[Rd] Two R editiosn in Unix cluster systems

Peter Langfelder peter.langfelder at gmail.com
Wed Oct 16 01:35:38 CEST 2013

On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM, Paul Johnson <pauljohn32 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear R Devel
> Some of our R users are still insisting we run R-2.15.3 because of
> difficulties with a package called OpenMX.  It can't cooperate with new R,
> oh well.
> Other users need to run R-3.0.1. I'm looking for the most direct route to
> install both, and allow users to choose at runtime.

Since no experts have replied, here's my non-expert opinion (take it
as a disclaimer). R is happy to be installed in multiple versions. I
have always had several versions of R installed (under Linux). I
always compile from source and simply set the appropriate destination
directories appropriately, then symlink the R and Rscript executables.
In my case I put each version into a separate directory under
/usr/local/lib64, for example /usr/local/lib64/R-3.0.2-patched . I put
all executables into /usr/local/bin but change their names, e.g. R is
called R-3.0.2-patched etc; then symlink the executable that I want to
be my "default" version to /usr/local/bin/R and

If I want to call another version of R, I invoke it explicitly as say
R-2.15.3 (assuming such version exists).

You could also create a separate directory for the executables for
each version and symlink them under different names to /usr/bin or

I never had problems with versions of R clashing. The executable R
that a user executes is a shell wrapper that sets up all necessary
environment variables and then calls the actual executable (which sits
in /usr/local/lib64/<R-directory>/bin/exec). Thus, other versions on
$PATH do not cause any trouble.



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