I have a 3rd party python geoprocessing script that requires rpy2, and thus also . What is the best way to get these working together?

Using R with ArcGIS Desktop says the most useful option for using R with ArcGIS is via the Geospatial Modelling Environment but as near as I can tell GME doesn't use rpy2. The script I'd like to use is not that large, but I didn't write it and don't want to port it to a different module. I don't understand the workings well enough to be confident I could do so without making a mistake.


The script should work if you have R and rpy2 installed properly. First install R, then rpy2, and be sure that you update your PATH with the rpy2 location.

See: http://rpy.sourceforge.net/rpy2/doc-dev/html/overview.html#installation

Depending how explicit the third-party script is in importing the rpy2 module you may need to set the RHOME path thusly:

from rpy_options import set_options
set_options(RHOME='C:\\Program Files\\R\\R-2.13.1\\')
  • Could you elaborate more on how you managed to install rpy2? Getting errors during installation.
    – R.K.
    Sep 16 '12 at 3:47

Installing rpy2 in windows can be rather complex. Here are the instructions that worked for me:

1. Install R

2. Install Rtools

3. Define environmental variables
Control Panel | Advanced tab | Environmental Variables

define the following: RHOME, R_HOME, R_USER

RHOME: C:\Program Files\R\R-2.13.1
R_HOME: C:\Program Files\R\R-2.13.1
R_USER: C:\Users\username\Documents

4. Append path to R (and Rtools) executable(s) to PATH
Control Panel | Advanced tab | Environmental Variables

example paths: C:\Program Files\R\R-2.13.1\bin\i386; C:\Rtools\bin

5. Build rpy2
1. Download and execute the binary executable 


2. Download the source and build:

In the rpy2 folder...

python setup.py build --force -c mingw32
python setup.py install

Adapted from https://bitbucket.org/lgautier/rpy2/pull-request/3/added-some-win32-install-instructions

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