[R] error message when downloading packages using the OS X shell

Ista Zahn istazahn at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 06:11:24 CET 2010

Hi Jessica,
As far as I know that's the expected behavior (at least it's not OS
X-specific: I get the same on OpenSuse 11.2). What happens if you do

download.packages("ape", destdir = "~/Desktop/")


Also, out of curiosity, why are you using download.packages() instead
of install.packages()?


On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 10:51 PM, Jessica Joganic <jjoganic at gmail.com> wrote:
> I apologize for not including my entire script. What I typed into the shell
> was:
> *download.packages(ape)*
> to which R responded with a Tcl/Tk interface allowing me to set my CRAN.
> After I did so it proceeded to spit out the following error:
> *Loading Tcl/Tk interface ... done*
> Error in **file.info* <http://file.info>*(x) : argument "destdir" is
> missing, with no default*
> Let me know if that doesn't clarify my query. If this ends up being a
> product of my preferring the terminal over the R.app then I'll post to the
> Mac people and see what they have to say.
> Jessica
> **
> On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 9:06 PM, David Winsemius <dwinsemius at comcast.net>wrote:
>> On Feb 15, 2010, at 8:58 PM, Jessica Joganic wrote:
>>  Hi Fellow R Users,
>>> I recently upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5 (Snow Leopard) and had some issues
>>> downloading and running R 2.10.1. I fixed the tcl/tk problem I was
>>> originally having but it was replaced with another. I run R out of the
>>> shell
>>> (terminal) and when I ask it to download.packages() it gives me the
>>> following message:
>>> *Loading Tcl/Tk interface ... done*
>>> *Error in file.info(x) : argument "destdir" is missing, with no default*
>>> *
>>> *
>> I am a bit puzzled by that function call. I would have expected there to be
>> some arguments in the call. What were you expecting to be the results?
>>  After I run that function, I get a window of CRAN sites to choose and after
>> choosing the CMU site I get:
>> > download.packages()
>> --- Please select a CRAN mirror for use in this session ---
>> Loading Tcl/Tk interface ... done
>> Error in file.info(x) : argument "destdir" is missing, with no default
>>  I searched around on the help archives and various online message boards
>>> and
>>> the most I could discern was that the directory where the library is
>>> located
>>> isn't being recognized by R (it should recognize it by default). I tried
>>> setting the "destdir" argument manually to no avail. I am able to
>>> successfully download and install packages with no problem if I run the
>>> actual R program out of the Applications folder,
>> Heh, the thing you are calling the "actual R program" is probably the
>> R-GUI, typically named R.app or R64.app, and it is a front-end to the R
>> executable.
>>  however I prefer to use the
>>> shell. I did find one mention of a recognized issue with OS X 10.5 and R
>>> 2.10.1 conflicting when trying to download packages, which results in the
>>> library pathway being broken. The only problem is the fix for this problem
>>  given in the R manual doesn't work. Has anyone had a similar problem or
>>> have
>>> any ideas as to how to solve this?
>> It happens for me as well, but I guess I don't see it as a problem, since I
>> did not offer a sensible set of arguments to the function. (Plus, I always
>> use the GUI despite Rolf Turner's efforts to shame me into being a terminal
>> dude.) You may want to post follow-ups to the Mac-SIG mailing list where
>> this would be amore appropriate question:
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-sig-mac
>>>  --
>> David Winsemius, MD
>> Heritage Laboratories
>> West Hartford, CT
> --
> Jessica L Joganic
> Graduate Student
> Department of Anthropology
> Campus Box 1114
> Washington University
> St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
> email: jljogani at artsci.wustl.edu
>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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Ista Zahn
Graduate student
University of Rochester
Department of Clinical and Social Psychology

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