[Rd] install.packages question / suggestion

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Fri Oct 22 19:19:04 CEST 2004

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004, Thomas Stabla wrote:

> when trying to write an R-file, which automatically installs and updates a 
> given list of packages, 

Many of us already have scripts of that sort.

> I had two problems with install.packages()
> 1) install.packages("<package>") will install <package>, no matter if 
>    <package> has already been installed.
> 2) the readline() at the end of install.packages, which asks the user, if 
>    the downloaded files should be deleted, makes it difficult to 
>    delete packages automatically after installation (I must admit, I'm not 
>    quite familiar with R CMD BATCH)
> Question/Request:
> Is the behaviour in 1) intended?

Most definitely.  I might want to install it in another library, or to 
reinstall it under the current version of R.  It is very easy to tailor 
the input to meet your needs, as update.packages() does.

There is install.packages() to help you here.

> 2) I'd like to have another bool argument, which determines, if the 
> downloaded files should be deleted.

What do you think 'destdir' is there for?  If set, this check is skipped.
You can set it to tempdir() if you like, which is wiped at the end of the 

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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