[Rd] Building R on Solaris

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sat May 5 20:26:21 CEST 2007

This comes up on R-help from time to time, so I am putting this message in 
the archives that may be helpful to refer back to.

We have just got a brand-new Sun Solaris 10 box: this is a Sparc server to 
be the first of a clustered pair (our file/mail server), and we will also 
be buying an Opteron server.

The good news is that things worked very smoothly with Solaris 10.
The bad news is that libsunperf is just as broken as in 2002 and the
consequences are worse.  So just avoid it!

We don't know what Solaris 10 boxes normally ship with, but our supplier
(an academic specialist reseller) had loaded ours with

Sun Studio 11 compilers (which are now a free download).
A set of Open Source tools from www.sunfreeware.com in /usr/sfw.
A large set of Open Source tools in /opt/csw.

The latter was new to me, and uses a repository at www.blastwave.org and a 
nifty tool called 'pkg-get'.  My sysadmin (who has an HP-UX and Debian 
bias) thought this was the best he had seen, ahead of apt-get and yum, for 
example.  This box already had everything I needed to build R, including 
gcc3, gcc4, libreadline and libiconv.

pkg-get is at http://www.bolthole.com/solaris/pkg-get.html if it was not 
already installed.

As far as I can tell, OpenSolaris aka Solaris Express Community Edition 
aka 'Solaris 11' can be built to have the same set of tools.  (We will 
probably do so on an older box in due course.)

I've written up what we needed to do in the 'R Installation and 
Administration Manual' for R-patched and R-devel.   Some trickery with 
paths was needed for some of the builds (but not to run: these tools are 
set up using ld -R to get the correct run-time library paths and run a 
mixed 64-and 32-bit OS with three different compiler sets very smoothly).

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

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