[R-SIG-Mac] R on Mac: framework or homebrew?

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Thu Sep 12 16:43:40 CEST 2013

On Sep 12, 2013, at 9:20 AM, Rainer M Krug <Rainer at krugs.de> wrote:

> Hi
> I am using R at the moment installed from the official installation as a
> framework, buit I also installed it from homebrew. As I am not using the
> Mac GUI (I am using mainly emacs, a little bit RStudio), so from there
> there was no difference.
> So which approach has which advantages? I can think of advantages when
> using homebrew (updates and upgrades of R) and also the framework
> approach (Ease of maintenance). 
> I personaly lean towards the homebrew installation (linux background),
> but are there any disadvantages to using the official framework
> installation?
> Any comments?
> Cheers,
> Rainer


I have not used Homebrew.

Having come to OSX 4+ years ago from Linux myself, I was comfortable using online third party Linux repos for things that were not in the default distribution. However, much like the early Fedora repos, before things were centralized and standardized, I found that the Mac repos (MacPorts and Fink) caused more trouble than they were worth. This was primarily due to non-standard dependencies, that installed all kinds of stuff that I really did not need or want and in some cases, conflicted with components that were already present in OSX. That was my common experience with MacPorts and I rapidly removed everything that they installed and just went to the upstream sources or binaries (when available) when I needed something.

I can't say whether or not Homebrew has similar characteristics to MacPorts and/or Fink, but I would say, be very careful and know exactly what you are getting if you do.

I used to build R from source on OSX, since I had done the same on Linux for years. However, for the past year or two now, I have been using Simon's CRAN binary releases and life has been much simplified as a result.


Marc Schwartz

More information about the R-SIG-Mac mailing list