Install an R custom runtime for SQL Server

Applies to: yesSQL Server 2019 (15.x)

Learn how to install an R custom runtime for running external R scripts with SQL Server on:

  • Windows
  • Ubuntu Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) version 12

The custom runtime can run machine learning scripts and uses the SQL Server Language Extensions.

Use your own version of the R runtime with SQL Server, instead of the default runtime version installed with SQL Server Machine Learning Services.

Beginning with SQL Server 2022, runtimes for R, Python, and Java, are no longer installed with SQL Setup. Instead, install your desired R custom runtime(s) and packages. For more information, see Install SQL Server 2022 Machine Learning Services (Python and R) on Windows or Install SQL Server Machine Learning Services (Python and R) on Linux.

Prerequisites

Before installing an R custom runtime, install the following:

Install Language Extensions

Note

If you have Machine Learning Services installed on SQL Server 2019, Language Extensions is already installed and you can skip this step.

Follow the steps below to install SQL Server Language Extensions, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. Start the setup wizard for SQL Server 2019.

  2. On the Installation tab, select New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

  3. On the Feature Selection page, select these options:

    • Database Engine Services

      To use Language Extensions with SQL Server, you must install an instance of the database engine. You can use either a new or an existing instance.

    • Machine Learning Services and Language Extensions

      Select Machine Learning Services and Language Extensions. Do not select R, as you will be installing the custom R runtime later.

      SQL Server 2019 Language Extensions setup.

  4. On the Ready to Install page, verify that these selections are included, and select Install.

    • Database Engine Services
    • Machine Learning Services and Language Extensions
  5. After the setup is complete, restart the machine if you're asked to do so.

Important

If you install a new instance of SQL Server 2019 with Language Extensions, then install the Cumulative Update (CU) 3 or later before you continue to the next step.

Install R

Download and install the version of R you will use as the custom runtime. R version 3.3 or later are supported.

  1. Download R version 3.3 or later.

  2. Run the R setup.

  3. Note the path where R is installed. For example, in this article it is C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3.

    R setup

Update system environment variable

Follow these steps to modify the PATH system environment variables.

  1. In the Windows search box, search for Edit the system environment variables and open it.

  2. Under Advanced, select Environment Variables.

  3. Modify the PATH system environment variable.

    Select PATH and click Edit.

    Select New and add the path to the \bin\x64 folder in your R installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3\bin\x64.

Install Rcpp package

Follow these steps to install the Rcpp package.

  1. Start an elevated command prompt (run as Administrator).

  2. Start R from the command prompt. Run \bin\R.exe in the folder in your R installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3\bin\R.exe.

    "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3\bin\R.exe"
    
  3. Run the following script to install the Rcpp package in the \library folder in your R installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3\library.

    install.packages("Rcpp", lib="C:\\Program Files\\R\\R-4.0.3\\library");
    

Grant access to R folder

Note

If you have installed R in the default location of C:\Program Files\R\R-version (for example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3), you can skip this step.

Run the following icacls commands from a new elevated command prompt to grant READ & EXECUTE access to the SQL Server Launchpad Service user name and SID S-1-15-2-1 (ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES). The launchpad service user name is of the form NT Service\MSSQLLAUNCHPAD$INSTANCENAME where INSTANCENAME is the instance name of your SQL Server.

The commands will recursively grant access to all files and folders under the given directory path.

  1. Give permissions to SQL Server Launchpad Service user name to your R installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3.

    icacls "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3" /grant "NT Service\MSSQLLAUNCHPAD":(OI)(CI)RX /T
    

    For named instance, the command will be icacls "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3" /grant "NT Service\MSSQLLAUNCHPAD$SQL01":(OI)(CI)RX /T for an instance called SQL01.

  2. Give permissions to SID S-1-15-2-1 to your R installation path. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3.

    icacls "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3" /grant *S-1-15-2-1:(OI)(CI)RX /T
    

    The preceding command grants permissions to the computer SID S-1-15-2-1, which is equivalent to ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES on an English version of Windows. Alternatively, you can use icacls "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.3" /grant "ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES":(OI)(CI)RX /T on an English version of Windows.

Restart SQL Server Launchpad

Follow these steps to restart the SQL Server Launchpad service.

  1. Open SQL Server Configuration Manager.

  2. Under SQL Server Services, right click on SQL Server Launchpad (MSSQLSERVER) and select Restart. If you using a named instance, the instance name will be shown instead of (MSSQLSERVER).

Register language extension

Follow these steps to download and register the R language extension, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. Download the R-lang-extension-windows-release.zip file from the SQL Server Language Extensions GitHub repo.

