how-to: installing R on Knoppix
charles_loboz at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 5 12:47:10 CET 2006
Installing R on Knoppix
Knoppix is a small LINUX distribution
(http://www.knoppix.net/) runnable from a CD (without
an installation) It can be also installed on a hard
drive from a single CD. The idea was to reuse an old
laptop with 6gb hard drive and 128mb memory.
I had few days experience with Linux and few years
experience with R. The latter was not required :-)
The Knoppix installation went on flawlessly - using
defaults. Partitioning required rerun, as I preferred
to have a separate swap partition and a separate boot
partition. Putting everything in one big partition
would be less fussy, but I wanted to experiment.
Important: I found several description on how to
install Knoppix onto a hard drive, but all of them
were too long - so I used
The longer descriptions may be useful when you try to
install Knoppix on a computer to run in parallel with
other systems or for older Knoppix versions.
After installing Knoppix looked very impressively -
neat graphics, a lot of apps (including OpenOffice)
KDE windowing system. All of that from one CD -
version 4.0.2. This is a really neat-looking system -
even OpenOffice 2.0 (beta) was there.
The laptop was not connectable to the Internet, so I
had to transfer the packages through an USB drive. To
use the usb drive I created first a mount point
then I mounted the usb drive
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/usbhd
On my uSB drive I had a package downloaded from CRAN,
debian distribution (Knoppix is 'related' to Debian so
I assumed there will be less problems when using
Debian's packages - I did not try rpms).
As per my mount point I tried to install it as
which, naturally, resulted in multiple dependency
errors, because many of the libraries were missing.
After some trial and error I found that following
packages need to be installed:
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/gcc-3.4-base_3.4.5-3_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/libg2c0_3.4.5-3_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/f2c_20020621-3.4_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/libpng2_1.0.18-1_all.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/atlas2-base_3.2.1ln-15_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/tcl8.3_8.3.5-5_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/tk8.3_8.3.5-4_i386.deb
dpkg -i /mnt/usbhd/zlib-bin_1.2.3-9_i386.deb
after that I rerun the original
which went through without problems
then I changed to directory
no problems. I did not have time to test installation
of other R packages - that was just the core.
Observations: 128mb memory is not sufficient - KDE
uses much more. Most likely for a computer like that
much better approach would be to use Damn Small Linux
- a 50mb distribution, descending from Knoppix I did
not try to install R there, but DSL - when booted -
takes only 30mb of memory, leaving plenty for R
computations. I must try it one weekend...
That's all. I am no LINUX expert - last 10 years I did
spend on Windows (though earlier I did work on UNIX).
Installation was rather easy - except for hunting for
all these packages. While all the dependencies are
stated, it is rather tedious to hunt them down.
P.S. Tried to install Fedora Core 3 on that laptop -
took forever and was very slow afterwards. Did not
look as well as Knoppix either. I did not even try to
install FC4, as it requires twice more memory than the
P.P.S. Naturally, with larger memories and computers
Knoppix may not be the best solution - large
distributions like RedHat, FC, Ubuntu, Debian, or
Scientific Linux may be preferable and the
installation of R would be trouble-free. This was an
attempt to revitalize and old and tired computer.
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