[R] R on Linux, and R on Windows , any difference in maturity+stability?

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Tue Oct 6 17:23:05 CEST 2009

On 10/6/2009 10:34 AM, Jose Quesada wrote:
> Robert Wilkins <iwritecode2 <at> gmail.com> writes:
>> Will R have more glitches on one operating system as opposed to
>> another, or is it pretty much the same?
>> robert
> One important difference is that, if you are unsing large datasets and need
> memory, then windows is by far the worst. 
> CRAN R is 32 bit and can only address 1.5 Gb of memory (or something similar; I
> don't really understand why).

By default, 32 bit Windows only gives 2 Gb for all the user processes to 
share, and saves the rest of memory for itself.  You can change this 
(see the Windows FAQ), but the most you'll ever get is 3 Gb in 32 bit 
Windows, and a bit under 4 Gb in 64 bit Windows.

Duncan Murdoch

> While there's a 64-bit version of R for windows (revolution-computing.com) I
> would advise against using it, for several reasons. While revolution has
> provided very nice packages to the community (e.g., foreach), the win-64 port as
> of today is certainly the worst platform to do work on. Reasons:
> (1) it's R 2.7.2
> (2) Many important packages will never be ported
> (3) Some packages (particularly those depending on Rjava) would not work properly
> (4) There's a proprietary repository, where most packages are outrageously
> outdated. 
> (5) Most help you find on R-help will not apply. Instead, you have 'paid'
> support. Said support is slow, and close to useless in most cases.
> (6) Packages that rely on external tools (e.g., mysql) will take a lot of work
> to get going. 
> And of course, one have to pay for a yearly license, to have the privilege to
> work under the above conditions.
> If you need 64-bit right now, my advice is to switch to basically any other
> platform.
> Note: this may change any time, since they are working on a continuous build
> that will keep the releases in sync with mainstream R.
> Jose Quesada, PhD.
> Max Planck Institute, Human Development, Berlin
> http://www.josequesada.name/
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