Run a script from local computer on a Rserver using plink

11 June 2019

You know Rstudio (Desktop) ? Do you Rstudio Server ? Great solution for companies to avoid to install R on all computer (sounds logic ?).

Good as a programmer you are sometimes creating small tools for your colleagues… with R maybe. Well you do not want to install R on their computer (packages updates and so on, even Rportable is not a real option). Why not using SSH to tell your Rserver to do a certain job ? Why not doing this with unique user input ?

A small solution is to combine batch code and plink which would send command via ssh.

The idea is that you use batch language to ask your user 1 or several input (working directoy, a numeric variable or character variable).

Here how to do:

@echo off

:: ask input to your user
set /p wd=Give me an character input (for example working directory)
set /p characterVector=User, give a character vector (for example c('AP0001', 'AP0002') )

echo n | plink.exe -v -ssh <user> -pw <password> "Rscript <path-of-your-script-on-the-server> '%wd%' \"%characterVector%\""

To make this work you need to read those 2 arguments in the Rscript (%wd%, %characterVector%).

args <- commandArgs(TRUE)
yourVector <- eval(parse(text=args[2]))

You see here that I use eval(parse(text=args[2])) for the 2 element vector. This vector is actually just a character element “c(‘AP0001’, ‘AP0002’)” for example. You need to evaluate in R language to be able to extract each element of it ('AP0001' and 'AP0002').

You can adapt the batch script to your needs. You may find interesting ideas or codes on the net or even on the Code section here.


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