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new package postgresql-plr. Get the power of R inside your postgreSQL database

March 30th, 2012 by

I’m pleased to introduce you to a new available package for postgreSQL database.
The R procedural language extension developed by Joseph E Conway.

R Procedural Language for PostgreSQL


PL/R is a library which allow you to add the power of R statistical engine in your database.
This article will show you how to add it and basic usage on a 12.1 installation.
(The package is also available for 11.4)

Become familiar with the project and how it can help you.
The homepage project : www.joeconway.com/plr/

We admit here, that you are able to manage a posgreSQL server instance, and have already one running.


Actually the pre-packaged rpms are available at
Repository for openSUSE 12.1:

Repository for openSUSE 11.4:

Packages are composed of postgresql-plr (containing only the necessary lib) and postgresql-plr-doc (the whole documentation and samples)


This repository is the devel (but stable) repository for postgresql, using it can ask you to upgrade your postgresql installation to new version.
Take care to be sure, you can safely upgrade it (backups before), other software you need that are linked to previous version etc…

Submission to factory/12.2 is pending …

Adding the repository

zypper ar -f -c -n "server-database-postgresql" http://software.opensuse.org/repositories/server:database:postgresql/openSUSE_12.1 "server-database-postgresql"

If postgresql is already installed
Check upgrade process

zypper -v dup -D -r server-database-postgresql

Do the upgrade

zypper -v dup -r server-database-postgresql

Add postgresql-plr to the installation

zypper in postgresql-plr postgresql-plr-doc

Create a PLR ready database

As postgresql superuser

createdb plrtest

Create the plr extension

psql -d plrtest

Quick test if it works

-- first, define the language and functions.  Turn off echoing so that expected file
-- does not depend on contents of plr.sql.
\set ECHO none
-- check version
SELECT plr_version();

(1 row)

Work with

If you install the package postresql-plr-doc you will have a file named plr.out which contain a lot of usefull examples.

Connect to your plr ready db

psql -d plrtest

And run some of the example like

-- test aggregates
create table foo(f0 int, f1 text, f2 float8) with oids;
insert into foo values(1,'cat1',1.21);
insert into foo values(2,'cat1',1.24);
insert into foo values(3,'cat1',1.18);
insert into foo values(4,'cat1',1.26);
insert into foo values(5,'cat1',1.15);
insert into foo values(6,'cat2',1.15);
insert into foo values(7,'cat2',1.26);
insert into foo values(8,'cat2',1.32);
insert into foo values(9,'cat2',1.30);
create or replace function r_median(_float8) returns float as 'median(arg1)' language 'plr';
select r_median('{1.23,1.31,1.42,1.27}'::_float8);
(1 row)

CREATE AGGREGATE median (sfunc = plr_array_accum, basetype = float8, stype = _float8, finalfunc = r_median);
select f1, median(f2) from foo group by f1 order by f1;
  f1  | median 
 cat1 |   1.21
 cat2 |   1.28
(2 rows)

create or replace function r_gamma(_float8) returns float as 'gamma(arg1)' language 'plr';
select round(r_gamma('{1.23,1.31,1.42,1.27}'::_float8)::numeric,8);
(1 row)

CREATE AGGREGATE gamma (sfunc = plr_array_accum, basetype = float8, stype = _float8, finalfunc = r_gamma);
select f1, round(gamma(f2)::numeric,8) from foo group by f1 order by f1;
  f1  |   round    
 cat1 | 0.91557649
 cat2 | 0.93304093
(2 rows)

Play more

Have a look and build your own benchmark

Failures, bugs

If you find a defect in the package, please use traditional bug reporting at


This link contain the already pre-filled form and should help you to get quick answer.

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