Install Rpy2 on Windows

R Christoph Gohlke provides a page to release unofficial binaries of python packages. However, for rpy2 and pycuda you may have to use exactly the same version of R or cuda toolkit to use the binary. Therefore, if you do not want to use that version, you may have to compile the package yourself. For the case of rpy2, the process is quite simple. Since the offical rpy2 site does not offer any suggestion on howto build it under Windows, you can compile and install rpy2 under Windows by following this article.

  1. Change

    Change following codes in under distutils folder.

     compiler = os.path.basename(sysconfig.get_config_var("CC"))
     if sys.platform[:6] == "darwin":

    Search for similar code in the file, and change these lines to:

     #compiler = os.path.basename(sysconfig.get_config_var("CC"))
     compiler = 'gcc'
     if sys.platform[:6] == "darwin":

    Yes, we simply bypass the command, and give the right answer.

  2. Set R_HOME and R_USER

    The default installation the R_HOME is C:\PROGRA~1\R\R-31~1.2.

  3. pip install singledispatch

  4. Pass r-home when build rpy2

    python build --r-home C:\PROGRA~1\R\R-31~1.2

  5. Done.

    Run python install as your wish.

Finally, if you do not want compile rpy2. There is a package named pyper written by Xia. The package is quite light-weighted and well-written. If you do not want heavily use of R in python, but only make a few communication, pyper is the right choice to go.

BTW, I found many people are not installed rpy2 successfully due to their tool chain. If you are absolutely new to Python, or never build package from source, you should probably first start up a suitable tool chain before trying to build other package. You can download a sample Cython file to test your tool chain. Normally, a suitable tool chain can compile regular Cython files. You will also need fortran compiler for some packages.


I reinstall Python, and the patch described here is not working for the latest rpy2. I have checked the method is working fluently with rpy2-2.5.6, but not rpy2-2.6.*. The issue has been reported to the developer half years ago, and it seems there is no way to solve the problem. If someone do want to compile rpy2-2.6 on Windows, remove the ResetConsole line from the source is a must. I do not check by removing this line what functionality will be affected, but you can compile the package without it. If you run into link error of Python library, simply generate libpython27.a using dlltool. If you do not know what to do, may a search you will find many related posts.

I personally do not use rpy2 recently. If someone interested in the ResetConsole, please dig into the problem, and leave a comment below or in the issue report.

LAST words, rpy2 are not designed to be running on Windows. If you really want to use it, switch to Mac or Linux is a better choice.