RcppGetconf: Rcpp Interface for Querying System Configuration Variables

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So what is this?

Modern POSIX systems (such as Linux) have a binary getconf which can access the system calls sysconf, pathconf and confstr. This package brings the values back to R.


This package requires access to these system calls, and definitions of its data structures in the system header files. We have used it exclusively on Linux and OS X so far. It should (or could) work on other POSIX-based operating systems, and contributions to make it build more widely would be very welcome.

Quick Examples

The first function corresponds to getconf -a and provides all values which can be retried – currently 320 on my systems.

R> res <- getAll()
R> head(res)
               key value type
1         LINK_MAX 65000 path
2  _POSIX_LINK_MAX 65000 path
3        MAX_CANON   255 path
4 _POSIX_MAX_CANON   255 path
5        MAX_INPUT   255 path
6 _POSIX_MAX_INPUT   255 path
R> tail(res)
                      key  value type
315    LEVEL4_CACHE_ASSOC      0  sys
316 LEVEL4_CACHE_LINESIZE      0  sys
317                  IPV6 200809  sys
318           RAW_SOCKETS 200809  sys
319           _POSIX_IPV6 200809  sys
320    _POSIX_RAW_SOCKETS 200809  sys

The second example provides read access to individual settings:

R>  getConfig("_NPROCESSORS_CONF")
[1] 8
R>  getConfig("LEVEL1_ICACHE_SIZE")
[1] 32768
R> getConfig("GNU_LIBC_VERSION")
[1] "glibc 2.23"


The package is on CRAN and can be installed from every mirror via



It contains two useful functions right now. It currently builds cleanly on Linux and OS X; reports from other builds would (and PRs where needed) would be greatly appreciated.


Dirk Eddelbuettel


GPL (>= 2)

Initially created: Thu Jul 28 22:27:52 CDT 2016
Last modified: Sun May 26 10:12:05 CDT 2024