[R] .install_package_description error

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Wed Dec 29 03:07:59 CET 2004

On Tue, Dec 28, 2004 at 05:54:02PM -0700, Cary Miller wrote:
> Hi R,
>   Apologies for the earlier non-informative error message.  I am
> installing R 2.0.1 from source on a Linux debian system.  Configure works

You could use the fallback strategy of employing our pre-built packages:

	$ apt-get install r-base

They do contain just about feature there is: 

edd at homebud:~> R

R : Copyright 2004, The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Version 2.0.1  (2004-11-15), ISBN 3-900051-07-0
> capabilities()
    jpeg      png    tcltk      X11    GNOME     libz http/ftp  sockets
    TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE    FALSE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE
  libxml     fifo   cledit  IEEE754    bzip2     PCRE
    TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE     TRUE

so that wouldn't be a reason to roll your own, but you may of course have
other excellent reasons to.

> fine.  Then I run make and get an error that was reported by several
> people when installing R 2.0.0.  Here is the error message
> > Warning message:
> > package seems to be using lazy loading already in:
> > makeLazyLoading("tools")
> > Error in get(x, envir, mode, inherits) : variable
> > ".install_package_description" was not found
> > Execution halted

In the course of looking after the Debian R packages, I tend to build R
fairly regularly, and I don't think I've seen this error.  I can only guess
that you may be mixing an old (pre-2.0.0) and a new installation, which
would obviously be a bad idea at the best of times, and especially when
binary compatibility 

> In October this same error message appeared in several messages and was
> apparently fixed by a change in src/library/tools/R/admin.R to the 'Built'

I either must have missed that, or forgotten about it.

> function.  The 2.0.1 version appears to contain those changes.  Am I
> missing something?

Not necessarily.  You could try to poke around in the debian/ directory of
the sources themselves to see our configure options (with a minor version
skew).  The very detailed buildd logs at


contain some useful info too, if you know where to look.

Let me know (off-line, maybe ?) if I can help further.


If you don't go with R now, you will someday.
  -- David Kane on r-sig-finance, 30 Nov 2004

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