[Rd] install.packages on unix / su (PR#8760)

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Mon Apr 10 21:35:19 CEST 2006

On 10 April 2006 at 21:14, thomas.friedrichsmeier at gmx.de wrote:
| Full_Name: Thomas Friedrichsmeier
| Version: R 2.2.1
| OS: Debian / Linux
| Submission from: (NULL) (
| Wishlist item:
| There is a small problem using intall.packages() (and update.packages()):
| Typically I want to install packages for system-wide use, not in a user
| directory. Obviously this does not work without superuser rights.

One can see this problem as a local system management issue for which another
possible answer is to add you (and/or the user users installing R packages)
to, say, group 'admin' and to make /usr/local/lib/R of group admin and
group-writeable.  Or create a custom group radmin. Or ...


| What I would like to be able to do is to specify a "become root" command to use
| in install.packages (). Probably this would be done using an extra argument to
| install.packages () and update.packages ():
| install.packages ([...], install.wrapper=NULL)
| The argument value I would typically want to supply on my system (running in a
| KDE Session) would be: install.wrapper="kdesu --" . I.e. I would like to run the
| R CMD INSTALL command through kdesu.
| Technically it would basically function like this:
| Instead of
| cmd0 <- paste(file.path(R.home("bin"),"R"), "CMD INSTALL")
| in install.packages (), it would read
| cmd0 <- paste(install.wrapper, file.path(R.home("bin"),"R"), "CMD INSTALL")
| This feature would save me a lot of small hazzles.
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Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. 
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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