[Rd] Problem building DLL under Windows

Jon Senior jon at restlesslemon.co.uk
Fri Apr 3 16:18:51 CEST 2009

Apologies if this has appeared before, but I've searched the archives and all the documentation and I can't find anything which helps.

I'm trying to build a DLL under windows. The process (more on that later) works fine under Linux and gives the illusion of working under Windows, but attempting to load the resulting DLL using dyn.load results in:

Error in inDL(x, as.logical(local), as.logical(now), ...) :
  unable to load shared library: 'C:/Documents... '
  LoadLibrary failure: Invalid access to memory location.

Searching Google shows that the LoadLibrary message is unique to R (Or no-one else is admitting to it).

The first problem is that the library is actually a wrapper around an existing library to make it usable under R, but the original library is built as a static object (and for reasons of controlling exciting versioning problems, I'd prefer it to stay that way).

Under Linux, I pass the library to gcc using PKG_LIBS=-static lib.a and it builds fine.

Under Windows, I put the following in Makevars.win:
PKG_LIBS -Lc:/Path/To/Library -llib.name
and it builds fine (GCC returns with no errors and I have what appears to be an appropriately sized DLL in the directory).

I've tried passing various flags into gcc, but I really don't know what I'm doing at this point with regard to building under windows (I have a pretty good grasp of how to compile libraries under Linux, and understand the concepts involved in shared libraries. I get the impression however that I'm missing something about Windows DLLs.

Compulsory version information:
OS: Windows XP SP2
R: 2.8.1
GCC: 4.2.1-sjlj (mingw32-2) (From Rtools29.exe)

For the record, I've read http://www.stats.uwo.ca/faculty/murdoch/software/compilingDLLs/readme.packages.txt which hints at some requirement for DLLs to use _cdecl. I've started exploring along this line, but there's a lot of documentation to trawl through to make sense of it all and I don't want to go off chasing a red herring if I just need to pass a special --make-it-work flag to gcc.

In the only thread I found which appeared to have any similarities, Prof. Ripley said that there was a solution (or hint): "It is there, unfortunately along with a lot of uniformed speculation." Of course, the uninformed speculation is still in the archives making it no easier to find no than in August 2007! Perhaps someone who understands this stuff (or has some experience of it) could provide a hint as to how to proceed. :-)

Thanks in advance.

Jon Senior <jon at restlesslemon.co.uk>

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