[R] X11/ graphics problem

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Wed Nov 19 16:17:26 CET 2003

On Wed, 2003-11-19 at 08:47, Stephen Henderson wrote:
> Hello
> I'm moving from using R 1.8 for Windows to using Linux (Redhat version 9)
> and I cannot get any graphics. However everything else maths, models
> equations is fine-- and much quicker. I built from the source file following
> the commands in the install manual.
> >plot(1:10, 1:10)
> does nothing! So clearly I have a problem with X Windows.
> > capabilities()
>     jpeg      png    tcltk      X11    GNOME     libz http/ftp  sockets
>   libxml     fifo   cledit  IEEE754    bzip2     PCRE
>     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE
> I'm guessing from manuals etc that X11 is the problem. I've tried starting R
> with
> R --gui='X11'
> but to no avail!
> I've also had a look at the requirements under R/bin/linux/redhat/9/i386--
> but I'm having some trouble mapping these to the gui installation names,
> though Xfree86 which I presume contains libX11.so.6 is installed. This
> document also mentions preference for 'gnorpm'. Whats that?
> Has anyone else had this problem? have an idea what is likely missing? or
> how to reconfigure R?

This seems to be rapidly becoming a FAQ of late.  :-)

The problem is that when you compile R from source code as opposed to
using the pre-compiled binaries that Martyn has kindly provided, you
must have the development libraries for the associated functionality
installed on your system.

In this case the requisite RPM will be XFree86-devel-VERSION.NUMBER.
Presumably, when you installed RH9, you likely did not install all of
the development tools.

If you do:

rpm -q XFree86-devel

from a terminal console, it will likely indicate that it is not

Lacking this, you cannot compile functionality for the X11() device (the
screen plotting device) into R. Thus, it is not shown when you use the
capabilities() function.

If you have your RH 9 CD's or DVD, you can go to the Add/Remove
Applications menu program and run that (as root) to add the X
development libraries, which should be listed under X Software

Notice also that you are missing jpeg and png functionality as well. If
you are going to be compiling from source code, you should install all
of the development related tools from the RH CDs/DVD.

Once you install the additional development related RPMS, you should be
good to go.

The 'gnorpm' program is the RH GUI program for installing RPMS as
opposed to doing it from the command line. There have been notable
problems using that GUI and most? folks do not use it.


Marc Schwartz

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