[R] Can't start R in Debian Woody

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Thu Jul 11 15:54:31 CEST 2002

> I know this is not a problem comming from R, but maybe you can still help me. 
> I installed R 1.4.1 on Debian Woody, but I can't start it.
> I get this message:
> ~$ R
> /usr/lib/R/bin/R.bin: error while loading shared libraries: libblas.so.2: 
> cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

This is a known issue that has long been fixed, albeit not in the frozen woody

The blas libraries are "virtual". For a short period, the virtual dependency lacked 
a safe default value.  This has been fixed, see for example the current 1.5.1 
where the Depends is now on 
          atlas2-base or blas or atlas2-3dnow or atlas2-sse2 or atlas2-sse 

In you case the atlas2-base [ Atlas, setup for any cpu ] or blas [ non-Atlas blas ]
defaults weren't there when 1.4.1 built against it, and you ended up with 
atlas2-3dnow [ Atlas for Athlon ] purely because it sorts first.  Unfortunately, this 
fails on non-Athlon chips.

To rectify, you can install either one of  a) atlas2-base for generic Atlas, b) blas for 
non-optimised blas or c) the matching optimised atlas, i.e. one of atlas2-sse2 or 

Sorry for the inconvenience.  I'll beg the release manager to correct that for the woody

Lastly, you can also pick the R 1.5.1 packages from the unstable distro. As I built 
them on a woody system, these packages do not depend on anything not in woody.

Cheers, Dirk

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