[R] Problems installing/updating packages in Linux

Paul Heinrich Dietrich paul.heinrich.dietrich at gmail.com
Sat Feb 7 04:12:09 CET 2009

Hi all,
I feel very comfortable with R in Windows, and am trying to switch over to
Linux.  I have R 2.8.1 on Linux and it works great (so far), except for
instalilng/updating packages.  For example, using Emacs with ESS as a text
editor, I entered:

> update.packages()

Here are some error messages:

/usr/lib/R/bin/INSTALL: 1088: cannot create
/usr/share/R/doc/html/search/index.txt: Permission denied

The downloaded packages are in
Updating HTML index of packages in '.Library'
Warning messages:
1: In file.create(f.tg) :
  cannot create file '/usr/share/R/doc/html/packages.html', reason
'Permission denied'
2: In tools:::unix.packages.html(.Library) :
  cannot create HTML package index

I thought this was a permissions-based issue, so I learned online that to
grant permissions to everything in my R directories, to do this in the Linux

chmod -R 777 ./directory

And I applied that to several R directories, including /usr/lib/R and a
place in /home where I store all my scripts, data sets, etc.  I thought that
would solve it, but I'm still getting the same permissions-based errors.  I
could really use some help from someone who knows Linux.  Thanks.
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