[Rd] Offer zip builds

Marc Schwartz m@rc_@chw@rtz @end|ng |rom me@com
Tue Jun 4 01:54:19 CEST 2019

> On Jun 3, 2019, at 6:31 PM, Steven Penny <svnpenn using gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 4:11 PM Marc Schwartz wrote:
>> I have not tried it, but if that is the case here, you may be able to use the
>> normal R binary installer, but adjust the default install options when
>> prompted, allowing you to customize the install location and other parameters,
>> that may be suitable in the absence of Admin rights.
>> Prior statements, not official, would suggest that R Core is not likely to
>> assist in providing official options for useRs to circumvent OS security
>> restrictions.
> Theres nothing nefarious here. It would allow people to use the R environment
> without running an installer. If someone is a new user they may want to try
> R out, and installers can be invasive as they commonly:
> - copy files to install dir
> - copy files to profile dir
> - set registry entries
> - set environment variables
> - set start menu entries
> and historically uninstallers have a bad record of reverting these changes.
> should not put this burden upon new users or even having them resort to virtual
> machine to avoid items above. having a ZIP file allows new users to run the
> R environment, then if they like it perhaps they can run the installer going
> forward. Are you familiar with Windows? As everything I am describing hasnt
> changed in at least 20 years.
> I dont have a criticism of the R installer, I have not run tests to be able to
> determine if its well behaved or not. Its the *not knowing* that is the issue.
> With Windows, every installer could be perceived as a "black box".


I am on macOS primarily, albeit, I have run both Windows and Linux routinely in years past.

That being said, these days, I do run Windows 10 under a Parallels VM on macOS, as I have a single commercial application that I need to run for clients now and then, and it sadly only runs on a real Windows install (e.g. not with Wine).

To your points:

The R for Windows FAQ does provide some information on installing R as a non-Admin:


as well as Registry change related information:


There is also information on running from external media:


and uninstalling:


In addition, the R-Admin manual provides information on the Inno Setup installer:


which leads you to:


and shows that Inno Setup is, like R, fully open source, hence reviewable and not a black box, any more than R itself is. That should not be a surprise...

While I understand the use case you describe, it is, as I noted initially, up to R Core to be willing to provide an official release of a ZIP based installation. Unless you can make the case to them to expend the finite resources that they have to support this as part of each version release process, in light of the prior discussions, it is not clear that this appears to be a priority.

Again, I do not speak for them.

Otherwise, it falls to the community to volunteer to engage in that activity and fulfill the need.



More information about the R-devel mailing list