The original R-GRASS interface (Bivand 2000; Neteler and Mitasova 2008) was written mainly to permit R objects represented as sp class objects to be moved to GRASS, and GRASS objects to be moved to R for statistical analysis. From spgrass6 0.6-3 (April 2009) following a fruitful workshop at Queen’s University, Belfast, the interface was re-written to use the --interface-description flag provided for each GRASS command, also used by the Python interface to GRASS commands. Command interface descriptions are parsed from XML and cached as R objects for efficiency. The current version of the R-GRASS interface is contained in this package, rgrass. In addition, an R function initGRASS() was written to permit GRASS to be started from within GRASS to which we will return below.

Starting R inside GRASS

When starting GRASS GIS from a terminal console (here GRASS 8.2.0), one can continue in the GRASS terminal console, starting an interactive R session from there (here R 4.2.1). Loading and attaching the R-GRASS interface package rgrass in the R session, we see that the current GRASS location is detected and reported:

$ /home/rsb/topics/grass/g820/bin/grass /home/rsb/topics/grassdata/nc_basic_spm_grass7/rsb
Starting GRASS GIS...
Cleaning up temporary files...

          __________  ___   __________    _______________
         / ____/ __ \/   | / ___/ ___/   / ____/  _/ ___/
        / / __/ /_/ / /| | \__ \\_  \   / / __ / / \__ \
       / /_/ / _, _/ ___ |___/ /__/ /  / /_/ // / ___/ /
       \____/_/ |_/_/  |_/____/____/   \____/___//____/

Welcome to GRASS GIS 8.2.0
GRASS GIS homepage:            
This version running through:            Bash Shell (/bin/bash)
Help is available with the command:      g.manual -i
See the licence terms with:              g.version -c
See citation options with:               g.version -x
If required, restart the GUI with:       g.gui wxpython
When ready to quit enter:                exit

Launching <wxpython> GUI in the background, please wait...
GRASS nc_basic_spm_grass7/rsb:github-rsb