we recommend you keep the default repository date configured for Microsoft R Open and use the checkpoint function to get those packages. For the argument to the checkpoint() function, choose a date on or after September 17th, 2014 (say, yesterday's date), and checkpoint will install all packages required by your project as they were at midnight UTC on the date you specified. Learn more about checkpoint.

I got a warning on Microsoft R Open startup about package downloads via HTTP. How can I enable secure package downloads?
 

    We recommend that you always download R packages from a CRAN mirror that supports encrypted HTTPS downloads.

    While Microsoft R Open (RRO 3.2.1, RRO 3.2.2, Microsoft R Open 3.2.3 and later) is preconfigured to do so by default wherever possible, there are a few older operating systems that do not have the necessary software installed for secure HTTPS downloads. If you have RRO 3.2.0, read this. If you have RRO 8.0.x, read this.

    If you received this message and want to download using encrypted HTTPS channels, you must upgrade your operating system:

    • If on CentOS 5, please update to CentOS 6 or 7.
    • If on RHEL 5, please update to RHEL 6 or 7.
    • If on SLES 10, please update to SLES 11 (Service Pack 3)
For RRO 3.2.0, how can I make sure packages are being downloaded securely via HTTPS?
 

    We recommend that you always download R packages from a CRAN mirror that supports encrypted HTTPS downloads.

    To enable HTTPS package downloads for RRO 3.2.0, edit your .Rprofile or .Rprofile.site file as follows:

    Windows:

    options(download.file.method = "wininet")
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-05-01"))

    OS X and Linux:

    options(download.file.method = "libcurl")
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-05-01"))

    If you choose to use a different default CRAN repository, be sure that you use a mirror that supports HTTPS and whose URL is prefixed by https://, such as https://cran.revolutionanalytics.com.

For RRO 8.0.x, how can I make sure packages are being downloaded securely via HTTPS?
 

    We recommend that you always download R packages from a CRAN mirror that supports encrypted HTTPS downloads.

    To enable HTTPS package downloads for RRO 8.0.x, edit your .Rprofile or .Rprofile.site file as follows:

    Choose only the CRAN repository snapshot corresponding to your RRO version.

    On Windows:

    options(download.file.method = "wininet")
    #For RRO 8.0.3
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-04-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.2
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-03-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.1
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2014-12-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.0
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2014-10-01"))

    OS X and Linux:

    options(download.file.method = "wininet")
    #For RRO 8.0.3
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-04-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.2
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2015-03-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.1
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2014-12-01"))
    #For RRO 8.0.0
    options(repos=c(CRAN="https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/snapshot/2014-10-01"))

    If you choose to use a different default CRAN repository, be sure that you use a mirror that supports HTTPS and whose URL is prefixed by https://, such as https://cran.revolutionanalytics.com.

 

About Math Libraries

How do I get multi-threaded performance (MKL, Accelerate) with Microsoft R Open?
 
How much faster is Microsoft R Open?
 
How does MKL interact with explicit parallel programming when forking on Linux?
 

    In some cases, multithreading will not offer performance improvements. If you fork when using parallel programming and you experience reduced performance or deadlocked threads, then try setting the threads to 1.

    setMKLthreads(1)

    For an example and a more detailed explanation, check out this blog post.

 

Licensing

What is the license for Microsoft R Open?
 

    This software is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, either Version 2, June 1991 or Version 3, June 2007. The terms of version 2 of the license can be found in the file COPYING and at http://www.R-project.org/Licenses/.

    A small number of files (the API header files listed in R_DOC_DIR/COPYRIGHTS) are distributed under the LESSER GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE, version 2.1 or later. This can be displayed by RShowDoc("LGPL-2.1"), or obtained http://www.R-project.org/Licenses/.