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29 replies Latest Post - ‏2015-04-13T17:06:47Z by Doug Hemken
CraigNat
CraigNat
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Pinned topic SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

‏2011-11-24T21:09:46Z |
Hello all,

I have SPSS 20 running on Windows 7 with the R Essentials plug-in and version 2.12.0 of R installed. When I try running the test to see if the programs are communicating, i.e.,

BEGIN PROGRAM R.
browser().
END PROGRAM.

I see the following error message:

Error #6887. Command name: begin program
External program failed during initialization.
Execution of this command stops.
Additional error message: create startx process is failure.

I'm baffled as to why I'm receiving this error message, let alone the most appropriate way to fix it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Updated on 2012-07-26T09:46:34Z at 2012-07-26T09:46:34Z by NicolasF
  • SystemAdmin
    SystemAdmin
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    Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

    ‏2011-11-24T22:05:19Z  in response to CraigNat
    My guess is that you don't have write permission to the necessary location. Did you install the R Essentials using Run as Administrator? If not, try uninstalling the Essentials. Then right click on the setup exe and choose Run as Administrator.

    HTH,
    Jon Peck
  • PanchoMulongeni
    PanchoMulongeni
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    Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

    ‏2012-04-17T09:46:21Z  in response to CraigNat
    Craig,
    I had the exact same problem as you, I got the same error message. What I did was to uninstall the R essentials plugin and then try the installation again, only to hit the following brick:
    During the installation it asks to me choose a folder with an 'SPSS 20 Application' is installed. It somehow chooses the folder where R is installed in Programs as the default. I therefore browse to where IBM SPSS 20 is installed under programs, but then it gives an arror 'R 2.12 was not found'. I tried moving the R folder then within the IBM SPSS folder, but then it says 'R was not detected on your machine'. Finally, I chose the default folder again and click 'next' only for it come to a screen that says : "The installer detected the version of SPSS Statistics did not match with this installer, please update it to corresponding version or contact technical staff"
    I am confused, how is that possible? I have SPSS 20 on my Windows 7 and I installed the plugin for SPSS 20.
    Any way out from here?
    • SystemAdmin
      SystemAdmin
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      Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

      ‏2012-04-17T12:58:52Z  in response to PanchoMulongeni
      The normal installation method for the R Essentials for V20 is
      • Install R 2.12.x from the CRAN site.
      • Install the R Essentials from this site.

      On Win 7, you generally need to do the R Essentials install via Run As Administrator as Win 7 protects the files under Program Files. You might need to set environment variables for extensions, but that isn't necessary for installing the Essenetials itself. See the FAQ on this site for details on that.

      It does not matter where you install Statistics or R as long as you have the appropriate permissions.
      • NicholasPeiper
        NicholasPeiper
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        Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

        ‏2012-05-24T19:54:04Z  in response to SystemAdmin
        I am having the exact same problem and have exhausted all possible solutions. I have uninstalled the R essentials multiple times and each time I have re-installed with the "Run as Administrator." I even uninstalled R 2.12.0 and re-installed as Administrator, then re-installed R essentials as Administrator, but to no avail. There has to be another solution aside from installing as administrator. I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium x64, so not sure if that makes a difference--downloaded the respective x64 R essentials package, so that should work. Any further guidance is greatly appreciated!

        Thanks.
        • SystemAdmin
          SystemAdmin
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          Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

          ‏2012-05-24T20:05:07Z  in response to NicholasPeiper
          The only possibility that comes immediately to mind is that you must have the 32-bit version of R2.12 installed, not the 64-bit version even if you are on a 64-bit OS and using a 64-bit version of Statistics.

          If that isn't the issue, please contact Technical Support to see if they can diagnose the problem.

          HTH,
          Jon Peck
          • NicholasPeiper
            NicholasPeiper
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            Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

            ‏2012-05-25T15:25:46Z  in response to SystemAdmin
            Very happy to say I got it working just now! The issue was with using R 12.0--the installation package now comes with both x32 and x64 combined, so I did a full installation that does both of those versions, although this still did not work--the solution was to use R 12.0.1 and do the full installation. When I did this, I noticed the installation properly found both R and SPSS, and also downloaded several packages via the R cmd prompt. After the installation, I ran SPSS as administrator, the syntax checked out, and the propensity score matching custom dialog I have been trying to utilize installed without any hitches.

            Hope this helps the others who were experiencing similar issues!

