[R] installing several versions of R (2.14 and 2.12.2) on the same system on Ubuntu

Jannis bt_jannis at yahoo.de
Mon Dec 5 20:47:03 CET 2011

Dear R users,

besides the current R 2.14 I would like to install a second version of R (2.12.2) on my Ubuntu system. The current version is easily installed as a precompiled package from Cran but I am heavily fighting with the older version. I tried to follow the instructions here:


Unfortunately I got totally confused by all the different locations of the script, the library and the rest of the program. As I understand these all have to be different from the ones of the R 2.14 installation. In case anybody could point me to some nice instructions, fell welcome to do so. 

Otherwise we would need to check what went wrong during my try. I finally managed to install R.2.12.2 but, as it seems, without Java correctly set up and without tcltk support (both are needed). r-base-dev is installed.

This I what I did:

1. downloaded R.2.12.2.tar.gz from Cran
2. tar -xzf R-2.12.2.tar.gz
3. sudo cp R-2.12.2 /usr/lib
4. cd /usr/lib/R.2.12.2
5. mkdir prog
5. sudo ./configure --prefix=/usr/bin
6. sudo make prefix=/usr/lib/R-2.12.2/prog rhome=/usr/lib/R-2.12.2/library

7. sudo mv /usr/bin/R /usr/bin/R-2.12.2

Most probably these two arguments for make are not correct as I did not fully understand the instructions here. Additionally I would need to facilitate tcl/tk and Java. Both works with R.2.14 so their dependecies should be installed but I probably need some more arguments during the build for that. Also this renaming of the R script seems arkward to me but I did this to easily run "R-2.12.2" or "R-2.14" from the command line.

Does anybody have any advice on how to fix this stuff? 

Thanks for your help!

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