[R-sig-Debian] Installation woes for rattle (and other packages)

Paul Johnson pauljohn32 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 19:46:25 CET 2010

Works for me on Ubuntu Karmic 9.10, same as it did in previous Ubuntu.

> .help.ESS <- help
> options(STERM='iESS', editor='emacsclient')
> library(rattle)
Loading required package: pmml
Loading required package: XML
Rattle: Graphical interface for data mining using R.
Version 2.5.15 Copyright (c) 2006-2010 Togaware Pty Ltd.
Type 'rattle()' to shake, rattle, and roll your data.
> rattle()

Is the version of Rattle you get the same? I recall at one time I
grabbed it from the owner's site, not CRAN?

Note in your output you have lots and lots of failures because various
devel packages for your OS are missing, and those cascade across the
build. In order to build packages, you need to have a few more tools.
You need the -dev parts of packages.  For example, it appears to me
you are missing


If you get that stuff installed, then the only "trick" is to teach R
how to find it. many are automatic, not all. (see below re mpi)

I'd suggest you run install.packages with the option (dep=T) so it
tries to get all recommended/required packages.  Then watch for the
FIRST build error and fix that first, then re-install.

For some of your errors, I know the answers.

> hecking mpi.h presence... no
> checking for mpi.h... no
> configure: error: "Cannot find mpi.h header file"
> ERROR: configuration failed for package ‘Rmpi’
> * removing ‘/usr/local/lib/R/site-library/Rmpi’
> * installing *source* package ‘nws’ ...
> ** R

The install command needs to know which mpi library you want to use.
To build on mine, I do


because that's the mpi I want. You need to install the openmpi support
(including the -dev packages)

> Error : package 'tkrplot' could not be loaded
> ERROR: lazy loading failed for package ‘VIM’
> * removing ‘/usr/local/lib/R/site-library/VIM’
> * installing *source* package ‘strucchange’ ...

That happens because your workstation doesn't have the devel package
for tk or tcl installed when tkrplot tries to build.

I'd suggest you pick packages at the beginning of your failures, try
to install them one at a time, and DO NOT go on until each one
succeeds. Usually you have to install some deb devel packages, then
re-try the install.  It looks to me like the mpi or pmml things might
need the first attention.

I assure you, this is all possible. Here's what I get today, for example:

> install.packages("pmml", dep=T)
trying URL 'http://cran.case.edu/src/contrib/pmml_1.2.21.tar.gz'
Content type 'application/x-gzip' length 41585 bytes (40 Kb)
opened URL
downloaded 40 Kb

* installing *source* package ‘pmml’ ...
** R
** preparing package for lazy loading
** help
*** installing help indices
** building package indices ...
* DONE (pmml)

The downloaded packages are in

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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