Re: [Rd] R_PROFILE on Windows

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue 13 Dec 2005 - 21:15:52 GMT

On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Fernando Henrique Ferraz P. da Rosa wrote:

> There seems to be a bug in the Startup section, regarding the
> R_PROFILE environment variable in Windows. If not a bug in the Startup
> itself, perhaps a bug in the documentation.

Nope, it works as documented, using exactly the same code as on Linux. You do not tell us your shell here (so I presume it is XP's cmd.exe), but you seem to have set R_PROFILE to a string enclosed in quotes (as the R output shows). Try

         RGui.exe R_PROFILE=C:/fernando/R.profile

I am in the same boat, and so I use tcsh/sh on Windows to be sure I understand the quoting rules.

> According to ?Startup:
> Then R searches for the site-wide startup profile unless the
> command line option '--no-site-file' was given. The name of this
> file is taken from the value of the 'R_PROFILE' environment
> variable. If this variable is unset, the default is
> '$R_HOME/etc/'
> On Windows XP, I created a batch file with the following lines:
> SET R_PROFILE="C:\fernando\R.profile"
> "C:\progs\R-2.2.0\bin\Rgui.exe"
> On c:\fernando\R.profile I had:
> options(foo='bar')
> Running the batch file I created I get, in R:
> > options()$foo
> >Sys.getenv("R_PROFILE")
> "\"c:\\fernando\\R.profile\""

           ^^                       ^^

> I've tried using slashes instead of backslashes
> (fernando/R.profile), double blackslashes (fernando\\R.profile) but it
> seems there's no way to make it work.
> The only way I could manage to have R read the profile was
> renaming R.profile to .Rprofile and starting R on the directory the
> .Rprofile was located.
> Is this really the intended behaviour? If so, what's the
> correct way to specify the R_PROFILE variable and have R use it on
> Windows?
> Ps: I've tested it on R 2.2.0 and on r-devel r36675, on Windows
> XP SP2. Sorry if this is a non-bug. I'm a poor linux user trying to
> survive on Windows, so I might have overloooked something.
Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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