pbdZMQ v0.3-3.1


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Programming with Big Data -- Interface to 'ZeroMQ'

'ZeroMQ' is a well-known library for high-performance asynchronous messaging in scalable, distributed applications. This package provides high level R wrapper functions to easily utilize 'ZeroMQ'. We mainly focus on interactive client/server programming frameworks. For convenience, a minimal 'ZeroMQ' library (4.2.2) is shipped with 'pbdZMQ', which can be used if no system installation of 'ZeroMQ' is available. A few wrapper functions compatible with 'rzmq' are also provided.



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  • Author: See section below.

pbdZMQ is an R package providing a simplified interface to ZeroMQ with a focus on client/server programming frameworks. Notably, pbdZMQ should allow for the use of ZeroMQ on Windows platforms.


The package contains 2 separate interfaces:

  1. One modeled after the ZeroMQ C interface (see help("czmq"))
  2. One modeled after the rzmq interface (see help("rzmq"))

Client/Server Example

The primary focus of pbdZMQ is for building client/server interfaces for R. An example of this can be found in the pbdCS package, which uses this model to control batch MPI servers interactively. There are also several illustrative examples in the pbdZMQ package vignette.

The basic idea is that you need a server R process, and a separate client R process. For demonstration/simplicity, assume they are both running on the same machine. The server we describe here is very basic. You can see a more detailed example in the pbdZMQ package vignette.


Save the following as, say, server.r and run it in batch by running Rscript server.r from a terminal.

ctxt <- init.context()
socket <- init.socket(ctxt, "ZMQ_REP")
bind.socket(socket, "tcp://*:55555")

cat("Client command:  ")
  msg <- receive.socket(socket)

cat(msg, "\n")
send.socket(socket, "Message received!")


From an interactive R session (not in batch), enter the following:

ctxt <- init.context()
socket <- init.socket(ctxt, "ZMQ_REQ")
connect.socket(socket, "tcp://localhost:55555")

send.socket(socket, "1+1")

If all goes well, your message should be sent from the client to the server, before your server terminates.

For an example of how to do this more persistently, see the pbdZMQ package vignette.


pbdZMQ requires

  • R version 3.0.0 or higher.
  • Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, or FreeBSD.
  • libzmq >= 4.0.4.
  • Solaris 10 requiring external libzmq 4.0.7 and OpenCSW.

A distribution of libzmq is shipped with pbdZMQ for convenience. However, if you already have a system installation of ZeroMQ, then it is simple to use that with pbdZMQ. Full details on installation and troubleshooting can be found in the package vignette, located at inst/doc/pbdMPI-guide.pdf of the pbdZMQ source tree.

The package can be installed from the CRAN via the usual install.packages("pbdZMQ"), or via the devtools package:



When mentioning the pbdZMQ, please cite:

  author = {Chen, W.-C. and Schmidt, D. and Heckendorf, C. and Ostrouchov, G.},
  title = {pbdZMQ: Programming with Big Data -- Interface to ZeroMQ},
  year = {2015},
  note = {R Package, URL https://cran.r-project.org/package=pbdZMQ}


pbdMPI is authored and maintained by:

  • Wei-Chen Chen
  • Drew Schmidt
  • Christian Heckendorf
  • George Ostrouchov

With additional contributions from:

  • Whit Armstrong (some functions are modified from rzmq for backwards compatibility)
  • Brian Ripley (C code of shellexec)
  • The R Core team (some functions are modified from the R source code)
  • Elliott Sales de Andrade (sprintf version underflow)
  • Spencer Aiello (windows conf spacing)

For the distribution of ZeroMQ that is shipped with pbdZMQ, you can find details of authorship and copyright in inst/zmq_copyright/ of the pbdZMQ source tree, or under zmq_copyright/ of a binary installation of pbdZMQ.

Functions in pbdZMQ

Name Description
address Form an Address/Endpoint
ZMQ Control Functions Sets of controls in pbdZMQ.
ZMQ Flags ZMQ Flags
Overwrite shpkg Overwrite rpath of linked shared library in osx
Utility Functions Utility Functions
Wrapper Functions for rzmq All Wrapper Functions for rzmq
random_port Random Port
shellexec.wcc Shell Execution via cmd windows
ls A wrapper function for base::ls
C-like Wrapper Functions for ZeroMQ The C-like ZeroMQ Interface
Send Receive Multiple Raw Buffers Send Receive Multiple Raw Buffers
Poll Functions Poll Functions
Socket Functions Socket Functions
Context Functions Context Functions
pbdZMQ-package Programming with Big Data -- Interface to ZeroMQ
ZMQ Control Environment Sets of controls in pbdZMQ.
File Transfer Functions File Transfer Functions
Send Receive Functions Send Receive Functions
Message Function Message Functions
Initial Control Functions Initial controls in pbdZMQ
Set Control Functions Set controls in pbdZMQ
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Vignettes of pbdZMQ

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Last month downloads


Date 2018-04-30
LazyLoad yes
LazyData yes
Copyright See files AUTHORS, COPYING, COPYING.LESSER, and MAINTAINERS in 'pbdZMQ/inst/zmq_copyright/' for the 'ZeroMQ' source files in 'src/zmq_src/' which are under GPL-3.
SystemRequirements Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows, or 'ZeroMQ' library >= 4.0.4. Solaris 10 needs 'ZeroMQ' library 4.0.7 and 'OpenCSW'.
License GPL-3
URL http://r-pbd.org/
BugReports https://github.com/snoweye/pbdZMQ/issues
MailingList Please send questions and comments regarding pbdR to RBigData@gmail.com
NeedsCompilation yes
RoxygenNote 6.0.1
Packaged 2020-10-14 15:50:20 UTC; hornik
Repository CRAN
Date/Publication 2020-10-14 16:34:44 UTC

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