[R] [R-SIG-Mac] How to interrupt an R process that hangs

Adam D. I. Kramer adik-rhelp at ilovebacon.org
Mon Mar 15 19:42:45 CET 2010

+1--this is the single most-annoying issue with R that I know of.

My usual solution, after accomplishing nothing as R spins idly for a couple
hours, is to kill the process and lose any un-saved work.  save.history() is
my friend, but is a big delay when you work with big data sets as I do, so I
don't run it after every command.

I have cc'd r-help here, however, because I experience this problem with
non-OSX R as well...when I run it in Linux or from the OSX command-line (I
compile R for Darwin without aqua/R-framework), the same thing happens.

Is there some way around this? Is this a known problem?

Google searching suggests no solution, timeline, or anything, but the
problem has been annoying users for at least twelve years:


On Mon, 15 Mar 2010, Matthew Keller wrote:

> HI all,
> Apologies for this question. I'm sure it's been asked many times, but
> despite 20 minutes of looking, I can't find the answer. I never use
> the GUI, I use emacs, but my postdoc does, so I don't know what to
> tell her about the following:
> Occasionally she'll mess up in her code and cause R to hang
> indefinitely (e.g., R is trying to do something that will take days).
> In these situations, is there an option other than killing R (and the
> work you've done on your script to that point)?
> Thank you,
> Matthew Keller
> -- 
> Matthew C Keller
> Asst. Professor of Psychology
> University of Colorado at Boulder
> www.matthewckeller.com
> _______________________________________________
> R-SIG-Mac mailing list
> R-SIG-Mac at stat.math.ethz.ch
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-sig-mac

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