[Rd] RPM support for package installation?

Rhiannon L Weaver rlweaver at stat.cmu.edu
Tue Feb 6 20:35:31 CET 2007


Thanks for the clarification.  As long as the admins don't mind (which I 
guess they won't because it means they won't have to build RPMs or 
binaries), I will be okay with just using local versions of the libraries. 
I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious (which is 
probably pretty likely in situations like this).  Thanks again for your 


On Tue, 6 Feb 2007, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

> 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