[Rd] RPM support for package installation?

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Feb 6 19:16:33 CET 2007

The problem is the speed with which R packages change.  My dept considered 
this, and decided against.  There have been something like 200 new 
versions of CRAN packages already this year.

Even if we provided automated wrappers to make source RPMs, someone would 
still have to build the binary RPMs for your (unstated) architecture and 
then install it.  Unless you use very few packages nor sysadmin is going 
to be happy with this approach.

It really is quite easy to have your own library and install packages 
there, and it will become easier in 2.5.0.  Your 'workaround' is the 
preferred solution for many sites including ours, although for our most 
popular architectures we also run a central site-library of popular 
packages (e.g. those used for teaching here).

On Tue, 6 Feb 2007, Rhiannon L Weaver wrote:

> Hello,
> Tech question, I hope this has not been addressed before.  I searched help
> archives and looked for online help but came up empty-handed.
> My question is: (short version) Is there a RPM-supported version of
> update.packages() for use with updating package libraries on managed
> multi-user Linux networks?
> Details:
> I put in a request for updating the version of R on one of the hosts on my
> work Unix network, which is managed by our IT department.  Current version
> is 2.1.0; I asked them to update to 2.4.1. The core update installed and I
> was able to test it, but the update had trouble loading the package
> "Matrix" for use with "lme4".  I don't recall the specific error (will
> check it out when the new version gets re-installed again and I can
> document it).  Other packages (lme, wavethresh, MASS) seemed to load
> without problems.
> I think the Matrix problem can be solved by running update.packages() but
> when I requested the admin to update packages for the new version, they
> said that they need to do this via an RPM.  Specifically (and I'm not a
> network guru so my advice may not be entirely accurate):
> me: I think if you have admin access you should be able to update the R
> packages by using the command update.packages() from within a running,
> updated version of R, and it will automatically check packages for new
> versions and update them.
> admin: But this method moves us to an unsustainable host with locally
> installed packages.  The add-on packages need to be installed via an RPM.
> As I understand it, RPM is like a kind of makefile for Linux machines.
> The help mentions need of -devel or -dev files for RPM installations and
> updates of the core software; is there a similar avenue I can point my
> admin to for package updates?  I'm not afraid of a little Linux, but I
> fear I am a bit out of my element on this one.
> Currently the workaround is for them to install the new version and for me
> to download and maintain packages locally.
> Thanks very much for your time,
> -Rhiannon
> ______________________________________________
> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

More information about the R-devel mailing list