[Rd] tempdir() may be deleted during long-running R session
maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed Apr 26 17:09:07 CEST 2017
>>>>> Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd at debian.org>
>>>>> on Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:40:38 -0500 writes:
> On 26 April 2017 at 08:29, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
> | This seems like the wrong approach. The problem occurs as soon as the
> | tempdir() gets cleaned up: there could be information in temp files
> | that gets lost at that point. So the solution should be to prevent the
> | cleanup, not to continue on after it has occurred (as "check = TRUE"
> | does). This follows the principle that it's better for the process to
> | always die than to sometimes silently produce incorrect results.
> That is generally true, but also "hard" as we don't have a handle on the OS
and that was the reason I've proposed the simple platform
agnostic tool which does not entirely solve the problem (in this sense I
agree with "wrong approach") but allows to mitigate it and (by
followup changes) to work around many use case problems.
> | Frederick posted the way to do this in systems using systemd. We should
> While that was a very helpful post yet it may only apply to Arch Linux as
> stated. My Ubuntu systems at home and work all run systemd too, but do _not_
> automatically remove tempfiles.
> Yet what he suggested is quite right: we should define a proper config file
> for this facility and then possibly also use the /run directory as many other
> services now and (of course) also either TEMPDIR or later the code to have
> /run be another fallback if TMP, TEMP, TMPDIR, ... are unset.
> Distribution maintainers such as yours truly could then include this
> | be putting that in place, or the equivalent on systems using other
> | tempfile cleanups. This looks to me like something that "make install"
> | should do, or perhaps it should be done by people putting together
> | packages for specific systems.
> Doesn't 'make install' only write to $RHOME/ and below, plus $PREFIX/bin ?
Also, 'make install' is optional for good reasons.
E.g., I never ever run 'make install': I typically always have many R
versions, all available in the shell and ESS (Emacs Speaks
Statistics) via symbolic links into a directory on PATH.
Dirk mentioned (as well) that this is all very platform specific
which I do think is important. From my typical OS point of view:
Why should the user who runs R not have the right to delete the
tempdir which was created by the process that she runs and hence owns ?
I agree it would be an improvement if we made such deletion much
harder than it is now, and yes, there may be great (almost)
cross-platform tools available to manage this much better than
we do now, e.g., via open files.
Before we are there, I would find it useful to have a new
'tempdir' (i.e. folder/directory for R's temporary files) to be
re-created manually or automagically in those cases it has
disappeared, and that is within easy reach via the proposed
OTOH, I typically live very well by quickly killing
and restarting R (from inside ESS).
The OP issue was to help newbies and computer-non-experts, the
latter nowadays comprising more than 90% of R users (I'd guess ~
98% looking at our otherwise smart students).
These are typically "slightly" confused when they ask for help and
get a pretty severe error message:
Error in file(out, "wt") : cannot open the connection
In addition: Warning message:
In file(out, "wt") :
cannot open file '/tmp/RtmpztK6f7/Rtxt36972b91938': No such file or directory
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