Why doesn't the R studio bundle use MKL?


I was just wondering why Intel Clear Linux doesn’t use the Intel Math Kernel Library by default in R. Is there another bundle that adds this support. It just seems like a strange decision for Intel to use OpenBLAS instead of their own library.

Does anyone know?

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Hey Matt,

This is a good question – I know we can build R with MKL support (seen here: lhttps://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/using-intel-mkl-with-r) so it might be a license issue or it may be that nobody has requested the MKL enabled version as a bundle. I’ll dig in and see if I can find out, and unless there’s a reason not do to do so, we can add a package request.

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It would be amazing if you dig it a little further. R with MKL support (one of my favorite Intel libraries) would be very good.

Hi Matt,

I did dig in a bit, and found that Clear Linux doesn’t ship an MKL enabled R bundle due to licensing complexities. I did look through the tutorial on the software.intel.com page though and it looks like it should build on Clear Linux. And I agree, MKL is great!

Just be aware that using R with MKL isn’t necessarily a big performance win. See the experience here R studio bundle performance where it first ended up really slow due to misconfiguration and never ended up being faster for them.

I agree given that OpenBLAS (which is bundled instead of the default BLAS) is pretty great. I actually posted here because I saw that post and realized that the RStudio bundle wasn’t using MKL.

I just assumed that it was.