[R] Requesting assistance installing ESS for R on Redhat

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at comcast.net
Tue Mar 17 21:56:08 CET 2009

On Mar 17, 2009, at 3:29 PM, Steve_Friedman at nps.gov wrote:
> I'm moving my R applications to a Redhat OS and want to install ESS.
> My sys admin has downloaded the rpm (emacs-common- 
> ess-5.3.8-1.fc8.src.rpm),
> but when he tried to do the install he rec'd a number of warnings.   
> We are
> not sure if the warnings are telling us that the installation did  
> not occur
> or if other issues are unresolved.  We have attempted to find the ESS
> executable with no luck, Which directory would this normally be?
> Also Is it more advisable to work with the ess-5.3.11.tgz file and  
> install
> this instead of the *.rpm release?
> If  you could help identify different issues related to installing  
> this
> package I'd really appreciate the assistance.
> Thanks
> Steve

The RPM that you have listed above is actually the "Source" RPM, hence  
the '.src.' in the file name. You would actually want the compiled  
version of the RPM, which would not have '.src.' in the name.

Unlike installing the compiled RPM via 'rpm -ivh RPMName', the source  
rpm would first require compilation via the 'rpmbuild' command. Your  
SysAdmin should know that...  :-)

That being said, it is easy enough to run ESS using the tarball, which  
is the current version as compared to the RPM. Un-tar it someplace and  
then add:

   (load "PATH/TO/ess-5.3.11/lisp/ess-site")

in your ~/.emacs file so that it gets loaded. 'ess-site' actually  
points to the lisp file 'ess-site.el' which will be in the 'lisp'  
folder in the un-tarred file tree.

BTW, there is an ESS specific list:


and a newly formatted web site here with docs:



Marc Schwartz

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