            Have a good weekend,
            Nick

            --
            Files I downloaded:

            R-2.12.1-win.exe -> Choose the full installation when prompted to select components
            SPSS_Statistics_REssentials_20001_win64.exe -> Should automatically find both R and SPSS with the proper versions installed

            Feel free to contact me at npeiper@gmail.com if you want more feedback or assistance.
            • HeidiBer
              HeidiBer
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              Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

              ‏2012-06-12T19:26:27Z  in response to NicholasPeiper
              I have IBM SPSS statistics 20 on my computer (Windows 7 OS). I installed R 2.12.0 on my computer. Then I tried to install R essentials, but it continues to give me this error message: "R 2.12 was not found on this computer. Please install R 2.12 on this computer and run this installation again." I tried basically everything and have subsequently installed and uninstalled 2.12.0, 2.12.1 and 2.12.2 and then tried installing R essentials. Looked at the bits, but R comes in a package that has both 32 and 64 bits from version 2.12 on. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I looked at all the above comments and implemented suggestions, but without effect.
              • SystemAdmin
                SystemAdmin
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                Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                ‏2012-06-12T19:52:28Z  in response to HeidiBer
                For Statistics version 20, you need to install the 32-bit version of R 2.12 regardless of whether you are using the 32 or 64-bit version of Statistics.
                • HeidiBer
                  HeidiBer
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                  Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                  ‏2012-06-12T21:23:13Z  in response to SystemAdmin
                  Thanks for your answer Jon. That is what I have installed. It doesn't work.
                  • SystemAdmin
                    SystemAdmin
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                    Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                    ‏2012-06-12T21:33:14Z  in response to HeidiBer
                    I assume that you have verified that the R installation was actually successful. (I would use 2.12.2, but that should not matter regarding this problem.) If not, please check by starting R from the Start menu. The R banner that appears will confirm both that it is 2.12.x and that it is the 32-bit version If all that is okay, please contact Technical Support to see if they can diagnose the problem.

                    I would avoid installing R under Program Files, since on Win 7 that restricts your ability to add packages and extensions without some extra effort, but, again, that should not matter on this problem.

                    Regards,
                    Jon Peck
                    • HeidiBer
                      HeidiBer
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                      Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                      ‏2012-06-12T21:36:52Z  in response to SystemAdmin
                      Thanks Jon.

                      This is what I see on R:
                      R version 2.12.1 (2010-12-16)
                      Copyright (C) 2010 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
                      ISBN 3-900051-07-0
                      Platform: i386-pc-mingw32/i386 (32-bit)

                      I assume this is correct. I will contact Technical Support. Thanks for your help.

                      Heidi
                      • HeidiBer
                        HeidiBer
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                        Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                        ‏2012-06-27T00:15:34Z  in response to HeidiBer
                        Hi Jon,

                        I e-mailed askibm@vnet.ibm.com on June 12th, June 14th and June 19th without any response.

                        I have been using SPSS for ten years and am quite frustrated that they don't take researchers' time or concerns more seriously.

                        I see no other option but to do my analysis in Mplus now (I will actually have to buy this package).

                        Really really disappointing!
                        Heidi
                        • SystemAdmin
                          SystemAdmin
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                          Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                          ‏2012-06-29T03:37:30Z  in response to HeidiBer
                          I don't know where you got that email address, but it is not the normal address for SPSS technical support. Try the bookmark for TS listed on the SPSS Community home page.
                          • jkw_2
                            jkw_2
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                            Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                            ‏2014-04-13T22:14:13Z  in response to SystemAdmin

                            I have to agree: this installation process is a nightmare. As R is actually free, there is nothing hindering anybody from updating to the most current version. Therefore I would expect any SPSS version to be made compatible with the current version of R. And I agree with Heidi, a lot of time is wasted here. For example, woudl it be too much to link to the bookmark you name? The answers i read are apologetic and defensive, not the type of customer service that increases my attachment to the suite.

                            There is no 32bit without 64bit install of R 2.12 that I can find at the moment, you could have told other users that you need to change the automatic installtion to 32-bit user installtion during the installation process. This is not self-evident and cost me half an hour to find out.

                            Updated on 2014-04-13T22:25:12Z at 2014-04-13T22:25:12Z by jkw_2
                            • JonPeck
                              JonPeck
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                              Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                              ‏2014-04-14T22:24:22Z  in response to jkw_2

                              You certainly are a grump!

                              SPSS and R ship on different release cycles.  SPSS takes the latest stable R version at the point in the development cycle when we have to make a cut.  There is a lot of work to build, document, and test the plug-ins on all the supported platforms.  Very few R packages actually need the latest Base R.  If you need the bleeding edge for some other purposes, you can install multiple R versions, but currently a Statistics release has to be tied to a particular R release.

