[R] How does one start R within Emacs/ESS with root privileges?

Karl Brand k.brand at erasmusmc.nl
Wed Sep 7 14:11:30 CEST 2011

Cheers Paul.

Its a very good point. Although i am curious how badly i can damage my R 
install by running as root. I always ran R in windows with admin. 
privileges without problems (touch wood). Probably best to never find 
out by sticking with user privileges.

However, even for taking care of R install/maint. i'd prefer to do this 
interactively within Emacs rather than the terminal. Motivated by this, 
i'd still like to find out how to invoke R with root privileges.

I've also reposted the original email on perhaps a more appropriate 
forum at: ESS-help at stat.math.ethz.ch


On 2011-09-07 11:02, Paul Hiemstra wrote:
>   On 09/07/2011 08:54 AM, Karl Brand wrote:
>> Esteemed UseRs and DevelopeRs,
>> Apologies if this question belongs else where, but it does concern R's
>> package installation/maintenance.
>> How does one start R within Emacs/ESS with root privileges?
>> I tried without success:
>>> M-x sudo R
>> Why i'm motivated to do so:
>> It seems logical to me, as the only user of the PC, to keep my R
>> library consolidated in the universal library rather than splitting
>> into universal and user libraries. Hence the desire to run R as root.
> Hi Karl,
> Why the need to install packages in root? As you are the only user there
> is not reason to install them system wide (to make them available to all
> users, which is just you). Installing the packages in your homedir
> solves your problem much easier, without the need to run R as root
> continuously. I think you should not run anything as root if it is not
> absolutely needed, which could potentially damage your system
> (accidentally overwriting something).
> hope this helps,
> Paul
>> In addition, it's nice to be able to install packages 'on the fly'
>> when and as needed and not need to launch a separate R session (as
>> root) in the terminal just to install a package.
>> Migrating from windows, i'm completey new to linux (ubuntu) and am
>> seeing for myself if Emacs/ESS is as good as its purported to be. So
>> maybe my motivation is nonsensical to expereinced ESS/R users. If so
>> i'd really appreciate tips on efficient package
>> installation/maintenance using Emacs/ESS.
>> TIA,
>> karl

Karl Brand <k.brand at erasmusmc.nl>
Department of Genetics
Erasmus MC
Dr Molewaterplein 50
3015 GE Rotterdam
P +31 (0)10 704 3455 | F +31 (0)10 704 4743 | M +31 (0)642 777 268

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