[R] installing ONLY the documentation files (Rd) for many packages?

Kjetil Halvorsen kjetilbrinchmannhalvorsen at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 20:37:50 CET 2010

see below.

On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 11:50 AM, Kjetil Halvorsen
<kjetilbrinchmannhalvorsen at gmail.com> wrote:
> see below.
> On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 3:32 AM, Prof Brian Ripley
> <ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
>> On Tue, 26 Oct 2010, Kjetil Halvorsen wrote:
>>> I have been searching the documentation for some time nmow, but cannot
>>> find it. It must be possible to download packages (many), but only install
>>> the help system?
>> I am not sure what you actally want: R CMD INSTALL does not install the Rd
>> files -- it installs a database of parsed Rd files.
>> All things are possible in a programming language, but you would need to
>> study the R code of INSTALL to see what to extract.  One possibility would
>> be to run a loop of calls to  R CMD Rdconv to install HTML versions of help
>> (which some people have asked for in the past).
>> However, disk space is cheap, and I would simply install the packages and
>> discard the parts you don't want.
> Thanks!  Finally, I am back to this, and below is my solution as a
> shell script (bash,
> debian):
> # shell script to install all the packages in ~/R/allpackages,
> # ( *.tar.gz files)
> # to ~/R/allinstall
> #
>  for FILE in ~/R/allpackages/*z
>  do
>    if [ -f $FILE ]
>    then
>       nice R CMD INSTALL  --library=~/R/allinstall --no-test-load    \
>              --no-configure --html --no-libs --no-exec  $FILE               \
>                 || echo "Problems encountered during processing of $FILE" &
>    fi
>  done
> #
> However, this do not work! When I run the command within the loop
> directly in a shell, I can see the results in ~/R/allinstall,
> but run as above, I can see no results (apart from a lot of cpu cycles)
> Kjetil
Answering my own question: My script evolved to:

# shell script to install all the packages in ~/R/allpackages,
# to ~/R/allinstall .
 for FILE in ~/R/allpackages/*z
    if [ -f $FILE ]
       nice -n 19 R CMD INSTALL  --library=~/R/allinstall --no-test-load    \
              --no-configure --html --no-libs --no-exec  --unsafe
--no-R --no-demo --fake  $FILE    \
             || echo "Problems encountered during processing of $FILE"

However, this is still not right, because R CMD INSTALL
still checs for dependencies, which is not necessary when only installing
the help system.

I will try to hack the R code in the tools package to see if I can add
a new flag


>> --
>> 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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