                              Furthermore, it is the R license terms that prevent IBM from merging in the R portions of the install more smoothly the way Python and the Python Essentials are handled.

                              There is no need to change the automatic R installation to include only 32 bit, but you do need to install the right version of the R Essentials to make it work with Statistics.

                              Most users find or come to these forums via the SPSS Community website, so it seems redundant to repeat that url in every reference to those pages.

                              Finally, this is NOT a Technical Support site.  It is a user community.  We try to be helpful, but this is not a substitute for Technical Support.

                              Updated on 2014-04-15T03:25:26Z at 2014-04-15T03:25:26Z by JonPeck
                              • jkw_2
                                jkw_2
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                                Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                                ‏2014-04-15T05:11:54Z  in response to JonPeck

                                I apologize for the grumpy sentiment with which that comemnt was written, but I just had made the experience of seemingly wasting a lot of time and getting (again) frustrated with a product I used to like a lot. In the end I noticed that I could not get ggplot2 to run due to installtion problems that I could not detect as error messages were suppressed. I have switched to RStudio now. You have to understand that I have been following SPSS since the earliest windows versions,and actually was one of its few defenders in the scientific commmunity I am in. A number of recent experiences have made me change my evaluation.

                                Thank you for clarifying the state of this site, unfortunately it is the only help out there, so I assumed a stronger corporate support for it. So again sorry, for receiving comments that should not have been made to you. I also may be a bit spoiled by the user-community on stackoverflow, where the work is shared among a multitude of workers.

                                Regarding your answer to the technical problem:

                                I did not have to reinstal the essentials, but I could only make it work after manually chanigng the R package. I had read this information somewhere else, the SPSS 64bbit version does not work with the 64bit version of R, at least not for my SPSS version. This is not to become defenisve myself, but as an idea for soemone who gets stuck where I was stuck.

                                 

                                I can certianly undersand that it is not easy to link the two platforms, but the curent solution unfortunately does not work for me.

                                 

                                • JonPeck
                                  JonPeck
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                                  Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                                  ‏2014-04-15T13:08:32Z  in response to jkw_2

                                  As far as I know, there is nothing special about ggplot2 vs other R packages in using it within Statistics.  However, the most common cause of not getting R output with V20 that I know of is having installed the wrong bitsize version of the R Essentials.  This is usually caused by someone thinking they have 64-bit Statistics because they are on a 64-bit OS when in fact they have the 32-bit version.  In V20, the Essentials installer did not detect this mismatch.  That was fixed in later versions.  Later versions also show whether the Statistics version is 32 or 64 bit in the About box.  The 64-bit R and 64-bit Statistics versions do actually work together.

                                  It is difficult to tell in V20 which bitsize you have.  If you are in any doubt, you could zip up the stats.exe file in your Statistics installation (or just change the file extension) and send it to me at peck AT us.ibm.com, and I can check it.

            • Modalmichelle
              Modalmichelle
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              Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

              ‏2015-01-12T22:53:31Z  in response to NicholasPeiper

              Thank you Nicholas Peiper!! This worked for me... I had to uninstall R and reinstall it using the "Full Installation" from the drop down box; then I reinstalled R Essentials and it worked.  During this process, I realized that R has to be located in Program files (I previously had it installed in Documents). I also realized that if it doesn't automatically detect the folders for R and SPSS 20, then it's not going to happen. 

              • JonPeck
                JonPeck
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                Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                ‏2015-01-12T23:40:01Z  in response to Modalmichelle

                Actually, R does not need to be in Program Files.  I never install it there.  But I'm glad you got the problem solved.

  • NicolasF
    NicolasF
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    Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

    ‏2012-07-26T09:46:34Z  in response to CraigNat
    Thank you NicholasPeiper, version 2.12.1 of R worked fine for me. SPSS essentials for R also automatically detected the correct folder for SPSS 20.

    One thing I did was to remove an old Version of PASW 18 that I still had on my computer. I then uninstalled both R and R Essentials, deleted all remaining folders (this probably does not make any difference) and did a full installation of version 2.12.1 of R. I then installed SPSS R Essentials on my 32 bit system.

    Hope this helps.

    Good Luck everybody
    • SaschaH
      SaschaH
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      Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

      ‏2013-07-26T14:45:09Z  in response to NicolasF

      I also had the reported error ("create startx process is failure") on a Windows 7 system and tried all R 2.12.x versions. I finally found that is was fatal to prevent the R installation from registering the version at the windows registry (I previously unchecked the option because I installed newer R versions on my system that should remain the default). Obviously, R depends on the registry entry linking to a R 2.12.x installation (this is absurd since the R essentials installation routine asks for the R insallation folder and should be able to use is afterwards to detect R).

