[R] Installing Packages

Jeff Reichman re|chm@nj @end|ng |rom @bcg|ob@|@net
Fri Mar 13 00:28:33 CET 2020

Thank you all - that was helpful. I guess I assumes everything that got pushed up to the server was already compiled.

-----Original Message-----
From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan using gmail.com> 
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:10 AM
To: reichmanj using sbcglobal.net; r-help using r-project.org
Subject: Re: [R] Installing Packages

On 11/03/2020 7:46 a.m., Jeff Reichman wrote:
> R-Help
> Recently I've started receiving the following message when updating 
> packages
> - "Do you want to install from sources the packages which need compilation."
> I generally click "Yes," but what is this asking me. That is it 
> appears to be re-compiling certain packages? Why?

As the others answered:  that's because compiled versions aren't available on the server yet.

What they didn't say is why you might want to say "no".  You would say that if you expect the compile on your own system to fail, perhaps because you don't have compilers or special libraries installed.  R can install packages whose source is all in R, but needs external tools to install packages that incorporate other languages like C, C++ and Fortran.  Even if you have those compilers, some packages will need to link to libraries outside of R.

If you say "no", then R will look for an older compiled version of the package and install that.  This might cause trouble if some other package depends on the latest version of its dependencies:  you won't be able to install the latest version of that package either.

I'd recommend trying with "yes", then trying again with "no" if there were any install failures.

Duncan Murdoch

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