[R] How to save & play back an entire R session?

Greg Snow Greg.Snow at imail.org
Thu Dec 16 17:33:39 CET 2010

To just save a copy of all the commands issued you can use the savehistory function (this is documented on the same page as history, so David's answer would have lead you there as well).  If you want to save all the outputs from you session you can use the sink function.

You can save a combination of the inputs and outputs using the R2HTML package or the TeachingDemos package (see ?txtStart in the later).  For both of those you need to start recording and end recording (and specify if you want a graph saved).  The txtStart option also gives the option to save a script file of all the commands (similar to saveHistory, but as you go along rather than after the fact) that can be rerun later using source.

But it is generally better to write a script file and run from that, then you have control over what goes into the file, do you really want to rerun all calls to help and mistakes?  You can run a whole script from a file using the source function, or there are various editors that will send lines or blocks to be evaluated (the R gui on windows does this, also emacs, tinn-R, vim, and probably others that I missed).

Gregory (Greg) L. Snow Ph.D.
Statistical Data Center
Intermountain Healthcare
greg.snow at imail.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at r-project.org [mailto:r-help-bounces at r-
> project.org] On Behalf Of Roy Shimizu
> Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 7:44 AM
> To: r-help at r-project.org
> Subject: [R] How to save & play back an entire R session?
> I know that at the end of an R session I'm given the option to save
> the current *state* of the session.
> But I would like to save the entire sequence of inputs that took place
> during the session, so that I can play them back later, and not only
> be left in the same state I was at the time of saving the session, but
> be able to see the entire history of the session (inputs and outputs).
>  (This is somewhat reminiscent of what can be done with Mathematica
> notebooks, although not exactly, since, with Mathematica notebooks,
> one doesn't necessarily save the original inputs.)
> Does anyone know how to achieve this?
> Thanks!
> Roy
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