[R-sig-Debian] Bootable USB for R / was 32 bit 64 bit question, ELFCLASS32 error

J C Nash pro|jcn@@h @end|ng |rom gm@||@com
Wed Feb 3 17:35:51 CET 2021

A message from Harvey Friedman put an idea in my mind.

Linux-Ottawa has had a rather back-burner project to build a "club" distro.
Based on Antix (I think 17.??) we built a small test iso, since Antix has
a neat tool to convert running distro to an iso either for backup or

In Virtualbox I added R to this using the debian repo for that version of
Antix -- unfortunately R 3.3.3, so mightily out of date. Then built the
iso. And then set it as the "cd" and booted it on Virtualbox and checked
R would run.

This took a half hour or so, though only about 5 minutes of my time. So there's
a pathway to build an R live-USB fairly painlessly. I suspect the largest part
of the effort will be to get current R (i.e., do the Secure Apt etc. to get
appropriate repository links) if that is needed. I'm sure fancier stuff can
be done, like adding RStudio and lots of packages, etc.

Best, John Nash

On 2021-02-01 9:53 a.m., profjohn wrote:
> On 2021-02-01 9:32 a.m., Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
>> Wow. Blast from the past.
>> As what may be your real question: where do I in 2021 get a current bootable
>> usb with R: no idea, sorry.
> I've remastered a few bootable usb iso's over the past 15 years. Not
> trivial, but if there is interest in a "bootable R" I'd be willing to
> collaborate, but don't want to work alone, so get in touch off-list.
> Partly off topic: 32 bit also still of curiosity interest as I've still
> got a working Asus EEE 901 netbook (2008). Has 2GB RAM (I couldn't
> resist upgrading) and about 20 GB of flash disk. Currently run it in
> Bunsenlabs linux (I think I've got the Helium distro on it).
> JN
>> Another related answer is that 32 and 64 bit _can_ coexist (as they do on
>> other OSs) but that never really took off in common use. So there may still
>> be way to use what you have but you may need to consult the specific
>> documentation.
>> Dirk

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