[R] Working with R in a multi-processor machine.

Martin Morgan mtmorgan at fhcrc.org
Tue Jan 10 18:16:20 CET 2006

R is not thread safe, so you must not use it in a
re-entrant way.

If you want to exploit multiple processors, you can write code (e.g.,
in C) called from R (e.g., through .Call or .C) that performs
parallel/threaded computations in a thread-safe way (e.g., without
calling back into R).

Another possibility is to replace the BLAS/LAPACK library with a
thread-safe version. This provides a boost to those R algorithms
exploiting these libraries. Haven't done this myself, but there is
some info in this post


Hope that helps,


Aitor Mata Conde <aitor_doctorado at yahoo.es> writes:

> Hi everyone!!
> This is my first message to the list, so I hope not to disturb anyone if the
> subject of my message has been already treated.
> The question is that I have a tool, a GUI made with Java, connected to R 
> using Rserve, and I'd like to get R and Rserve in a multi-processor machine.
> Now, when I'm going to start the migration I wonder whether R is prepared,
> 'itself' to optimize the use of multiple processors or if I should change the
> code so that it could be a real multi-processor tool.
> In other words... Will the R code adapt itself to the new machine (Unix with
> al least 4 processors)? Or shall I change the code to have multiple real
> threads and transform the algorithms into parallel computing strategies?
> Thanks in advance,
> Aitor.
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