pqR - a pretty quick version of R

pqR is a new version of the R interpreter. It is based on R-2.15.0 and later versions distributed by the R Core Team (at r-project.org), but improves on the R Core version in many ways, mostly ways that speed it up, but also implementing some new features and fixing some bugs. pqR is an open-source project licensed under the GPL.

One notable improvement in pqR is that it is able to do some numeric computations in parallel with each other, and with other operations of the interpreter, on systems with multiple processors or processor cores.

The current stable release: pqR-2015-09-14

Features of the current stable pqR release of 2015-09-14 are described in the NEWS file (which is also included in the distribution below). A notable feature of this release is that pqR now works on Microsoft Windows systems.

The R parser has also been rewritten in this version of pqR. The new version is much cleaner, and is also faster. It also prepares for the implementation of extensions to the R language in a future release of pqR.

How to install pqR

Currently, pqR is distributed only in source form, and must be compiled on your machine before you can use it. The process is very similar to building R Core versions from source.

Linux systems will usually have all or most of the utilities needed to build pqR. For a Mac, you will need to install Apple's Xcode software and a Fortran compiler; parallel computation using "helper threads" requires installing a non-Apple C compiler that supports OpenMP. To install on a MS Windows system, you will need to first install a set of tools, including C and Fortran compilers.

Detailed installation instructions are linked to below (they are also in the source tarball you will download):

The pqR source is in the following gzipped tar file:

You can verify download integrity by checking the sha1sum.

Unpack this file with the "gunzip" and "tar" commands (many "tar" programs will do the gunzip automatically, or it may have been done by the download softare). Configuration, compilation, and installation can then be done in the same way as for R-2.15.0, but there are some additional options for pqR. Refer to the file `INSTALL' for the installation instructions for Unix-like systems, or `src/gnuwin32/INSTALL' for instructions on installing on MS Windows. These instructions have been expanded to be more detailed than in R-2.15.0.

For a Windows install, you will also need either pqR-win-extras-32.tar.gz or pqR-win-extras-64.tar.gz.

The pqR wiki contains more information on systems on which pqR has been tested, including the configuration options that were used, and details of compilers used.

The pqR package repository

A repository of packages known to work with pqR (and with each other) is available at ftp://price.utstat.utoronto.ca. It may be used as the repository when installing packages as follows:

install.packages (vector-of-package-names, repos="ftp://price.utstat.utoronto.ca")
Packages from CRAN may also work with pqR, though some depend on a version of R later than 2.15.0. Note that the pqR repository is not continuously updated with new packages from CRAN. (It may be updated now and then.)

See the pqR wiki for more information on this repository.

Reporting bugs

The pqR issues page has reports of bugs and other issues. Please report bugs you find there.

More information

For more information on pqR and R in general, see the following manuals, which have been updated where required with information on pqR:

There is also a FAQ (or as PDF), which has not been updated for pqR.

The pqR wiki has additional current information on pqR. This includes information on systems on which pqR has been tested, and packages tested with pqR.

My blog, at radfordneal.wordpress.com, has a series of posts discussing pqR, as follows (most recent first):

Some of these posts refer to my set of speed tests for R.

Previous releases

Here are the gzipped source tar files for major previous releases:
pqR-2013-06-20 (first publicised release)

Source code repository

The git repository for the source code and development history of pqR is at http://github.com/radfordneal/pqR. The current release is on branch Release-2015-09-14. See the MODS file in that branch (or mods directory in development branches) for information on how branches in the git repository are organized. These branches also document how pqR differs from R-2.15.0.