install.package errors

Douglas Bates
22 Dec 1999 15:28:09 -0600

Paul Gilbert <> writes:

> I'm copying this to R-devel because I think the warning messages might
> be improved a bit (and I'm not sure what the problem is but there may
> also be a bug). I think the install.packages() and update.packages()
> mechanism is very exciting. It speeds and simplifies updates, which is
> very important when things are changing as rapidly as they are now
> changing, but it still has a few rough edges.
I just sent a message to the r-help list with some advice on using
install.packages.  I said

 Note that as of version 0.90.1 you can get the MASS, nnet, spatial,
 and class libraries in a single bundle with
  install.packages("VR")   # packages from the Venables and Ripley bundle
 You do need to set the CRAN option to a legitimate CRAN archive site,
 have access to the Internet, and have either the wget or lynx programs
 on your search path.

 The default for options("CRAN") is  You may want
 to use, the Danish mirror, instead.

(The message was to a Danish user of R.  Other CRAN mirror locations
are listed at

To use this system you must have either wget or lynx installed so the
package file can be automatically downloaded via http.  (If people
know of other programs that will do a batch download of a file via
http, please tell us.)  You should ensure that options("CRAN") is set
to a nearby CRAN archive.  Because I am in the United States my
~/.Rprofile file contains
 ### $Id:$
 ### .Rprofile for Douglas Bates


All of this applies to the Unix/Linux versions of R.  As I understand
it, the Windows version can use install.packages() but only after you
have manually transferred the .zip file for the package to the local
filesystem.  At that point you could use the rwinst.exe installer
instead.  Brian Ripley or Guido Masarotto may want to give the
definitive word on what can be done in the Windows version.
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