[R-SIG-Mac] Apple Silicon aka M1 Macs

Prof Brian Ripley r|p|ey @end|ng |rom @t@t@@ox@@c@uk
Tue Nov 17 15:57:22 CET 2020

Mine (a 8GB MBA) arrived today, so I have started doing some comparisons.

For the CRAN build of R 4.0.3, §2.8 of R-admin recommends checking the 
installation with

pdf("tests.pdf") ## optional, but prevents flashing graphics windows
Sys.setenv(LC_COLLATE = "C", LC_TIME = "C", LANGUAGE = "en")
tools::testInstalledPackages(scope = "base")
tools::testInstalledPackages(scope = "recommended")

That took 454s (using Rosetta) against 895s for my late-2016 MBP (2.9GHz 
i5): happily nothing untoward was reported (some recommended packages 
give differences from reference output on both systems).

You need to install XQuartz to provide the X11() devices and support for 
package Tcl/Tk: everything I tried using that worked as expected.

Having done that post-installation check I would happily use the Intel R 
on an M1 machine.

We plan to check many of the Intel-compiled packages under Rosetta.

There are many hours of work ahead to build/test a native toolchain: our 
goal is to have a native distribution for R 4.1.0 ca April 2021.

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley using stats.ox.ac.uk
Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics, University of Oxford

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