Welcome to R Tools for Visual Studio Preview!

About this release

This is our final release on the road to 1.0! Please try this release in all of your data science scenarios and send us your feedback.

If you already have Visual Studio 2015 with Update 3 (or higher) and R installed, you can download RTVS from the link below - but we highly recommend following the Installation guide:

Key features in Version 1.0

The key new feature in RTVS 1.0 is our Remote Execution feature. You can configure a secure server that your data scientists can share. This server lets you:

Table of contents for the documentation

Video feature walk-throughs

Here’s the most recent walk-through video for RTVS 0.4:

Here’s the video for 0.3:

Installation and first steps

The pre-requisites for RTVS are:

Please check out the installation steps, especially if you are new to Visual Studio

Once installed, create a project and code away!

Feedback, bugs, etc.

Please file bugs and feature requests directly on:

To send us bug repros (which are highly appreciated) try the built in Smile/Frown feature:

This will collect logs, start your mail client and attach the log file. You can then examine the contents and click Send. The logs are zipped into %TEMP%/RTVSlogs.zip in case you want to send it yourself.

Finally you can send direct feedback to the team at rtvsuserfeedback@microsoft.com.


Q. Is RTVS going to be free?

A. Yes! RTVS when combined with free Visual Studio Community Edition is a complete and perpetually free IDE. Please make sure that you read the software license terms to see if you qualify for using the free edition of Visual Studio Community Edition.

Q. Is RTVS Open Source?

A. Yes! The source code for RTVS is available on Github and is released under the terms of the MIT license. There is a second component of RTVS, called RHost, which links to the R Interpreter binaries. Its source code is also available on Github and is released under the terms of the GNU Public License V2.

Q. What versions of Visual Studio does RTVS run on?

A. Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 and higher. Community, Pro, and Enterprise Editions.

Q. Does RTVS work with Visual Studio Express editions?

A. No.

Q. What R interpreters does RTVS work with?

A. CRAN R, Microsoft R Client and Microsoft R Server

Q. Where can I download these interpreters?

A. See the installation instructions.

Q. Since RTVS is in VS, does it mean that R can be easily used with C#, C++ and other Microsoft languages?

A. No. RTVS is a tool for developing R code, and uses the standard native R interpreters. We do not have any support currently for interop between R and other languages.

Q. Feature X is missing, but RStudio has it!

A. RStudio is a fantastic and mature IDE for R that’s been under development for many years. We hope to have all the critical features that you need to be successful. Please help us prioritize the TODO list by taking the RTVS survey.

Q. Will RTVS work on MacOS / Linux?

A. No. RTVS is built on top of Visual Studio, which is a Windows-only implementation. However, we are looking at building a new set of tools that run on top of Visual Studio Code, which is the wildly popular cross-platform editor from Microsoft.

Q. Can I contribute to RTVS?

A. Absolutely! The source code lives on Github. Please use our issue tracker to submit / vote / comment on bugs!

Q. Does RTVS work with my source control system?

A. Yes, you can use any source control system that is integrated into Visual Studio. e.g., TFS, git, SVN, hg etc.

Q. I don’t use a US English locale in Windows or in VS. Will RTVS work?

A. The 1.0 release of RTVS will be English-only. The 1.1 release will be localized to the same set of languages that Visual Studio itself is. In the meantime, we recommend using the English language pack for Visual Studio. If English is not available in the drop-down, you’ll need to install the Visual Studio Language pack.

Q. Will RTVS work with 32-bit editions of R?

A. No. RTVS only supports 64-bit editions of R.

Q. What are the key missing features of RTVS currently?

A. There a number of these. For example:

We’ll be addressing these in the near future.

Q. I really like my current Visual Studio settings, but I want to try out the new Data Science settings. What should I do?

A. You can always save your current Visual Studio settings through Tools -> Import and Export Settings… command. You can also use this command to restore one of the default Visual Studio settings (e.g., C++ or General).

Q. What is the recommended .gitignore settings for an RTVS project?

A. Github maintains a master repository of recommended .gitignore files. You can see it here: R .gitignore

Q. Can I store my Visual Studio project on a network share?

A. No. This is not a supported scenario for Visual Studio.


We’re looking for your feedback! Please use the R Tools / Feedback menu to send us smiles and frowns!


If you’re interested in contributing to the docs or samples, feel free to clone the repository and submit a pull request. More instructions can be found in our contribution guide.