[Rd] Rmpi on CentOS (64bit)

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Thu Mar 4 16:15:03 CET 2010

On Mar 4, 2010, at 1:24 AM, Patrick Connolly wrote:

> On Wed, 03-Mar-2010 at 01:46PM -0600, Marc Schwartz wrote:
> |> Patrick, just as an FYI, I did not see which variant of CentOS you
> |> are using, but:
> Apologies.  I didn't mention it's 5.4

No problem.

> |> CentOS 4, which is based upon RHEL 4, is in turn based upon Fedora
> |> Core 3 (2004).
> |> CentOS 5, which is based upon RHEL 5, is in turn based upon Fedora
> |> Core 6 (2006).
> |> So to reinforce, there is a substantial and intentional lag between
> |> RHEL/CentOS and Fedora. Recall that RHEL and CentOS are targeted
> |> for stable server use, whereas Fedora is a bleeding edge distro.
> Yes.  For that reason, I wished to get Rmpi working on CentOS.  I use
> Fedora 11 at home and I'm a bit put off by the 300-500 Mb of updates
> most weeks.  It's nice using the new stuff, but those updates
> periodically screw up what had been working well.  I wouldn't want
> that on a production machine.  Looks as though I'll have to do so
> anyway.  My Linux skills aren't up to sorting out this CentOS lot, and
> I should at least get it started: it's likely there's not much
> difference between F11 and F12 for this task.
> This could well be a case where Debian would be the easiest way to go,
> but I couldn't convince the IT people to go down such a new track.
> Ours is very much an rpm site.  In any case, my only Debian-type
> experience is with Mepis (where I got Rmpi working in 20 minutes, but
> I don't think that makes me a Debian pro).
> Thanks for the hints.

BTW, just as happenstance this morning, I found the following blog posting, that may or may not be of help to you for Rmpi on Fedora:


Notwithstanding the IT people issues, you could perhaps consider Ubuntu LTS, which provides a hybrid-ish approach of having a fairly up to date desktop Linux distro with longer term post-release support. Moving to a Debian based distro of course also avails you of the significant work that folks like Dirk have put in place to make most CRAN packages easily available via apt.

There was a similar hybrid attempt for Fedora a few years ago, called Fedora Legacy, but it was effectively DOA. There were folks who wanted and argued for longer post release support, to avoid the frequent release update cycle. Not surprisingly, with the exception of a core group, the majority of those who wanted it were not willing to provide the substantial voluntary resources to actually make it successful. Not to mention, it was anathema to Fedora's raison d'etre and there were heated discussions on the Fedora lists.

F13 is scheduled for release mid-May, which means that F11 goes EOL mid-June. So you will need to think about moving any F11 based systems to F12 or F13 in the not too distant future. That's the challenge of Fedora's life cycle, with twice per year major releases, so one has to make an informed decision as to the willingness to be on a fast track. It is one of the reasons that I moved to OSX a year ago, after 8 years on RH/Fedora, along with growing frustration over the poor nature of Linux hardware support from the GPU vendors (especially nVidia) at the time. As they say, the only good thing about banging your head against the wall, is that it feels so good when you stop.

To contrast, RHEL has a 7 year life cycle, which of course carries over to CentOS, again reflecting server versus desktop requirements. You can see more information here:


So each RHEL/CentOS major release lives during roughly 14 Fedora major releases.

There are also various rumors and speculations about RHEL 6, its release date and which version of Fedora it will be based upon, with some suggesting F12 or F13:





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