[R] installing R on Ubuntu

Neil Shephard nshephard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 12:32:58 CET 2009

znmeb wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 4:51 AM, Neil Shephard <nshephard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There are pro's and con's to each of the GNU/Linux flavours and its
>> really a
>> matter of deciding which you like/have invested time in learning.
>> Irrespective its still simple to install R from source under GNU/Linux...
>> 1) Download source tar-ball
>> 2) Extract and cd to the directory
>> 3) ./configure --prefix=/where/you/want/R/to/go (optionally setting the
>> install path at this stage)
>> 4) ./make
>> 5) ./make install
>> ...all documented in the FAQ at
>> http://cran.r-project.org/doc/FAQ/R-FAQ.html#How-can-R-be-installed-_0028Unix_0029
> Many Linux distros do *not* install the development tools by default,
> and which ones live in which packages varies by distro. Fedora in
> particular is extremely stripped when you install from the LiveCD. You
> have to install gcc, make and a couple of other things just to install
> VMware Tools, for example, when running Fedora as a VMware guest. For
> building R from source and installing R packages, you'll also need to
> install gfortran. And many libraries with external dependencies, like
> Rgraphviz, will require not only the package itself (graphviz) but
> also the C headers, which may have the name "graphviz-devel" on some
> distros and some other name on other distros.

What, a Linux distro that *doesn't* come with gcc!!  I have to say I'm quite
amazed at that!!

gfortran is usually a component of gcc, no?

I agree that ensuring libraries are available for all of the packages can be
tricky, but its not insurmountable (although its one of the reasons I left
Slackware in favour of Gentoo), but its no different to learning the
vagaries of M$-windows.  Its a common misconception I see frequently that
"computers/software should just work", and thats really not the case.  They
do what they are told to, and the person using them often needs to
understand them in a bit of detail, and this detail is often occluded under
Windows so when people try to make the transition from to GNU/Linux they are
initially over-whelmed.

Anyway, all OT.


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