rxGetEnableThreadPool: Get or Set Thread Pool State


Gets or sets the current state of the thread pool (in a ready state or created ad hoc).


  rxSetEnableThreadPool( enable )



Logical scalar. If TRUE, the thread pool is instantiated and maintained in a ready state. If FALSE, threads are created in an ad hoc fashion; that is, they are created as needed.


The rxSetEnableThreadPool function is used on Linux to turn the thread pool on and off. When the thread pool is on, it means that there exists a pool of threads that persist between calls, and are ready for processing.
When the thread pool is off, it means that threads will be created on an ad hoc basis when calls requiring threading are made. By default, the thread pool is turned off to allow R processes that have loaded RevoScaleR to fork successfully as a mechanism for spawning (for example, by the multicore package).

On the Windows platform, the thread pool always persists, regardless of any user settings.

There is a significant speed increase associated with having the thread pool ready and waiting to do work. If you are sure that you will not be using any spawning mechanism that uses fork, you may want to put the following at the end of your Rprofile.site. Make absolutely sure that it is after any lines that are used to load RevoScaleR:

invisible( rxSetEnableThreadPool( TRUE ) )

The following are possible cases where fork may be called. Obviously, this is not an all-inclusive list:

  • nohup to launch jobs. This will cause a fork to be called.

  • Using multicore and/or doMC to launch R processes with RevoScaleR

Note that when using rxExec, the default behavior for any worker node process on a Linux host will be to have the thread pool off (set to create threads in an ad hoc manner). If the function passed to rxExec is going to make multiple calls into RevoScaleR functions, you will probably want to include a call to rxSetEnableThreadPool(TRUE) as the first line of the function that you pass to rxExec.

For distributed HPA functions run on worker nodes, threading is always automatically handled for the user.

The rxGetEnableThreadPool function can be used to determine whether the thread pool is instantiated or not. Note that on Windows, it will always be instantiated; on Linux, whether it is always instantiated or created on an ad hoc basis is controlled by rxSetEnableThreadPool. At startup on Linux, the thread pool state wil be off; that is, threads will be created on an ad hoc basis.


rxSetEnableThreadPool returns the state of the thread pool prior to making the call (as opposed to the updated state). Thus, this function returns TRUE if the thread pool was instantiated and in a ready state prior to making the call, or FALSE if the thread pool was set to be created in an ad hoc fashion.


Microsoft Corporation Microsoft Technical Support

See Also



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