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

Peter Langfelder peter.langfelder at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 22:03:27 CET 2011

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM, Jannis <bt_jannis at yahoo.de> wrote:
> 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:
> http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/R-admin.html
> 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?

I think you did basically the right thing. To be able to compile R
with tcl/tk, you have to install the development files for tcl/tk - on
Fedora the files are contained in package tcl-devel (this is a
Fedora/Ubuntu package, not an R package). Then run the entire
compilation process (./configure, make, make install) again. When you
install a pre-compiled R, you don't need the development files, which
is probably why you never needed them in the past.

I'm not sure about Java - you may want to examine the output of
configure (which is usually saved in configure.log) to see what is



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