[R] Solution: Making RNetCDF work on Fedora Linux

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at freefaculty.org
Wed Apr 12 20:49:29 CEST 2006

Dear R users who might like to use the package RNetCDF on Fedora Linux:

Fedora (versions 4 and 5) users might have noticed that the default 
install of the netcdf and netcdf-devel packages from the Fedora Extra 
archive is inconsistent with the R package RNetCDF.  The attempt to 
install RNetCDF results in a failure in the configure stage because the 
header & library info for netcdf cannot be found. 

In here,


I just deposited an updated set of RPMS for netcdf version 3.6.1.  You 
need the netcdf and netcdf-devel packages in order to install the 
RNetCDF package inside R.  You don't need debuginfo, unless you are 
trying to use the GNU debugger to find bugs in netcdf itself. 

The problem installing RNetCDF was caused by the Fedora-Extras package 
maintainer's use of the install directory /usr/include/netcdf-3 rather 
than /usr/include.   I had several very productive emails with RNetCDF's 
packager Pavel Michna <michna at giub.unibe.ch> and after a while, I 
concluded that the Fedora-Extras packaging is just wrong, and there's no 
point in trying to hack RNetCDF to work around it. So  I removed the 
unusual packaging. While I was in the repackaging mood, I built the RPMS 
for the netcdf version 3.6.1, one notch newer than Fedora-extra 
currently offers.   If you install these instead of the netcdf that 
Fedora extras provides, then it will work fine to do the RNetCDF install.

Ordinarily, you would face the trouble that the automatic updates for 
Fedora (via yum) might obliterate the netcdf that I give you. You could 
exclude netcdf in your global yum settings, but in this case you might 
not have to worry.  The package version I give is 3.6.1, whereas the 
Extras has only 3.6.0, and I gave the package release number 10.  So 
until the extras folk get up to 3.6.1 and release 10, I think your yum 
updates will leave this one alone.  Of course, if they package up 3.6.2, 
which is supposed to be released soon, then you will be in trouble.

I've posted the SPEC file and SRPM file in case you want to build your 
own RPMS.  Its fun!

Paul E. Johnson                       email: pauljohn at ku.edu
Dept. of Political Science            http://lark.cc.ku.edu/~pauljohn
1541 Lilac Lane, Rm 504                              
University of Kansas                  Office: (785) 864-9086
Lawrence, Kansas 66044-3177           FAX: (785) 864-5700

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