[R] Modyfing PATH in Windows Installer for R

Philippe Grosjean phgrosjean at sciviews.org
Mon Dec 6 16:04:56 CET 2004


> -----Original Message-----
> From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch 
> [mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Chris Jackson
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 3:34 PM
> To: Henrik Andersson
> Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: [R] Modyfing PATH in Windows Installer for R
> Henrik Andersson wrote:
> > Just a small suggestion since Windows have a file system 
> not designed 
> > for command line use...
> > 
> > Would it be possible to add the possibility of automatically 
> > adding/modifying the path to the R executables in the windows 
> > installer program?
> After asking the same question on R-devel a few months ago, I 
> investigated the possibility.  This would be useful to me, as 
> it saves the trouble of modifying the path every time a new 
> version of R comes out.
> As far as I could tell, the installer that R for Windows uses
> (InnoSetup) cannot modify the PATH out of the box, but it can do this
> via a third-party add-on script.   I was doubtful whether it was worth
> adding such a script to the R sources, given the small 
> benefit obtained.

Path and environment variables are indeed mirrored in the registry under
Windows NT. Thus, a program that can change the registry, like Inno Setup,
can also change the path. See here:

Philippe Grosjean
> The ideal solution seems to be what's done in Mac OS X, that 
> is, to store a permanent path to the current R version as a 
> symlink, and then just changing where the symlink points to 
> when R is upgraded.
> Unfortunately Windows doesn't do symlinks.
> Chris
> (probably a little esoteric for R-help)
> --
> Christopher Jackson <chris.jackson at imperial.ac.uk>, Research 
> Associate, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, 
> Imperial College School of Medicine, Norfolk Place, London W2 
> 1PG, tel. 020 759 43371
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