      • JonPeck
        JonPeck
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        Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

        ‏2013-07-26T22:25:38Z  in response to SaschaH

        That's interesting, but I have many versions of R installed on my Win7 system (including 2.10,2.12.2.14, and 2.15) and I can run all the associated versions of Statistics and R together.  Statistics gets the location for the right version of R from the file spssdxcfg.ini file in the Statistics installation directory.  For example, my V21 file includes this

        [R]
        HOME=C:\R2.14.2
        LIB_NAME=InvokeR

        It does not rely on the Registry or the PATH.

        Another possibility might be crossed bitness.  If you have 64-bit R 2.12 installed, that will not work with Statistics 20.  Statistics first supported 64-bit R in V21.

        • SaschaH
          SaschaH
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          Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

          ‏2013-07-29T09:52:26Z  in response to JonPeck

          As posted here I had to grant write acess to the R installation folder for a proper installation of R essentials (without that the installation worked and commands do not produce errors but R does not communicate back to Statistics). It might be that the former uncomplete installation did not add correct entries to spssdxcfg.ini and Statistics fall back to R_HOME? Or, the installation procedure uses R_HOME to produce entries in spssdxcfg.ini, so isntallation pairs of R and Statistics one after another would work ;-) ...

          Since R 2.12 contains both 32bit and 64bit that should not be an issue.

          Updated on 2013-07-29T09:53:32Z at 2013-07-29T09:53:32Z by SaschaH
        • ch1sbh
          ch1sbh
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          Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

          ‏2013-09-19T23:02:14Z  in response to JonPeck

          Hi Jon,

          I followed the thread here and believe to be confronted with a similar problem, though seemingly not identical.   

           

          I'm running SPSS v. 20.0.0 with Windows 7. I installed R 12.2.1 (64-bit)

          with the R Essentials plug-in  (win64 version from IBM website).  The   installation was fine for both.                                                                                                                 I rebooted  and then opened SPSS and imported an spss datafile.  Then I open a new syntax window to test if the R plug-in works.  I typed       'BEGIN PROGRAM R' and ran command.  the prompt returned  '_SLINE OFF'   (see below)                                                                                                                                      'DATASET ACTIVATE DataSet1.                                            BEGIN PROGRAM R.                                                        _SLINE OFF.                                                                                                                                     How can I make SPSS communicate properly with the R plug-in?    Thanks for any help.    -Serge  
          
          Updated on 2013-09-19T23:02:45Z at 2013-09-19T23:02:45Z by ch1sbh
          • JonPeck
            JonPeck
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            Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

            ‏2013-09-20T01:55:21Z  in response to ch1sbh

            Did you do the install using Run As Administrator?  If not, I suggest uninstalling it and doing the install that way.  There are some other tips in the FAQ on the SPSS Community site that might help.

            Also, in Statistics 20 you need 32-bit R2.12 even if you are using 64-bit Statistics.  64-bit was brand new for R2.12, and Statistics did not support 64-bit R until version 21.

            • ch1sbh
              ch1sbh
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              Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

              ‏2013-09-20T01:57:48Z  in response to JonPeck

              Thanks, Jon.  I'll follow your steps and let you know if the problem persists.   Cheers, Serge

            • ch1sbh
              ch1sbh
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              Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

              ‏2013-09-20T23:13:11Z  in response to JonPeck

              Jon,  I installed R2.12.0   as administrator, but when I tried to install the SPSS essentials R plug-in, it failed, indicating it could not find R2.12.  It seems it's in the wrong folder.  Does it need to be in a subfolder of spss?  Right now, R2.12 is in its own R folder under Program Files.

              thanks for your help,  Serge

              • JonPeck
                JonPeck
                79 Posts
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                Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

                ‏2013-09-21T02:04:25Z  in response to ch1sbh

                R does not need to be in any particular folder.  Possibilities include installing 64-bit when you need the 32-bit version or perhaps installing just for the administrator rather than for all users.

  • Doug Hemken
    Doug Hemken
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    Re: SPSS 20 and R - not communicating

    ‏2015-04-13T17:06:47Z  in response to CraigNat

    I realize this is an ancient topic, but our institution is still in SPSS 20 world.

    I find that it makes a difference, when I install R 2.12.x, that I allow R to register this version with the OS (Windows, in this case).