[R] Loading R and contributed packages on Red Hat Linux 7.1

M. Edward Borasky znmeb at aracnet.com
Sun Apr 22 23:00:05 CEST 2001

I have just finished loading Red Hat Linux 7.1, R-base and almost
all of the contributed packages on my laptop. For those of you who want to
do the same, here's a brief run-down of the steps involved.

1. Pick which version of Red Hat Linux 7.1 you want. RH Linux 7.1 comes in
three versions: Red Hat Linux 7.1 ($39.95 US), Deluxe Workstation ($79.95
US) and Professional Server ($179.95). Most people go with the low end. I
got the Deluxe Workstation, which actually includes R-base (see below,
though). But almost all of what I did will work with the basic version.

2. Install Red Hat Linux. I won't go into the details, except to say that
there is a point in the install process where you can select extra packages
to install. If you go with the default installs, you won't get everything
you need later, and will end up going back and installing various packages
from the CDs to make everything work. It's much easier to know ahead of time
what you're going to need and select the packages when you install. Here's a
run-down of what you should select:

a. If you're going to build contributed packages, you will need "gcc" and
"g77". They can be found in the "Development" section. The full names of
these are "gcc-2.96-81.i386.rpm" and "gcc-g77-2.96-81.i386.rpm". If you just
select them, the installer will figure out the dependencies and load them as
well. If you wait till later, you will have to flip back and forth between
two CDs to satisfy all the dependencies. I did :-(. Do as I say, not as I
did :-).

b. If you're going to use ZIP files, you need to install "zip" and "unzip".
They don't appear to be loaded by default. They can be found in the
"Archiving" section. The full names are "unzip-5.41-3.i386.rpm" and

c. Some of the contributed packages require the Basic Linear Algebra
Subroutines (BLAS) and LAPACK. They can be found in the "Libraries" section.
The full names are "blas-3.0-9.i386.rpm" and "lapack-3.0-9.i386.rpm".

d. The database packages require the specified database to be loaded and
often the development libraries for the database as well. They can be found
in the "Databases" and "Libraries" sections. I only loaded "RODBC"; the
specific package required is "unixODBC-devel-1.8.13-2.i386.rpm", which is a
library and is found in the "Libraries" section.

e. The "XML" package requires "libxml-devel-1.8.10-1.i386.rpm" from the
"Libraries" section.

3. Install R. If you buy the Deluxe Workstation edition, the version of R on
the PowerTools CD is 1.2.0; specifically "R-base-1.2.0-6.i386.rpm". The VR
package requires a more recent version of R, R 1.2.2. I loaded
"R-base-1.2.2-1.i386.rpm" from CRAN.

4. Install the contributed packages you want. I installed *everything* from
CRAN except the databases I don't have. The only gotcha here is that the
"netCDF" package requires "netcdf-3.4-9.i386.rpm". This one is *not* on the
basic distribution. It can be found on the PowerTools CD which comes in the
Deluxe Workstation distribution. As a result, you won't be able to load it
during the install process; you'll need to install it afterwards but before
you build "netCDF". I'm sure it's available on the net somewhere, but I
didn't bother to search for it.
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Chief Scientist, Borasky Research
http://www.borasky-research.net  http://www.aracnet.com/~znmeb
mailto:znmeb at borasky-research.com  mailto:znmeb at aracnet.com

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