[R] R 2.0.0 (Windows): slow startup over the network
Prof Brian Ripley
ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Wed Oct 6 15:35:46 CEST 2004
On Wed, 6 Oct 2004, Thomas Petzoldt wrote:
> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> > On Wed, 6 Oct 2004, Thomas Petzoldt wrote:
> >> I installed R 2.0.0/Windows on our network server (Win NT 4.0) with
> >> all CRAN packages and observed a quick startup on this machine
> >> (3s).
> > That's actually very slow: decent machine are well under 1s.
> The NT server is optimized for network traffic, not for running local
> applications and it's not brand new.
> >> However, when started from different client machines (e.g. Win NT
> >> 4.0 or Win XP Pro SP2, Athlon XP 1700, 100 Mbit Network) the R Gui
> >> Window appears immediately but then it takes 90 seconds to get the
> >> startup message and the command prompt.
> >> The R base configuration (without additional packages) takes only 4
> >> seconds on both, the server and the client.
> > So it's slower without the additional packages!
> Yes, but the difference lies within the confidence interval (median of
> two experiments with sample size n=3). The load of the server during the
> test was very low, but not zero and there might be some autocorrelation
> between the trials.
> > Read the NEWS file, which says
> > As the lazy-loading databases will be consulted often, R will be
> > slower if run from a slow network-mounted disc.
> I see, but I don't yet understand why additional packages which are
> *not* loaded do require startup time.
The base configuration means package base only, surely? Or did you mean
`default' or `standard'? If the latter, it does look like a problem with
remote access to a file system that has a large directory.
I've just checked and during startup R accesses lazy-load databases about
630 times, which is enough to matter on some systems. With
R_DEFAULT_PACKAGES=NULL, that is just base, it is about 60 times.
Brian D. Ripley, ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
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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