[R] including R in the SuSE Linux distribution

John Logsdon j.logsdon at lancaster.ac.uk
Sun Mar 19 01:03:16 CET 2000

On Sat, 18 Mar 2000, Faheem Mitha wrote:


> So, to summarise, if you use SuSE and feel R and/or ESS should be included
> in the distribution, consider writing directly to SuSE. Whether or not you
> do write to SuSE, let me know if you would like to sign (in an email
> sense) a joint letter to SuSE. I thought that it might be a good idea to
> send a joint letter to SuSE, with email addresses attached, from everyone
> who was interested in R becoming part of the standard SuSE distribution.

While sympathising in general with the point I am not sure whether asking
the Linux distributors to bundle every bit of potentially useful software
in their distos is right.  Where do they stop?  Even CDs have their

Both Linux and R move and develop very rapidly.  While it is relatively
easy to update R (say) by just replacing the RPMs and maybe the libraries,
updating Linux is something that most people only do when they really have
to.  As a RedHat user I am still on 5.2 purely because it works.  Perhaps
I need to update to 6.1 but then 6.2 is just round the corner....  So I
leave well alone.  When I change disto version I do a complete re-install
on a fresh disk so I can go back to the old version if necessary (eg I had
a big problem with pppd in RH5.2 that meant that I couldn't access my

What perhaps is needed from the distos is for them to point to CRAN (for
R, for example) and to help if required in compiling the RPMs or whatever
for *all* their Linux versions. This may relieve some of the load on the R
team and enable the user to keep up to date with whatever disto version
they have.

This will have the benefit to the distos of enabling their users of all
versions to access the latest version of R.

Just a thought.


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