    Alternatively, you can use the debug version (R-lang-extension-windows-debug.zip) in a development or test environment. The debug version provides verbose logging information to investigate any errors, and is not recommended for production environments.

  2. Use Azure Data Studio to connect to your SQL Server instance and run the following T-SQL command to register the R language extension with CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE.

    Modify the path in this statement to reflect the location of the downloaded language extension zip file (R-lang-extension-windows-release.zip) and the location your R installation (C:\\Program Files\\R\\R-4.0.3).

    CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE [myR]
    FROM (CONTENT = N'C:\path\to\R-lang-extension-windows-release.zip', 
        FILE_NAME = 'libRExtension.dll',
        ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLES = N'{"R_HOME": "C:\\Program Files\\R\\R-4.0.3"}');
    GO
    

    Execute the statement for each database you want to use the R language extension in.

    Note

    R is a reserved word and can't be used as the name for a new external language name. Use a different name instead. For example, the statement above uses myR.

Prerequisites

Before installing a R custom runtime, install the following:

Install Language Extensions

Note

If you have Machine Learning Services installed on SQL Server 2019, the mssql-server-extensibility package for Language Extensions is already installed and you can skip this step.

Run the commands below to install SQL Server Language Extensions on Ubuntu Linux, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. If possible, run this command to refresh the packages on the system prior to the installation.

    # Install as root or sudo
    sudo apt-get update
    
  2. Install mssql-server-extensibility with this command.

    # Install as root or sudo
    sudo apt-get install mssql-server-extensibility
    

Install R

  1. If you have Machine Learning Services installed, R is already installed in /opt/microsoft/ropen/3.5.2/lib64/R. If you want to keep using this path as your R_HOME, you can skip this step.

    If you want to use a different runtime of R, you first need to remove microsoft-r-open-mro before continuing to install a new version.

    sudo apt remove microsoft-r-open-mro-3.5.2
    
  2. Install R (3.3 or later) for Ubuntu. By default, R is installed in /usr/lib/R. This path is your R_HOME. If you install R in a different location, take note of that path as your R_HOME.

    Below are example instructions for Ubuntu. Change the repository URL below for your version of R.

    export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends -y install curl zip unzip apt-transport-https libstdc++6
    
    # Add R CRAN repository. This repository works for R 4.0.x.
    #
    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys E298A3A825C0D65DFD57CBB651716619E084DAB9
    sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://cloud.r-project.org/bin/linux/ubuntu xenial-cran40/'
    sudo apt-get update
    
    # Install R runtime.
    #
    sudo apt-get -y install r-base-core
    

Custom installation of R

Note

If you have installed R in the default location of /usr/lib/R, you can skip this section and move on to the Install Rcpp package section.

Update the environment variables

First, edit the mssql-launchpadd service to add the R_HOME environment variable to the file /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf

  1. Open the file with systemctl

    sudo systemctl edit mssql-launchpadd
    
  2. Insert the following text in the /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf file that opens. Set value of R_HOME to the custom R installation path.

    [Service]
    Environment="R_HOME=<path to R>"
    
  3. Save and close.

Next, make sure libR.so can be loaded.

  1. Create a custom-r.conf file in /etc/ld.so.conf.d.

    sudo vi /etc/ld.so.conf.d/custom-r.conf
    
  2. In the file that opens, add path to libR.so from the custom R installation.

    <path to the R lib>
    
  3. Save the new file and close the editor.

  4. Run ldconfig and verify libR.so can be loaded by running the following command and checking that all dependent libraries can be found.

    sudo ldconfig
    ldd <path to the R lib>/libR.so
    

Grant access to the custom R installation folder

Set the datadirectories option in the extensibility section of /var/opt/mssql/mssql.conf file to the custom R installation.

sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set extensibility.datadirectories <path to R>

Restart mssql-launchpadd service

Run the following command to restart mssql-launchpadd.

sudo systemctl restart mssql-launchpadd

Install Rcpp package

Follow these steps to install the Rcpp package.

  1. Start R from a shell:

    sudo ${R_HOME}/bin/R
    
  2. Run the following script to install the Rcpp package in the ${R_HOME}\library folder.

install.packages("Rcpp", lib = "${R_HOME}/library");

Register language extension

Follow these steps to download and register the R language extension, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. Download the R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip file from the SQL Server Language Extensions GitHub repo.

    Alternatively, you can use the debug version (R-lang-extension-linux-debug.zip) in a development or test environment. The debug version provides verbose logging information to investigate any errors, and is not recommended for production environments.

  2. Use Azure Data Studio to connect to your SQL Server instance and run the following T-SQL command to register the R language extension with CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE.

