[R-pkgs] Quantian with over 500 CRAN / BioC packages

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Thu Dec 2 05:40:56 CET 2004

I posted the following a little earlier on the quantian-announce list -- but
it may be of interest here as well as this version contains all (but three,
see below) packages from CRAN, and all of BioConductor.

Quantian strives to provide the easiest way to set up a very complete
scientific computing environment with a wide variety of tools -- including
R, ESS, Ggobi, almost all of CRAN, all of BioConductor, as well as openMosix
support, and many more applications -- in minutes from a bootable dvd.

Feedback is always welcome, in particular on how to communicate more
directly with specific communities which may benefit from Quantian.  


(Please see note [1] below regarding recipients for this posting. Thanks!)

Executive Summary: 

    Quantian extends the Quantian series based on Knoppix 3.6 and the
    corresponding clusterKnoppix release. Over 475 new packages from CRAN and
    BioConductor provide unparalleled support for statistical computing, data
    analysis and graphical methods via the R environment and language.
    Several new packages have been added, and numerous other packages have
    been updated as well.

Announcing Quantian release

I   What is it?

    Quantian is a remastering of Knoppix, the self-configuring and directly
    bootable cdrom/dvd that turns any pc or laptop into a full-featured Linux
    workstation, and clusterKnoppix, which adds support for openMosix-based 
    cluster computing. However, Quantian differs from (cluster)Knoppix by
    adding a very large set of programs of interest to applied or theoretical
    workers in quantitative or data-driven fields. 

    See http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/quantian.html for more details.

II  What is new?

    o Second release based on Knoppix 3.6 adding 
        - over 500 R packages from CRAN and BioConductor (see next point)
        - several new packages such as labplot, python-matplotlib,
          python-gdal, subversion, tla, dia, ...
        - several packages with newer upstream versions such as R 2.0.1, gretl 1.3.0,
        - added most Recommended: packages for already installed packages
    o The main new feature is the unique support for almost all packages from
        - CRAN (http://cran.r-project.org), and 
        - BioConductor (http://www.bioconductor.org)
      About 60 packages are installed directly as Debian packages, and 478
      more are installed directly into /usr/local/lib/R/site-packages using
      the mechanisms provided by R, CRAN and BioConductor (and as such, these
      packages will not appear in the Debian package list).  
      The only missing CRAN packages are mimR (windows-only), ROracle
      (requires Oracle) and seao.gui which didn't build in batch mode.
    o Adding the Recommended: packages provides additional documentation, 
      as well as header files, which complements the installed packages.
    o Total size is 2.0 gb for the compressed iso image corresponding to
      almost 6 gb of uncompressed software. 

    o See http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/quantian/changelog.html for details.

    o See http://dirk.eddelbuettel.com/quantian/howto.html for several
      short HOWTOs on booting Quantian from hd on either Windows or Linux,
      booting via a bootcd (such as clusterKnoppix), or botting from a 
      USB memory device.  Contributions, corrections, and feedback on these
      HOWTOs is always appreciated.

III Where do I get it?

    o Downloads are available from the main hosts already listed above, i.e.
      on the West Coast at


      and at the East Coast at


      The most recent release is also available at


    o Bittorrents are available via


    o The main European mirror has already caught up:


      and the second Sunsite mirror should hopefully catch up soon:


    o CD/DVD vendors will probably update their offerings soon as well. 
      BudgetLinuxCDs.com is typically the fastest:


      and CheapBytes should follow shortly:


      Pointers to other vendors are always appreciated.

IV  Mailing lists

    o Two mailing lists exist for Quantian

        quantian-announce	  for announcements, intended to be low volume
        quantian-general	  for general discussions about Quantian

      available via


      for subscription info etc., and start using the quantian-general lists
      for general questions, comments, suggestions or discussions about 

      Quantian-general is subscribed to quantian-announce, so you only need
      to subscribe to one (but can of course subscribe to both).

      Reply-To: for this message is quantian-general at lists.alioth.debian.org
      so that discussions can be continued on the list.

V  Known Bugs

    o Sound does not appear to get configured on my laptops.

VI   Other items

    o Feedback / poll on package additions or removal

      As always, I welcome comments and suggestions about programs to be
      added or removed. Existing Debian packages get pushed to the front of
      the line.

      Please send feedback, questions, comments, ... to the 
	quantian-general at lists.alioth.debian.org

      list to maximise the number of eyes glancing at any one question.

    o Feedback would also be appreciated on ways to better communicate with
      difference scientific communities that could be interested in Quantian.

VII Notes

    [1] This email is sent via the quantian-announce mailing list. I have
        subscribed those whose email addresses are in my quantian mail folder 
        due to prior emails. The quantian-announce mailing list only sends
        moderator-approved posts -- so there should be no spam whatsoever. I 
        also added LWN and DWN who had run previous announcements, and as 
        suggested, the openmosix-general, clusterknoppix and debian-knoppix 
        lists. Anybody who considers this unwanted is kindly asked to send me
        a private mail to get unsubscribed immediately.

Best regards,  Dirk

If your hair is standing up, then you are in extreme danger.
      -- http://www.usafa.af.mil/dfp/cockpit-phys/fp1ex3.htm

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