[R] installing R on Ubuntu

Jonathan Baron baron at psych.upenn.edu
Sun Feb 8 22:21:18 CET 2009

For those reading this thread who might be thinking of trying Linux, I
would like to point out that, with Fedora (another distribution of
Linux aside from Ubuntu), the repositories are up to date, and there
seems to be someone connected with Fedora (as well as the R core team)
who is interested in keeping them that way.

[Others should stop reading now.  This is just for those considering

There are several ways to install programs in the form of "rpm"s.
(Originally stood for "Red Hat Package Manager.")  Perhaps the
simplest is, as root:

yum install R

This gets you a lot of additional rpm's ("dependencies") if you don't
have them.

Fedora also maintains rpm's of various R packages, a seemingly random
selection of them, but you don't need to depend on Fedora for those.
Once R is installed, you can invoke R as root and then say, for
example, from the prompt:


If you want to install ess and xemacs, I think all you need to say is

yum install xemacs-ess-el

which will install, as dependencies, everything else you need,
including xemacs if you don't have it.

Although Ubuntu is recommended for Linux newbies, it may be the case
that Fedora is a little easier, at least about this.  Warning: Fedora
is pure about open-source licenses, which means that many
closed-source programs that you might want, like Adobe Flash, Skype,
and some drivers, won't be there unless you get them yourself (and you
can do that).

Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Home page: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~baron

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