    Modify the path in this statement to reflect the location of the downloaded language extension zip file (R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip).

    CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE [myR]
    FROM (CONTENT = N'/path/to/R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip', FILE_NAME = 'libRExtension.so.1.1');
    GO
    

    Execute the statement for each database you want to use the R language extension in.

    Note

    R is a reserved word and can't be used as the name for a new external language name. Use a different name instead. For example, the statement above uses myR.

Prerequisites

Before installing a R custom runtime, install the following:

  • RExtension requires GLIBCXX_3.4.20. Make sure the version of libstdc++.so.6 on your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) installation provides this.

Install Language Extensions

Note

If you have Machine Learning Services installed on SQL Server 2019, the mssql-server-extensibility package for Language Extensions is already installed and you can skip this step.

Run the command below to install SQL Server Language Extensions on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is used for the R custom runtime.

# Install as root or sudo
sudo yum install mssql-server-extensibility

Install R

  1. If you have Machine Learning Services installed, R is already installed in /opt/microsoft/ropen/3.5.2/lib64/R. If you want to keep using this path as your R_HOME, you can skip this step.

    If you want to use a different runtime of R, you first need to remove microsoft-r-open-mro before continuing to install a new version.

    sudo yum erase microsoft-r-open-mro-3.5.2
    
  2. Install R (3.3 or later) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). By default, R is installed in /usr/lib64/R. This path is your R_HOME. If you install R in a different location, take note of that path as your R_HOME.

    sudo yum install -y R
    

Custom installation of R

Note

If you have installed R in the default location of /usr/lib/R, you can skip this section and move on to the Install Rcpp package section.

Update the environment variables

First, edit the mssql-launchpadd service to add the R_HOME environment variable to the file /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf

  1. Open the file with systemctl

    sudo systemctl edit mssql-launchpadd
    
  2. Insert the following text in the /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf file that opens. Set value of R_HOME to the custom R installation path.

    [Service]
    Environment="R_HOME=<path to R>"
    
  3. Save and close.

Next, make sure libR.so can be loaded.

  1. Create a custom-r.conf file in /etc/ld.so.conf.d.

    sudo vi /etc/ld.so.conf.d/custom-r.conf
    
  2. In the file that opens, add path to libR.so from the custom R installation.

    <path to the R lib>
    
  3. Save the new file and close the editor.

  4. Run ldconfig and verify libR.so can be loaded by running the following command and checking that all dependent libraries can be found.

    sudo ldconfig
    ldd <path to the R lib>/libR.so
    

Grant access to the custom R installation folder

Set the datadirectories option in the extensibility section of /var/opt/mssql/mssql.conf file to the custom R installation.

sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set extensibility.datadirectories <path to R>

Restart mssql-launchpadd service

Run the following command to restart mssql-launchpadd.

sudo systemctl restart mssql-launchpadd

Install Rcpp package

Follow these steps to install the Rcpp package.

  1. Start R from a shell:

    sudo ${R_HOME}/bin/R
    
  2. Run the following script to install the Rcpp package in the ${R_HOME}\library folder.

install.packages("Rcpp", lib = "${R_HOME}/library");

Register language extension

Follow these steps to download and register the R language extension, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. Download the R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip file from the SQL Server Language Extensions GitHub repo.

    Alternatively, you can use the debug version (R-lang-extension-linux-debug.zip) in a development or test environment. The debug version provides verbose logging information to investigate any errors, and is not recommended for production environments.

  2. Use Azure Data Studio to connect to your SQL Server instance and run the following T-SQL command to register the R language extension with CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE.

    Modify the path in this statement to reflect the location of the downloaded language extension zip file (R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip).

    CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE [myR]
    FROM (CONTENT = N'/path/to/R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip', FILE_NAME = 'libRExtension.so.1.1');
    GO
    

    Execute the statement for each database you want to use the R language extension in.

    Note

    R is a reserved word and can't be used as the name for a new external language name. Use a different name instead. For example, the statement above uses myR.

Prerequisites

Before installing a R custom runtime, install the following:

Install Language Extensions

Note

If you have Machine Learning Services installed on SQL Server 2019, the mssql-server-extensibility package for Language Extensions is already installed and you can skip this step.

Run the command below to install SQL Server Language Extensions on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), which is used for the R custom runtime.

# Install as root or sudo
sudo zypper install mssql-server-extensibility

Install R

  1. If you have Machine Learning Services installed, R is already installed in /opt/microsoft/ropen/3.5.2/lib64/R. If you want to keep using this path as your R_HOME, you can skip this step.

