[R] png-generation from script (non-X11 env) now broken?

Jeff Newmiller jdnewmil at dcn.davis.CA.us
Tue Feb 25 20:10:12 CET 2014

This is really not new... Google is your friend... http://bit.ly/1fCUnQH... or read FAQ 7.19. The fact that this "changed" for you seems more like something changed on your end... did your admin remove X11 from your system?
Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
DCN:<jdnewmil at dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...
                                      Live:   OO#.. Dead: OO#..  Playing
Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
/Software/Embedded Controllers)               .OO#.       .OO#.  rocks...1k
Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity.

On February 25, 2014 10:36:29 AM PST, David Wolfskill <r at catwhisker.org> wrote:
>Since ... hmmm.. May 2012, I've had a cron-initiated script running
>monthly to extract some data and generate some numeric tables and
>plots (in PNG format).
>In its "normal" mode, the script automagically sends its results
>to a small handful of managers on the first of each month.  Out of
>self-defense, I set up a "preview" run several days before the real
>one; the preview doesn't go quite as high in the management chain.
>This morning, I found a message in my mailbox from such a preview run:
>| Error in .External2(C_X11, paste("png::", filename, sep = ""),
>g$width,  :
>|   unable to start device PNG
>| Calls: gen_build_histogram -> png
>| In addition: Warning message:
>| In png(filename = fn, height = height, width = width, units = "in", 
>|   unable to open connection to X11 display ''
>| Execution halted
>[This was running R-3.0.2_1 in FreeBSD/amd64 9.2-STABLE 
>r262323M/262357:902506, built Sun Feb 23 05:14:37 PST 2014.]
>I admit that I haven't been following changes in R very closely --
>the script had been running reliably for over a year, and it's not
>one of the fires I've been fighting recently.
>But the implication -- that png() was suddenly[1] changed so that it
>requires the ability to connect to an X11 display -- seemed peculiar
>enough that I would have thought a quick search would lead me to soe
>discussion of a change of this magnitude, rationale, and what folks
>might do to mitigate the effects.
>Based on one message I found (from 02 Mar 2008!), I did take a look at
>"help png" output, and saw the reference there to bitmap().  I tried
>hacking ... my functions to use "bitmap(fn, ...)" instead of
>"png(filename = fn, ...)", but that looks as if it's leading me astray:
>| Error in strwidth(legend, units = "user", cex = cex, font =
>text.font) : 
>|   family 'mono' not included in postscript() device
>| Calls: gen_build_histogram -> legend -> strwidth
>| Execution halted
>So... what's someone who wants to use R to generate PNG-format files
>from an environment that is bereft of X11 to do?
>1: "Suddenly" because it *had* been working up to 01 Feb 2014, at
>[I'll be happy to sumamrize responses that aren't sent to the list.]

More information about the R-help mailing list