[R] how-to: installing R on Knoppix

charles loboz charles_loboz at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 6 01:25:19 CET 2006

After some sleep and with clearer head I'd better
explain the background of my posting.
Going back to UNIX from Win I spent whole day trying
out various distros from available CDs (no time to
dowload the stuff). Knoppix was the last one and the
cutest. So I decided to put R on it. The other part
was trying to establish (my hobby) how an old laptop
with nonexpandable memory and limited disk space can
be revitilized. This is why the R part of the test was
so ... contradictory in nature... 

I grabbed whatever was available and tried to check
out how did UNIX change in the last 10 years :-) - and
it did a lot. 

This is why I did not  looked through R mailings
before embarking on that - apologies for posting
something already known. That mail was just a summary
of a long evening of testing. Still - I am not totally
repentant, because I got the Quantian thing out of
your answers - didn't run into it before - so many
thanks for that. [I use  R to process computer
performance logs in batch mode, stats are simple there
and all are in the R core]. 

Some other things I noticed - W2K
 I had to remove Win2K from that laptop. Before that I
managed to drop memory usage there to 43mb after
startup by disabling unused services, startups etc
(this laptop is not networked nor internettable). DSL
used (displayed) 30mb after startup. That was rather
surprising to me - always thought of W2K as a big
operating system, yet difference in memory with DSL
was only 12 mb. Naturally, some of that could have
been caused by different default size of the system
cache for both OSes, but I did not analyse it.

Debian. We just got the info that my paid job moves me
to RedHat (EL/AS) (because of hosting support) so it
looks like I won't be continuing with that
experimenting for a while. It was fun and I did learn
something about package managers on LINUX. Having said
that - something tells me that I may try this weekend
to try to install R on DSL 2.2. Any pointers welcomed

P.S. Can I use apt-get from Windows? Only Win at home.
Need to buy another computer next week...

P.P.S. I had a look at your site - amazing work to put
all that stuff in one big release. And on Knoppix :-)

--- Dirk Eddelbuettel <edd at debian.org> wrote:

> Hi Charles,
> Nice iniative for Linux newbie :) Some of us may
> have done a few things
> differently. I'll just point out one or two below.
> If you want to continue
> this discussion, why don't we carry it over to the
> r-sig-debian list that is
> more appropriate?  I'll set the reply-to header
> accordingly.
> On 5 March 2006 at 03:47, charles loboz wrote:
> | On my uSB drive I had a package downloaded from
> | 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
> |        dpkg -i
> | /mnt/usbhd/r-base-core_2.1.1-0woody1_i386.deb
> Well, 2.1.1. is one release behind -- and we even
> offer you the current one,
> i.e. R 2.2.1, as a backport as is explained in the R
> FAQ itself (with thanks to
> Christian for building the backport of my Debian R
> packages).
> And in this particular case, I think you could also
> have installed R 2.2.1
> straight from Debian testing as well as the Knoppix
> 4.0.2 libraries should be
> current.
> | which, naturally, resulted in multiple dependency
> | errors, because many of the libraries were
> missing.
> | After some trial  and error I found that following
> Now that is a feasible strategy, but unfortunately
> the most laborious one.
> Debian has truly excellent package management and
> dependency resolution: the
> apt-get program is designed to do just that for you.
> You said you're new at
> Linux --- but I think you will find time spend on
> reading the documentation [
> you'll have to google for suitable intros ] to be a
> most excellent
> investment.
> | 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
> Gabor and I had some off-line chats a few weeks back
> and he had success with
> Damn Small Linux running _in parallel_ to his
> Windows installation using
> coLinux.  I like running Quantian [ my Knoppix
> derivative that adds a few gb
> of software to Knoppix, see
> dirk.eddelbuettel.com/quantian ] using VMware
> Player running alongside my normal Linux (home) --
> or Windows (work) --
> workstation.  In either case, more memory is always
> better and 128mb is good
> for very few things these days.
> | installation of R would be trouble-free. This was
> an
> | attempt to revitalize and old and tired computer.
> A time-honoured approach for that is to take an
> older release of whichever
> distro you favour as it will be lighter on resource
> consumption. You are
> being a tad inconsistent here as you seem to like
> the newest KDE eye candy [
> and I understand, I do too :) ] which unfortunately
> requires more resources
> in terms for ram and disk space -- so it's a
> trade-off.
> Cheers, Dirk
> -- 
> Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to
> accomplish something. 
>                                                   --
> Thomas A. Edison

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