[R-sig-Debian] R-4.0.0 and Texlive 2020 installed on EmmabuntusDE4 (Debian Bullseye)

Patrice Kiener p@tr|ce@k|ener @end|ng |rom |nmode||@@com
Tue Apr 28 20:49:31 CEST 2020

Dear all,

I whish to relate my installation of R-4.0.0 on Debian.

I am mainly a Windows user and occasionnaly verify the CRAN checks of my 
packages on a second laptop equipped with Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 
(LMDE3) based on Debian Stretch. On Friday, April 24, it took me a few 
hours to have R-4.0.0 installed on Windows and the sources compiled, 
thanks to the instructions provided by Jeroen Ooms:
     https://cloud.r-project.org/bin/windows/Rtools/ + links

I decided to repeat the exercise on Debian with a clean SSD disk, a 
recent Debian distribution, Texlive 2020 and R-4.0.0 to replace the 
obsolete LMDE3. The main difficulty was to find the appropriate 
distribution that accepts Texlive 2020. I downloaded and tested:

- Debian Buster 10.3 (the current stable version with a few desktops: 
Gnome, KDE-Plasma, XFCE, LXDE, LXQt, Mosaic),
- Netrunner (Debian Buster 10.3 + KDE),
- Linux Mint LMDE4 (Debian Buster 10.3 + Cinnamon),
- Emmabuntüs DE3 (Debian Buster 10.3 + XFCE),
- Xubuntu (Ubuntu + XFCE),
- Debian Bullseye (the testing version + LXQt),
- Emmabuntüs DE4 alpha (Debian Bullseye + XFCE + LXQt) published on 
April 27 (yesterday),
- Debian sid (the unstable version).

- Once again in four years, I had many difficulties with the independant 
install-tl-unix.tar.gz (*.sh) program provided by Texlive and the final 
steps with the PATH update. The program was not found and tlmgr --gui 
did not reconnect to the CTAN repository. Once again, I gave up.
- All distributions based on Buster 10.3 have Texlive 2018 in their 
repositories. In a few distributions, it is possible to write the sid 
(unstable) repository in the sources.list file:
     deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ sid main contrib

Then, a sudo apt-get update and apt search Texlive gives access to 
Texlive 2020. Unfortunately, installing Texlive 2020 this way will 
suppress Libre Office and numerous libraries, a few of them being used 
by the display manager. This is a sure way to break the distribution at 
the next startup.
- Debian Bullseye offers Texlive 2019 in its repository. Writing the sid 
  line in sources.list is again easy. But accessing it is much more 
difficult as Debian considers it unsecure, throws a warning message and 
requests some parameter change in another file (which is not clearly 
designated) to accept this repository. I kept it as a potential solution.
- The installation of Debian sid follows other paths. It is a 
distribution meant for testing and chasing bugs, not for a permanent 
use. I did not insist.

The great winner is Emmabuntüs DE4, which can be downloaded from here:

(Disclaimer: I do not have any ties with the development team. I 
discovered the distribution 10 days ago when searching for alternatives 
to Ubuntu and Mint. I tested first DE3 and discovered yesterday by 
surprise that DE4 was released.)

With its predecessor DE3, they are very surprising distributions with a 
completely different philosophy than the most well-known distributions, 
like Ubuntu and Mint, on the number of preinstalled packages. They are 
meant for people who have recent 64 bits or old computers, including 32 
bits, a poor internet connection but a large usb key. A large audience 
is people in Africa, for instance Togo. When Ubuntu, Netrunner and Mint 
take 1.6 Go and offer limited software like Libre Office or Thunderbird, 
Emmabuntüs takes 3.3 Go and comes with more than 60 software for all 
usage, most of them being free and a few of them being non-free but 
ready to install like Adobe Flash for Firefox, Skype or TeamViewer 14 
(Jitsi is the recommended free solution). The menus are very long and 
ressemble a bazar in a colored environment.

To ease the configuration, the security has been relaxed and adding the 
sid repository to the sources.list file does not generate any complain, 
as did the pure Debian distribution. I was then able to access and 
download the full Texlive 2020. Due to the short period between the 
releases of Texlive and DE4, no package needs update or removal. This is 
a much better situation than the one with Buster 10.3 (see above). The 
full Texlive 2020 is 3.3 Go when compressed during the transfer and 6.2 
Go after decompression on the disk. The download from the Debian 
repository is also much faster than from the CTAN repository: 15 minutes 
against 40' with my ADSL line. I completed the installation with 
Texworks, TexStudio and Texmaker, then commented the sid line in the 
sources.list file to revert to the standard Bullseye repositories.

I then follow Johannes Ranke's instructions to install the R binaries:
Johannes, you should add in the instructions the following line for your 
new key:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 
The installation launched by sudo apt install r-base did not start as 
the package R-recommended-Bullseye-4.0.0-0 is currently blocked by 
Debian. On the other hand, the download from the svn.r-projet.org/R 
repository and the compilation of R-devel 4.1.0 source code went 
smoothly, as well the edition of the pdf manuals. I created a .Rprofile 
file and wrote a value for the site-library. Then, I was able to play 
with R. As mentionned by Jeroen, the compilation of the XML package 
requires extra-steps:

In conclusion, I skipped one version and have now R-4.1.0 and Texlive 
2020 on a quasi-Debian machine. I am happy with the Emmabuntüs 
distribution and will keep it for long. It offers English, French, 
German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic languages. It features 
the XFCE and LXQt desktops which are perfect for a laptop. The numerous 
software creates some confusion or, better, some opportunities to 
discover new aspects of Linux. All in one, it is an interesting 

Thanks to everybody who made R-4.0.0 a reality.


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