[R] R CMD build produces tar error under FreeBSD 5.4

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Sun Sep 25 13:07:02 CEST 2005

On Sun, 25 Sep 2005, Andrew Robinson wrote:

> Hi R-helpers,
> I am trying to build a package under FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE #0 using R
> Version 2.1.1.
> I have constructed a package using package.skeleton(), when I try
> $ R CMD build foo
> * checking for file 'foo/DESCRIPTION' ... OK
> * preparing 'foo':
> * checking DESCRIPTION meta-information ... OK
> * cleaning src
> * removing junk files
> tar: Option -L is not permitted in mode -x
> Error: cannot open file 'foo/DESCRIPTION' for reading
> foo/DESCRIPTION exists and the permissions are correct. The same
> command works under Linux Fedora 2.  The man pages on each OS imply
> that tar differs across the two platforms.  Does anyone have any
> thoughts on a work-around?

No, because R does not use tar -L (which is to do with tape lengths on GNU

It does use tar chf and tar xhf.  The h modifier would appear to be
applicable only to dumps, so at a wild guess the error message means -h is
not permitted.  Try replacing xhf by xf.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272860 (secr)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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