[ESS] Linux installation or ESS

Jim_Garrett at bd.com Jim_Garrett at bd.com
Mon Jul 25 16:36:50 CEST 2011

   Hi Nicholas,
   Since  you're  using  Debian,  which  is  renowned  for  havng a great
   package-management  system and a huge repository of packages, have you
   considered using Debian's installation system to install and configure ESS?
    It should be as simple executing from the command line (as root)
   apt-get install ess
   There are also graphical front-ends to this such as Synaptic or PackageKit.
   apt-get uses Debian's excellent package-management system to download (from
   their repositories), install, and configure ESS for you.  You can do this
   with  Emacs  as well.  In fact if you didn't install Emacs through the
   package-management system, the system will think you don't have it, and will
   install it for you again.
   The ESS and Emacs versions maintained in Debian's repository are probably
   not the very latest, so if you need a feature in the latest version of Emacs
   or ESS there's reason not to use the package manager.  Barring that, I'd
   recommend using the package manager whenever possible.  It keeps track of
   where everything is, so if you need to upgrade or you want to delete later,
   it can be done accurately, thoroughly, and *easily*.  In fact, if you find
   source code for software that's not in Debian's repositories, you might be
   able to use a package called checkInstall to turn the source code into your
   own private Debian package, and then install the package using apt-get so
   the package is tracked.  (Works with most compiled code, I don't know about
   Emacs Lisp code.)
   I use Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, and I've always installed ESS from
   the  repositories.  I've had to wait on a few new features, but Ubuntu
   catches up in time.  The Testing version of Debian should be similar.
   Forgive me if you're already well aware of this and have good reason to
   install  the latest ESS from source.  Your questions indicate you're a
   beginner to Emacs and ESS (welcome!) and I don't know whether you're a
   beginner to Debian as well.
   Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 15:31:02 -0400
   From: "Nicholas Manganaro" <n.manganaro at comcast.net>
   To: <ess-help at r-project.org>
   Subject: [ESS] Linux installation or ESS


   Content-Type: text/plain
   Dear Help:
   I have been  trying to follow the instructions in the manual "ESS - Emacs
   Speaks Statistics" v 5.14 for setting up ESS on a 64 bit Debian Linux OS (v
   6.0.1a, initially but now with updates).
   I have installed GNU Emacs 23.2.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version
   I am having several problems. 1) I am really not familiar enough with the
   writing style to know when stand-in names are being used in the manual,
   except for the path names; 2) I am using a version of Linux that executes
   the installation and updates, so I do not have installation time control;
   and 3) the manual may not be specific enough to advise me on whether there
   are changes necessary for the 64 bit installation, given my lack of
   The installation instructions direct me to add either add
   (require 'ess-site)                                             or
   (load "~/ess/ess-VERSION/lisp/ess-site")         for an older version, or
   one causing problems
   to '~/.emacs' during unpacking,
   but I cannot find .emacs, or perhaps just do not know what the ".emacs" is
   supposed to denote. I also do not know what the " ' " means before ess-site
   in the first suggested command. I do know what the " ~ " stands for, though,
   in theory.
   I have found the files:
   /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/debian-startup.el   and
   /usr/share/emacs23/site-lisp/ debian-startup.elc
   but do not know how to follow the directions available for what I have
   found, or if either is to stand in for ".emacs" from the instructions in the
   This has been a very frustrating exercise so far, but one I hope you can
   help me work through with some specific advice to help fill in my vast
   knowledge gaps. I hope I have given you enough info to help you help me, but
   I did not want to go on and on about what I do not know, as there is too
   much to say about that for one day.
   Nicholas Manganaro
   IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR RECIPIENTS IN THE U.S.A.: This message may constitute
   an advertisement of a BD group's products or services or a solicitation of
   interest in them. If this is such a message and you would like to opt out of
   receiving future advertisements or solicitations from this BD group, please
   forward this e-mail to optoutbygroup at bd.com.
   message (which includes any attachments) is intended only for the designated
   recipient(s). It may contain confidential or proprietary information and may
   be  subject  to the attorney-client privilege or other confidentiality
   protections. If you are not a designated recipient, you may not review, use,
   copy or distribute this message. If you received this in error, please
   notify  the sender by reply e-mail and delete this message. Thank you.
   Corporate Headquarters Mailing Address: BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) 1
   Becton Drive Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 U.S.A.

More information about the ESS-help mailing list