RKWard on Windows

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This page has been marked as needing an improvement. This means the page is incomplete, badly structured or otherwise in need of significant improvements. Most importantly, a walkthrough for the installer is needed



RKWard on Windows is still a very young project. We'd like to encourage you to give RKWard a try on Windows, but if you do, you should expect all sorts of issues, small and large. Please help us by reporting the problems you find.

Known issues

(Please use the bug trackers to report issues. This section is only meant to document the major deficiencies.)

  • There are several bugs related to file-selection dialogs. In some situations it helps to go to the KDE "system settings"->Advanced->Platform and deselect the "Use native filedialogs" option.


Default installation: Complete installation bundle

The easiest way to install RKWard on Windows is using the binary installation bundle.

  1. Simply the above file and double-click the downloaded .exe-file.
  2. You will be prompted for an installation folder. This could be C:\Programs\, but also a network share, a USB disk, or almost any other folder. A subdirectory "RKWard" will be created in this folder.
  3. You may want to drag-and-drop the "RKWard"-icon from the installation-folder to your desktop or to another easily accessible location.

That's all! For more information see http://sourceforge.net/projects/rkwardextras/files/Readme.html/download . At the time of this writing, the bundle includes RKWard 0.5.3, KDE 4.4.1, and R 2.11.0. If you want to use a custom installation of KDE and / or R, use the "RKWard on Windows installer", instead (see below).

Custom installation: RKWard on Windows installer


You need to install R and KDE before you can install RKWard.


A windows installer is available at http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/ .

Installation should be straightforward and does not require any special settings. In cases of doubt, extensive documentation is available from the same url.


Generic instructions for installing KDE on Windows are available at http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KDE_on_Windows/Installation . For RKWard, proceed as follows:

  1. Download the KDE Windows installer and run it.
  2. Be sure to select MinGW4 as compiler mode on the third page of the installer.
  3. Install the following KDE packages:
    • kdebase (in some versions of the installer, this is called kdebase-mingw or kdebase-apps and kdebase-workspace)
    • (many additional packages will be installed, automatically).

Installing RKWard

The RKWard installer itself is available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/rkward/files/Current_Stable_Releases/install_rkward_0.5.3.exe/download . In the installer you will need to specify the R and KDE installation directories.

Compiling RKWard from source on Windows

Using emerge (recommended)

  1. Set up emerge as detailed, here: http://techbase.kde.org/Getting_Started/Build/KDE4/Windows/emerge .
  2. run
 emerge rkward

This should be all you need to fetch rkward and all dependencies (including R). Note that this will take several hours to complete.


  • Currently this has only been tested with the MinGW(4) compiler. You are encouraged to try compiling using MSVC, but quite likely you will run into some problems. Report those on the mailing list, and we will take care of them.
  • At times, compilation using emerge will fail. If the build fails on the R or RKWard packages themselves, let us know on the mailing list. If the build fails at an earlier stage (qt / kdelibs / kdebase), you may want to check http://winkde.org/pub/kde/ports/win32/dashboard/ to see whether this is a problem with your particular setup, or a general problem.
  • It is not easily possible to re-use an existing R installation in this approach. Should this be a hard requirement, please use the precompiled package, or try the instructions for fully custom compilation, below.

Custom compilation (not recommended)

For info on compiling RKWard of Linux/BSD/similar systems see Building_RKWard_From_Source. The same information basically applies on Windows, once you have set everything up as detailed below.


You need to install KDE and R as described above with these extra steps:

  • In the KDE installer
    • you have to select "Package Manager" Mode (and compiler mode "MinGW4").
    • install the additional packages "gcc-mingw", "cmake", and check the "Devel" box on "kdelibs-mingw" (a considerable number of further packages will be installed automatically).
  • Download and install the latest R tools: http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools/

Initial CMake run

When running CMake, you need the following parameters:

  • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=C:\your\path\to\KDE
    • Required, as kde4-config is currently buggy
  • -G "MinGW Makefiles"
    • Needed to tell CMake to use mingw-make

You may get an error complaining about sh.exe in your path during the CMake run. At this time, if you drop the -G "MinGW Makefiles" and re-run cmake, that seems to work.

Differences in running make

When usually you would write

 make [something]

on windows write

 mingw-make [something]


Should you get an error such as

 No rule to make target `D:/kde/kde-mingw/lib/libQtDbus4.a'

although D:/kde/kde-mingw is not your installation directory, see this mail: http://mail.kde.org/pipermail/kde-windows/2009-April/003655.html .

Debugging / further info

See http://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tutorials/Debugging/Debugging_on_MS_Windows in the KDE wiki.

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