[R-pkgs] rcompletion: TAB completion for the R command line

Deepayan Sarkar deepayan.sarkar at gmail.com
Tue Oct 31 05:10:14 CET 2006

CRAN now has a package called rcompletion that attempts to provide TAB
completion for R using the GNU readline library, intended for R
sessions run from a command line. From the package help page:


    This package provides pseudo-intelligent TAB completion for a
    readline enabled instance of R when it is run from a terminal (or
    more specifically, an interface which uses readline to accept user
    input). It has no effect on the various GUI interfaces to R,
    including ESS and the standard Windows interface.

The package does not compile on a standard Windows box, and there is
no Windows binary available for it. For more usage details, install
and load the package, then type


at the R prompt. The manual is also available online at



To install and use the package successfully, you need:

(1) R compiled with readline, and run with readline enabled

(2) the rcompletion package compiled with readline

The rcompletion package comes with a configure script that tries to
detect readline on the system and aborts if it is unsuccessful in
doing so. There have been no reports so far of false positives (i.e.
detecting readline when it shouldn't). However, there are known cases
of false negatives, i.e. installation failing when it shouldn't. If
this happens to you, any information you can provide to help resolve
the problem would be appreciated.

If step (2) appears to be successful but (1) is not true (e.g. R is
run with --no-readline), nothing bad (but nothing good either) should


More information about the R-packages mailing list