    If you want to use a different runtime of R, you first need to remove microsoft-r-open-mro before continuing to install a new version.

    sudo zypper remove microsoft-r-open-mro-3.4.4
    
  2. Install R (3.3 or later) for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). By default, R is installed in /usr/lib64/R. This path is your R_HOME. If you install R in a different location, take note of that path as your R_HOME.

    Follow these steps to install R:

    sudo zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/languages:/R:/patched/openSUSE_12.3/ R-patched
    sudo zypper --gpg-auto-import-keys ref
    sudo zypper install R-core-libs R-core R-core-doc R-patched
    

    You can ignore the warnings for R-tcltk-3.6.1, unless you need this package.

Install gcc-c++

Install gcc-c++ on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). This is used for Rcpp, which is installed later.

sudo zypper install gcc-c++

Custom installation of R

Note

If you have installed R in the default location of /usr/lib/R, you can skip this section and move on to the Install Rcpp package section.

Update the environment variables

First, edit the mssql-launchpadd service to add the R_HOME environment variable to the file /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf

  1. Open the file with systemctl

    sudo systemctl edit mssql-launchpadd
    
  2. Insert the following text in the /etc/systemd/system/mssql-launchpadd.service.d/override.conf file that opens. Set value of R_HOME to the custom R installation path.

    [Service]
    Environment="R_HOME=<path to R>"
    
  3. Save and close.

Next, make sure libR.so can be loaded.

  1. Create a custom-r.conf file in /etc/ld.so.conf.d.

    sudo vi /etc/ld.so.conf.d/custom-r.conf
    
  2. In the file that opens, add path to libR.so from the custom R installation.

    <path to the R lib>
    
  3. Save the new file and close the editor.

  4. Run ldconfig and verify libR.so can be loaded by running the following command and checking that all dependent libraries can be found.

    sudo ldconfig
    ldd <path to the R lib>/libR.so
    

Grant access to the custom R installation folder

Set the datadirectories option in the extensibility section of /var/opt/mssql/mssql.conf file to the custom R installation.

sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set extensibility.datadirectories <path to R>

Restart mssql-launchpadd service

Run the following command to restart mssql-launchpadd.

sudo systemctl restart mssql-launchpadd

Install Rcpp package

Follow these steps to install the Rcpp package.

  1. Start R from a shell:

    sudo ${R_HOME}/bin/R
    
  2. Run the following script to install the Rcpp package in the ${R_HOME}\library folder.

install.packages("Rcpp", lib = "${R_HOME}/library");

Register language extension

Follow these steps to download and register the R language extension, which is used for the R custom runtime.

  1. Download the R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip file from the SQL Server Language Extensions GitHub repo.

    Alternatively, you can use the debug version (R-lang-extension-linux-debug.zip) in a development or test environment. The debug version provides verbose logging information to investigate any errors, and is not recommended for production environments.

  2. Use Azure Data Studio to connect to your SQL Server instance and run the following T-SQL command to register the R language extension with CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE.

    Modify the path in this statement to reflect the location of the downloaded language extension zip file (R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip).

    CREATE EXTERNAL LANGUAGE [myR]
    FROM (CONTENT = N'/path/to/R-lang-extension-linux-release.zip', FILE_NAME = 'libRExtension.so.1.1');
    GO
    

    Execute the statement for each database you want to use the R language extension in.

    Note

    R is a reserved word and can't be used as the name for a new external language name. Use a different name instead. For example, the statement above uses myR.

Enable external script

You can execute an R external script with the stored procedure sp_execute_external script.

To enable external scripts, use Azure Data Studio to execute the statement below.

sp_configure 'external scripts enabled', 1;
RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE;  

Verify installation

Use the following SQL script to verify the installation and functionality of the R custom runtime.

EXEC sp_execute_external_script
    @language =N'R',
    @script=N'
print(R.home());
print(file.path(R.home("bin"), "R"));
print(R.version);
print("Hello RExtension!");'

Known issues

If you're using the R runtime provided as part of SQL Server Machine Learning Services by setting R_HOME to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL15.<INSTANCE_NAME>\R_SERVICES when you register the language extension, you might run into the following error upon executing any external custom R script with sp_execute_external script.

Error: cons memory exhausted (limit reached?)

To resolve this issue:

  1. Set the environment variable R_NSIZE indicating the number of fixed sized objects (cons cells) to a reasonable value, for example, 200000.
  2. Restart the Launchpad service and retry the execution of the script.

Known issues

If libstdc++.so.6 is not the correct version, you will see this error:

Exthost: Load extension failed /lib64/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.20' not found (required by /home/mssql_satellite/externallanguagessandboxpath/libRExtension.so.1.1)

Next steps