[R] Help with history() in Emacs/ESS

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Mon Oct 26 00:26:39 CET 2009

On Oct 25, 2009, at 4:04 PM, Tariq Perwez wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I am a beginner running R 2.9.2 under Ubuntu and typically use Emacs  
> w/ESS.
> However, I am confused with history() command. When I issue command
> history() in Emacs within an R session, this is what get:
>> history()
> Error in savehistory(file) : no history available to save
> Similarly, history(max=10) command gives the same error message.
> However, there is this In/Out Menu in the Emacs when R is running,  
> and if I
> press List Input History from this menu, I see the entire history in  
> a new
> frame. Unfortunately, I cannot control how much history I can view  
> by this
> menu approach. I would greatly appreciate if someone could explain  
> what is
> going on with history() command under Emacs/ESS. Interestingly,  
> history()
> command seems to work fine in an R session within the terminal. Best
> regards,
> Tariq

When R is run under ESS it uses the --no-readline command line option,  
which disables the normal history() mechanism. The use of readline is  
described in ?history.

If you start R using:

   R --no-readline

from a terminal session, you will observe the same behavior as under  

You can review the manual for ESS and see a description of the built- 
in ESS command history mechanism.

Also, ESS related questions should really go to the ESS list:



Marc Schwartz

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