[R] foreign package install on Solaris 10 + R-2.7.1

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue Mar 10 08:02:04 CET 2009

On Mon, 9 Mar 2009, Sarosh Jamal wrote:

> Hello,
> I've been having trouble installing package "spdep" for R-2.7.1 on 
our Solaris 10 (sparc) server.  Namely the two dependencies for this package do not install properly: "foreign" and "maptools"
> I understand that Solaris 10 may not be an officially supported 
> platform but any help/feedback you can offer would be most 
> appreciated.

It is a platform we test on.  WHat is not supported is 2.7.1, so 
please update to at least 2.8.1 (as requested in the posting guide).

Something is wrong with your R installation: 'foreign' should be known 
to R 2.7.1, *and* installed as part of the basic installation.  So 
re-installing seems the best option, especially as an update is in 

> I've updated all packages currently installed on this version of R 
> but the install of package "foreign" complains about an invalid 
> "priority" field in the DESCRIPTION file. I've not had any issues 
> with the other packages.
> I'm including our systemInfo() output here:
> ==========================================
> R version 2.7.1 (2008-06-23)
> sparc-sun-solaris2.10
> locale:
> /en_CA.ISO8859-1/C/C/en_CA.ISO8859-1/C/C
> attached base packages:
> [1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base
> And, I'm including the transcript from the package install attempt:
> ==========================================
> 1 /home/sjamal > R
> R version 2.7.1 (2008-06-23)
> Copyright (C) 2008 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing ISBN 3-900051-07-0
> R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
> You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
> Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.
> R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
> Type 'contributors()' for more information and 'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.
> Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or 'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
> Type 'q()' to quit R.
>> install.packages("foreign")
> Warning in install.packages("foreign") :
>  argument 'lib' is missing: using '/home/sjamal/R/sparc-sun-solaris2.10-library
> /2.7'
> --- Please select a CRAN mirror for use in this session --- Loading Tcl/Tk interface ... done trying URL 'http://probability.ca/cran/src/contrib/foreign_0.8-33.tar.gz'
> Content type 'application/x-gzip' length 315463 bytes (308 Kb) opened URL ==================================================
> downloaded 308 Kb
> * Installing *source* package 'foreign' ...
> checking for gcc... gcc -std=gnu99
> checking for C compiler default output file name... a.out checking whether the C compiler works... yes checking whether we are cross compiling... no checking for suffix of executables...
> checking for suffix of object files... o checking whether we are using the GNU C compiler... yes checking whether gcc -std=gnu99 accepts -g... yes checking for gcc -std=gnu99 option to accept ANSI C... none needed checking whether gcc -std=gnu99 accepts -Wno-long-long... yes checking how to run the C preprocessor... gcc -std=gnu99 -E checking for egrep... grep -E checking for ANSI C header files... yes checking for sys/types.h... yes checking for sys/stat.h... yes checking for stdlib.h... yes checking for string.h... yes checking for memory.h... yes checking for strings.h... yes checking for inttypes.h... yes checking for stdint.h... yes checking for unistd.h... yes checking byteswap.h usability... no checking byteswap.h presence... no checking for byteswap.h... no checking for double... yes checking size of double... 8 checking for int... yes checking size of int... 4 checking for long... yes checking size of long... 4
> configure: creating ./config.status
> config.status: creating src/Makevars
> config.status: creating src/swap_bytes.h
> config.status: creating src/var.h
> Error: Invalid DESCRIPTION file
> Invalid Priority field.
> Packages with priorities 'base' or 'recommended' or 'defunct-base' must already be known to R.
> See the information on DESCRIPTION files in section 'Creating R packages' of the 'Writing R Extensions' manual.
> Execution halted
> ERROR: installing package DESCRIPTION failed
> ** Removing '/home/sjamal/R/sparc-sun-solaris2.10-library/2.7/foreign'
> ** Restoring previous '/home/sjamal/R/sparc-sun-solaris2.10-library/2.7/foreign'
> The downloaded packages are in
>        /tmp/RtmpkcXy1L/downloaded_packages
> Warning message:
> In install.packages("foreign") :
>  installation of package 'foreign' had non-zero exit status
> I look forward to your insights.
> Thank you,
> Sarosh
> ---
> Sarosh Jamal
> Geographic Computing Specialist
> Department of Geography
> http://geog.utm.utoronto.ca
> Staff co-Chair, United Way Campaign
> http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/unitedway
> University of Toronto Mississauga
> sarosh.jamal at utoronto.ca
> 905.569.4497
> ______________________________________________
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> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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