[R] Compiling R for 64-bit Windows (was Re: increasing memory limit in Windows Server 2008 64-bit)

Peter Dalgaard p.dalgaard at biostat.ku.dk
Tue Nov 25 09:41:34 CET 2008

Michael Styer wrote:
> I did some more research and I think I've answered my own question.
> So my next question is, does anyone have any thoughts about how 
> significant a project it would be to compile R for 64-bit windows 
> (using, e.g., the Portland Group compiler)?
> How much of the code would need to be changed to get around the issue 
> with longs?
> I think this is probably beyond the scope of my project but I should 
> make sure before I give up.

It isn't the path of least resistance. If you want 64 bit processing for 
a specific task, it is much easier to set up a machine with one of the 
64 bit Linux variants. Several of these even have precompiled R packages 
(as in .rpm/.deb/..., not as in CRAN).

That said, there is at least one commercial company who intends to get 
the Win64 issues sorted for at least one commercial compiler, and I 
understand that they will submit patches back to the R source tree. 
Presumably, this will allow the adventurous user to get the same 
toolchain and compile his own version, but in a cool-headed cost-benefit 
analysis, the commercial option might still have an edge. (The company 
should write their own advertising, but I think this pretty well 
illustrates the current balance of things.)

> Thanks for your help!
> Mike
> Michael Styer wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I'm working with a very large dataset in R on a computer running 
>> 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Standard with 32GB of RAM. According to the 
>> R for Windows FAQ, the maximum value allowed for max-mem-size is 
>> 4095MB. Is it possible to run R with a higher memory limit on this 
>> system? I've tried changing memory.limit() in the R console but it 
>> claims the system has a 4-GB address limit, which I don't believe to 
>> be the case here.
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    O__  ---- Peter Dalgaard             Øster Farimagsgade 5, Entr.B
   c/ /'_ --- Dept. of Biostatistics     PO Box 2099, 1014 Cph. K
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