[R] R won't connect to the internet on Linux!

michael watson (IAH-C) michael.watson at bbsrc.ac.uk
Thu Jul 24 15:16:26 CEST 2003

Hello Professor

If you are suggesting that I am simply missing the "http://" part of my cache URL, or that I am missing a trailing "/", then I pre-empted this response and it still doesn't work.

I have tried setting both http_proxy and HTTP_PROXY to all of:


and I still get the same response - R cannot open the URL.

And yes, that is thw right proxy address, I copied it straight from Netscape on the same computer, and Netscape connects to the internet fine.


-----Original Message-----
From: Prof Brian Ripley [mailto:ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk]
Sent: 24 July 2003 13:17
To: michael watson (IAH-C)
Cc: 'R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch '
Subject: Re: [R] R won't connect to the internet on Linux!

On Thu, 24 Jul 2003, michael watson (IAH-C) wrote:

> OK, I really am struggling with this one!  Forgive me if I am being stupid....

> I am running R 1.7.1 on Suse Linux 8.1.  I connect to the internet
> through a proxy so I have:
> IAHC-LINUX03:~ # echo $http_proxy
> wwwcache.bbsrc.ac.uk:8080
> wwwcache.bbsrc.ac.uk:8080
> just in case ;-)
> SO, i go into R and I get:
> > source("http://www.bioconductor.org/getBioC.R")
> unable to connect to 'www.bioconductor.org' on port 80.
> Error in file(file, "r") : cannot open URL `http://www.bioconductor.org/getBioC.R'
> OK so is R just not picking up my proxy setting?  

Your setting is wrong, so it is being ignored.  The help page says
quite explicitly

      The form of `"http_proxy"' should be `"http://proxy.dom.com/"' or
     `"http://proxy.dom.com:8080/"' where the port defaults to `80' and
     the trailing slash may be omitted.

> It seems to be trying
> port 80 on something, and I have specifically set it to port 8080 in my
> environment variables.  As far as I can see I have followed the
> reference manual suggestion, so does anyone else have one?

The problem is in your seeing, it seems.

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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