Re: [R] system(..., invisible=FALSE, show.output.on.console=FALSE) in Windows 7

From: Ralph Olsson <>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:42:09 +0000 (GMT)

Yes, shell("start") works. R does not wait for the command prompt to be closed, but this can be worked around by running shell("start /WAIT") so it looks like this should give a solution our guy's can use.

Many thanks,


From: Gabor Grothendieck <> Subject: Re: [R] system(..., invisible=FALSE, show.output.on.console=FALSE) in Windows 7 To: "Ralph Olsson" <> Cc:
Date: Friday, 11 March, 2011, 14:58

On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 12:14 PM, Ralph Olsson <> wrote:
> Hello,
> I work for a company in which a number of employees use R. Many of them like to run executables via the system function in such a way that the output of that executable is displayed in a separate window. To give an example of the behavior they require, the following command can be run in R GUI:
> system("cmd",invisible=FALSE,show.output.on.console=FALSE)
> The result is that a command prompt opens up and can be used interactively until it is closed. We have never had a problem with this command running R on Windows XP machines.
> Recently a number of us have switched to PCs running Windows 7. Under this operating system the above command often, if not always, fails to open a window. Some people can successfully run the command in one R session but then fail to get a window if a second R session is started. Others cannot get a window to open at all. We've tested the command with R 2.12.1, 2.12.1 patched, 2.12.2 and 2.12.2 patched (all in both 32 and 64 bit). All of these exhibit the same problem.
> I raised the issue as a bug (, but this was promptly closed as being "not reproducible". Since we are having issues running the above command on all of our windows 7 PCs but none of our windows XP PCs, and since whoever closed the bug clearly had no issues running the command on his or her Windows 7 PC, I'm not really sure what to do next in terms of trying to resolve the problem.
> Can anyone shed any light on this issue? Is anyone able to reproduce it (only takes 30 seconds, just copy the above line into RGui on Windows 7 and confirm whether a command prompt opens; then, with the first session still open, try the same in a second RGui window)?
> Any help or feedback would be appreciated,

Does this work for you?


Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at

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