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

Rainer M Krug Rainer at krugs.de
Fri Sep 13 11:12:21 CEST 2013

Prof Brian Ripley <ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> writes:

> On 12/09/2013 17:15, MacQueen, Don wrote:
>> I've been using R on OS X probably ever since there was an R on OS X, and
>> like you I use it from the command line. In the early days I installed R
>> from sources, but quite a few years ago I switched to using the framework
>> version. I can't think of any disadvantage I've encountered.
> It is harder to have multiple versions of the framework in use at
> once.  And that is an issue now the R release rate is slower:
> package developers probably want both the release version and a
> current R-devel.

That is what I was thinking as well - in homebrew, I simply have to use

| brew switch R <version>  

to switch to another installed version.

>> If I were to not use the framework version, I think I would prefer to
>> install directly from sources, not use a package management system. There
>> might be more initial work installing various prerequisites (things like
>> tcl/tk, png, maybe readline, who knows what all) but it would probably be
>> better in the long run.
>> Some packages, such as a number of spatial packages, require installing
>> other libraries such as rgdal, proj, and others. Currently, these are also
>> available as frameworks, and installing those packages in a framework R is
>> now well-supported. It might be considerably more difficult to install
>> such packages in a non-framework R. I don't know how much would be
>> involved, so I just suggest it as an aspect to consider.
> Almost nothing.  Simon provides binaries for those at
> http://r.research.att.com/libs/ and if you want later ones they
> compile simply from the sources.  in any case, whether R is a
> framework or not does not affect installing packages from sources, as
> you still need to tell the toolchain where to look for the headers and
> libraries.

That is good to know.

> On my office iMac have almost all of CRAN installed (more than Simon
> provides as binaries) compiling from source.  The exceptions are those
> 10 or so which are too broken to install on OS X and those depending
> on Qt, MySQL (I haven't bothered) or BRugs (i386 Windows/Linux only)

Thanks a lot for all of your input. I will then, for the moment, stick
to the framework (as it works), but keep the homebrew option in mind.



Rainer M. Krug

email: RMKrug<at>gmail<dot>com

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