Rclient: Functions to talk to an Rserve

RclientR Documentation

Functions to talk to an Rserve


Rserve is a server providing R functionality via sockets. The following functions allow another R session to start new Rserve sessions and evaluate commands. The support is very rudimentary and uses only a fraction of the funtionality provided by Rserve. The typical use of Rserve is to connect to other applications, not necessarily to connect two R processes. However, it is not uncommon to have a cluster of Rserve machines so the following functions provide a simple client access.

For more complete cilent implementation see src/clients directory of the Rserve distribution which show a C/C++ client. Also available from the Rserve pages is a Java client (JRclient). See http://rosuda.org/Rserve for details.


RSconnect(host = "localhost", port = 6311)
RSlogin(c, user, pwd, silent = FALSE)
RSeval(c, expr)
RSshutdown(c, pwd = NULL, ctrl = FALSE)
RSevalDetach(c, cmd = "")
RSassign(c, obj, name = deparse(substitute(obj)) )
RSserverEval(c, expr)
RSserverSource(c, file)



host to connect to


TCP port to connect to


Rserve connection


username for authentication


password for authentication


command (as string) to evaluate


flag indicating whether a failure should raise an error or not


session object as returned by RSdetach or RSevalDetach


value to assign


name to assign to on the remote side


R expression to evaluate remotely


path to a file on the server(!) that will be sourced into the main instance


logical, if TRUE then control command (CMD_ctrlShutdown) is used for shutdown, otherwise the legacy CMD_shutdown is used instead.


RSconnect creates a connection to a Rserve. The returned handle is to be used in all subsequent calls to client functions. The session associated witht he connection is alive until closed via RSclose.

RSlogin performs authentication with the Rserve. Currently this simple client supports only plain text authentication, encryption is not supported.

RSclose closes the Rserve connection.

RSeval evaluates the supplied expression remotely. expr can be either a string or any R expression. Use quote to use unevaluated expressions. The implementation of RSeval is very efficient in that it does not require any buffer on the remote side and uses native R serialization as the protocol. See exmples below for correct use.

RSdetach detaches from the current Rserve connection. The connection is closed but can be restored by using RSattach with the value returned by RSdetach. Technically the R on the other end is still running and waiting to be atached.

RSshutdown terminates the server gracefully. It should be immediately followed by RSclose since the server closes the connection. It can be issued only on a valid (authenticated) connection. The password parameter is currently ignored since password-protected shutdown is not yet supported. Please note that you should not terminate servers that you did not start. More recent Rserve installation can disable regular shutdown and only allow control shutdown (avaiable to control users only) which is invoked by specifying ctrl=TRUE.

RSevalDetach same as RSdetach but allows asynchronous evaluation of the command. The remote Rserve is instructed to evaluate the command after the connection is detached. Please note that the session cannot be attached until the evaluation finished. Therefore it is advisable to use another session when attaching to verify the status of the detached session where necessary.

RSattach resume connection to an existing session in Rserve. The session argument must have been previously returned from the RSdetach or RSevalDetach comment.

RSassign pushes an object to Rserve and assigns it to the given name. Note that the name can be an (unevaluated) R expression itself thus allowing constructs such as RSassign(c, 1:5, quote(a$foo)) which will result in a$foo <- 1:5 remotely. However, character names are interpreted literarly.

RSserverEval and RSserverSource enqueue commands in the server instance of Rserve, i.e. their effect will be visible for all subsequent client connections. The Rserve instance must have control commands enabled (not the default) in order to allow those commands. RSserverEval evaluates the supplied expression and RSserverSource sources the specified file - it must be a valid path to a file on the server, not the client machine! Both commands are executed asynchronously in the server, so the success of those commands only means that they were queued on the server - they will be executed between subsequent client connections. Note that only subsequent connections will be affected, not the one issuing those commands.


Simon Urbanek


## Not run: 
  c <- RSconnect()
  RSassign(c, stackloss)
  RSeval(c, quote(library(MASS)))
  RSeval(c, quote(rlm(stack.loss ~ ., stackloss)$coeff))
  RSeval(c, "getwd()")
  image <- RSeval(c, quote(try({
    readBin("plot.png", "raw", 999999)})))
  if (inherits(image, "try-error"))

## End(Not run)

RSclient documentation built on March 18, 2022, 7:49 p.m.

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