[Rd] zlib+shlib issue with the official EL4 R binary

Hin-Tak Leung hin-tak.leung at cimr.cam.ac.uk
Thu Mar 29 16:49:58 CEST 2007

Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> I presume you are talking about RPMs built with --with-system-zlib?
> That's not recommended in the R-admin manual, and perhaps you can 
> persuade Martyn Plummer not to do it.

Not quite - the problematic option seems to be "--enable-R-shlib" which 
the official RPM was built with (I know there are good reasons, such
as various embedded uses).
I have actually three 2.4.1 R binaries on EL4:
(1) official rpm (linked below)
(2) ./configure ; make   (; make distclean)
(3) ./configure --enable-R-shlib ; make   (; make distclean)

I have repeat step 2/3 twice (i.e. 2->3->2->3 to make sure it
is --enable-R-shlib .

I don't think the system zlib is broken per se, because when R is
not built with shlib, my package is linked with the system zlib anyway
(via PKG_LIBS) and it does work correctly when linked against system

(I have actually tried R CMD SHLIB *.c and fiddle with the last line
and manually make my package's shared lib statically linked to zlib,
- via copying libz.a to somewhere and doing -L there - but it
doesn't seem to help at all).


> On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have got a curious issue with an R package which uses zlib, against
>> the official binary here:
>> http://cran.r-project.org/bin/linux/redhat/el4/i386/R-2.4.1-1.rh4AS.i386.rpm 
>> on a Redhat EL4 i686 system.
>> The problem is that at the end of reading a gzip'ed file within my
>> C code, gzgetc() returns -1 (no more to read or error) but
>> gzeof() doesn't return true. Now one can probably jump to conclusion
>> that this is a zlib problem (or mine), but it is not. Here is
>> the summary table (my package binary is the same one on the four
>> 2.4.1 cases below - built against the official EL4 binary on EL4)
>> Rver    shlib   buildhost   runhost    status of zlib code in mypackage
>> 2.3.1   no      EL4         EL4        ok
>> 2.4.1   no      EL4         EL4        ok
>> 2.4.1   yes     EL4         EL4        broken
>> 2.4.1   yes     EL4         FC6        ok
>> 2.4.1   yes     FC6         FC6        ok
>> The most curious part is entry 3 vs 4 - if I just transplant
>> the official R binary for EL4 and run it on FC6 (x86_64 and
>> loading the same mypackage i686 binary), then it works.
>> The dynamic linker on FC6 is very different from all the earlier
>> redhat releases [and supposedly a lot faster...].
>> (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/release-notes/fc6/en_US/sn-Devel.html#id2956225) 
>> so it looks like an issue due to a bad interaction for the
>> combination of both the shlib compile-time option and the EL4
>> runtime environment. (e.g. R 2.4.1 is shipped and bundled with
>> zlib 1.2.3 but EL4 is only equiped with zlib
>> For the moment I'll just recommend anybody who needs to run my
>> package (snpMatrix in http://www-gene.cimr.cam.ac.uk/clayton/software/)
>> on Redhat EL4 to just build and install R from source, since shlib=no
>> is the default for compiling from source.
>> Anybody has any idea how this strange brokenness of zlib might happen?
>> Hin-Tak Leung
>> ______________________________________________
>> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

More information about the R-devel mailing list