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

Prof Brian Ripley r|p|ey @end|ng |rom @t@t@@ox@@c@uk
Mon Nov 23 11:14:49 CET 2020

As a follow-up, I now have a preliminary native build of R (using a 
gfortran compiled from sources forked from GCC and using minor 
modifications of Tomas Kalibera's instructions).

The check timing was 148s, with Aqua (not X11) Tcl/Tk built from the 
sources and no X11 support, so not quite 100% comparable.

Building the compiler took 45m elapsed with 100% CPU most of the time: 
the machine (which has no fan) remained cool (unlike my MBP which has a 
fan but rarely runs it and does get warm to the touch).

There is a preliminary write-up on 'arm64' Macs in R-devel's R-admin 
manual (the version on CRAN is as usual a few days behind).

On 17/11/2020 14:57, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> 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::testInstalledBasic("both")
> 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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