[Rd] Bundling system dependencies in binary packages

Louis Aslett louis.aslett at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Dec 2 19:34:34 CET 2014

I've been hunting round for the accepted method of bundling system
dependencies into binary packages.

For example, there are some CRAN packages (e.g. gmp, RcppArmadillo,
...) which don't require the system dependencies be installed for the
Windows and Mac binary builds.  I understand that there are a very
limited number of packages for which CRAN would do this, so as a first
step I'm *not* asking how to get this on CRAN, but rather this
highlights there must be a (fairly automated/easy) mechanism to
achieve this.  Is it as simple as statically linking?  If so there's
surely an automated way to trigger this without having to modify
Makevars to produce the static linked packages?

The Writing R Extensions manual section on binary packages doesn't
mention this and I've tried extensive Googling without joy.

So in a nut shell, I'm looking to bundle a binary version of GMP
(https://gmplib.org) and FLINT (http://flintlib.org) into my package
for Windows/Mac users who can't/won't compile the libraries and which
I can distribute independently of CRAN, but without having to do so in
a manual/hacky way by tweaking Makevars each time, or modifying the
tgz/zip produced by R.

Hope I've been clear enough there.

Any pointers much appreciated,


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