[Rd] Idea for install.packages on (certain) linux distributions

Prof. John C Nash nashjc at uottawa.ca
Tue Mar 2 13:31:49 CET 2010

Some time ago, I had some email discussion with Dirk E. about putting a front-end on 
install.packages to first look at the debian repositories for R and use them before trying 
to install from source. The code for this would not be very large. As Uwe points out in 
another posting, the issue then becomes one of repository maintenance. And as more types 
of installers get included, the code and the chance of package mismatches get more risky.

However, where we have repositories, it may be useful to have example code to try such an 
approach. In pseudo-code this could be implemented without damaging install.packages as:

    [start of my.install.packages]
    if (exist(local.install) ) {
    } else {

If anyone gets enthused about this, I'd suggest posting on R-wiki. Note that local.install 
will have to be pretty aggressive at checking the OS version etc.


> Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2010 16:33:08 +0100
> From: "Carlos J. Gil Bellosta" <cgb at datanalytics.com>
> To: r-devel at r-project.org
> Subject: [Rd] Idea for install.packages on (certain) linux
> 	distributions
> Message-ID: <4B8BDE34.6070000 at datanalytics.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Hello,
> I do not know whether this idea would be considered useful or not. Or 
> easy to implement.
> But it is the case that on certain Linux distributions there are OS 
> packages with precompiled R packages. However, install.packages (and 
> related functions) download the source ones.
> Would it be possible to add an extra "repository" (or option) on 
> install.packages that would direct R to use the OS level package manager 
> (apt-get, yum or the like) so as to install the precompiled packages 
> from the distribution mirrors instead of the CRAN ones?
> Best regards,
> Carlos J. Gil Bellosta
> http://www.datanalytics.com

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