[R] R 2.0.0 (Windows): slow startup over the network

Uwe Ligges ligges at statistik.uni-dortmund.de
Wed Oct 6 15:50:34 CEST 2004

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.
>>However, when startet 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.

Just for those who are interested:

R-2.0.0 with the complete CRAN collection, Bioconductor and some other 
stuff installed on a capable Windows 2003 Server using a client with 
The RGui window appears at once, the prompt within 5 seconds.

As Brian Ripley already pointed out, there must be a bottleneck at your 
side, either the server performance or network traffic.
I know from own experiences that WinNT 4.0 Server were not as good as 
the 2003 Server in file delivery, but I don't think it can be that dramatic.

Uwe Ligges

> So it's slower without the additional packages!
>>I disabled the virus scanner, read ?Startup, startet R with the 
>>--vanilla option, with no effect. Does anyone an have idea, what I can 
>>do next?
> 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.
> and I have only seen this with Windows network-mounted discs. With our
> 7-year-old Sun Sparc 1 server running Samba it takes about 25s, and that
> is a pretty extreme situation (and that server is about to be retired),
> which were are solving by installing R 2.0.0 locally.
> Your network looks very slow, and maybe needs checking out.  No one 
> checking alpha or beta versions has reported any problems, including you.
> I do plan to address this in a future version, and did not do for 2.0.0
> precisely because no end-user reported any problem during testing.

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