interactive {base}R Documentation

Is R Running Interactively?


Return TRUE when R is being used interactively and FALSE otherwise.




An interactive R session is one in which it is assumed that there is a human operator to interact with, so for example R can prompt for corrections to incorrect input or ask what to do next or if it is OK to move to the next plot.

GUI consoles will arrange to start R in an interactive session. When R is run in a terminal (via Rterm.exe on Windows), it assumes that it is interactive if ‘stdin’ is connected to a (pseudo-)terminal and not if ‘stdin’ is redirected to a file or pipe. Command-line options --interactive (Unix) and --ess (Windows, Rterm.exe) override the default assumption. (On a Unix-alike, whether the readline command-line editor is used is not overridden by --interactive.)

Embedded uses of R can set a session to be interactive or not.

Internally, whether a session is interactive determines

In addition, R's own R code makes use of interactive(): for example help, debugger and install.packages do.


This is a primitive function.

See Also

source, .First


 .First <- function() if(interactive()) x11()

[Package base version 3.3.2 Index]