[R] /usr/local/lib/R/site-library is not writable

Jan van der Laan rhe|p @end|ng |rom eoo@@dd@@n|
Thu Apr 8 15:18:38 CEST 2021

I would actually go a step in the other direction: per project 
libraries. For example by adding a .Rprofile file to your project 
directory. This ensures that everybody working on a project uses the 
same version of the packages (even on different machines e.g. on shared 

This can give issues when a new version of R arrives, but that is 
usually easy to solve. Either hard code the path to the old R-version or 
decide to update all packages in a project to the new R-version (and 
test that everything is still working ok).

We have the most often used packages installed centrally on the 
server/network, so I actually usually end up with a mixture of central, 
personal and project libraries. Theory vs practice.


On 08-04-2021 02:58, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
> Hi Gene,
> "It's complicated". (Not really, but listen for a sec...)
> We need to ship a default policy that makes sense for all / most
> situations.  So
> - users cannot write into /usr/local/lib/R/site-library -- unless they are
>    set up to, but adding them to the 'group' that owns that directory
> - root can (but ideally one should not run as root as one generally does not
>    now what code you might get slipped in a tar.gz); but root can enable users
> - so we recommend letting (some or all) users write there by explicitly
>    adding them to an appropriate group.
> Personally, I do not think personal libraries are a good idea on shared
> machines because you can end up with a different set of package (versions)
> than your colleague on the same machine.  And or you running shiny from $HOME
> have different packages than shiny running as server. And on and on. Other
> people differ, and that is fine. If one wants personal libraries one can.
> I must have explained the reasoning and fixes a dozen times each on
> r-sig-debian (where you could have asked this too) and StackOverflow. At
> least the latter can be searched so look at this set:
> https://stackoverflow.com/search?q=user%3Ame+is%3Aanser+%2Fusr%2Flocal%2Flib%2FR%2Fsite-library
> Happy to take it offline too, and who knows, we even get to meet for a coffee
> one of these days.
> Hope this helps, Dirk

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