R Installation and Administration

R Installation and Administration

This is a guide to installation and administration for R.

The current version of this document is 2.2.1 (2005-12-20).

ISBN 3-900051-09-7

1 Obtaining R

Sources, binaries and documentation for R can be obtained via CRAN, the “Comprehensive R Archive Network” whose current members are listed at http://cran.r-project.org/mirrors.html.

1.1 Getting and unpacking the sources

The simplest way is to download the most recent R-x.y.z.tgz file, and unpack it with

     tar xvfz R-x.y.z.tgz

on systems that have GNU tar installed. On other systems you need at least to have the gzip program installed. Then you can use

     gzip -dc R-x.y.z.tgz | tar xvf -

The pathname of the directory into which the sources are unpacked should not contain spaces, as make (specifically GNU make 3.80) does not expect spaces.

If you need to transport the sources on floppy disks, you can download the R-x.y.z.tgz-split.* files and paste them together at the destination with (Unix)

     cat R-x.y.z-split.* > R-x.y.z.tgz

and proceed as above. If you want the build to be usable by a group of users, set umask before unpacking so that the files will be readable by the target group (e.g., umask 022 to be usable by all users).

1.2 Getting patched and development versions

A patched version of the current release, `r-patched' and the current development version, `r-devel', are available as daily tarballs and via access to the R Subversion repository.

The tarballs are available from ftp://ftp.stat.math.ethz.ch/pub/Software/R/. Download either R-patched.tar.gz or R-devel.tar.gz (or the .tar.bz2 versions) and unpack as described in the previous section. They are built in exactly the same way as distributions of R releases.

1.2.1 Using Subversion and rsync

Sources are also available via https://svn.R-project.org/R/, the R Subversion repository. If you have a Subversion client (see http://subversion.tigris.org/), you can check out and update the current r-devel from https://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk/ and the current r-patched from `https://svn.r-project.org/R/branches/R-x-y-patches/' (where x and y are the major and minor number of the current released version of R). E.g., use

     svn checkout https://svn.r-project.org/R/trunk/ path

to check out r-devel into directory path.

Note that `https:' is required, and that the SSL certificate for the Subversion server of the R project is

     Certificate information:
      - Hostname: svn.r-project.org
      - Valid: from Jul 16 08:10:01 2004 GMT until Jul 14 08:10:01 2014 GMT
      - Issuer: Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, CH
      - Fingerprint: c9:5d:eb:f9:f2:56:d1:04:ba:44:61:f8:64:6b:d9:33:3f:93:6e:ad

(currently, there is no “trusted certificate”). You can accept this certificate permanently and will not be asked about it anymore.

Note that retrieving the sources by e.g. wget -r or svn export from that URL will not work: the Subversion information is needed to build R.

The Subversion repository does not contain the current sources for the recommended packages, which can be obtained by rsync or downloaded from CRAN. To use rsync to install the appropriate sources for the recommended packages, run ./tools/rsync-recommended from the top-level of the R sources.

If downloading manually from CRAN, do ensure that you have the correct versions of the recommended packages: if the number in the file VERSION is `x.y.z' you need to download the contents of `http://CRAN.R-project.org/src/contrib/dir', where dir is `x.y.z/Recommended' for r-devel or x.y-patched/Recommended for r-patched, respectively, to directory src/library/Recommended in the sources you have unpacked. After downloading manually you need to execute tools/link-recommended from the top level of the sources to make the requisite links in src/library/Recommended. A suitable incantation from the top level of the R sources using wget might be

     wget -r -l1 --no-parent -A\*.gz -nd -P src/library/Recommended \

2 Installing R under Unix-alikes

R will configure and build under a number of common Unix and Unix-alike platforms includingcpu-*-linux-gnu for the alpha, amd64, arm, hppa, ix86, ia64, m68k, powerpc, and sparc CPUs (see e.g. http://buildd.debian.org/build.php?&pkg=r-base), powerpc-apple-darwin and sparc-sun-solaris, as well as probably (it is tested less frequently on these) i386-*-freebsd, i386-*-netbsd, i386-*-openbsd, i386-sun-solaris, mips-sgi-irix, alpha-dec-osf*, rs6000-ibm-aix and hppa-hp-hpux.

In addition, binary distributions are available for some common Linux distributions and for Mac OS X (on PowerPC). See the FAQ for current details. These are installed in platform-specific ways, so for the rest of this chapter we consider only building from the sources.

2.1 Simple compilation

First review the essential and useful tools and libraries in Essential and useful other programs in Unix, and install those you want or need. Ensure that the environment variable TMPDIR is either unset (and /tmp exists and can be written in and executed from) or points to a valid temporary directory.

Choose a place to install the R tree (R is not just a binary, but has additional data sets, help files, font metrics etc). Let us call this place R_HOME. Untar the source code. This should create directories src, doc, and several more. (At this point North American readers should consult Setting paper size.) Issue the following commands:


(See Using make if your make is not called `make'.)

Then check the built system works correctly, by

     make check

Failures are not necessarily problems as they might be caused by missing functionality, but you should look carefully at any reported discrepancies. (Also, the d-p-q-r-tests.R is random and will fail about 1 in 50 runs, so if this fails please re-run make check.) To re-run the tests including those successfully run you would need

     make check FORCE=FORCE

More comprehensive testing can be done by

     make check-devel


     make check-all

see tests/README.

If the command configure and make commmands execute successfully, the R binary will be copied to the R_HOME/bin directory. In addition, a shell-script front-end called R will be created and copied to the same directory. You can copy this script to a place where users can invoke it, for example to /usr/local/bin/R. You could also copy the man page R.1 to a place where your man reader finds it, such as /usr/local/man/man1. If you want to install the complete R tree to, e.g., /usr/local/lib/R, see Installation. Note: you do not need to install R: you can run it from where it was built.

You do not necessarily have to build R in the top-level source directory (say, TOP_SRCDIR). To build in BUILDDIR, run

     cd BUILDDIR

and so on, as described further below. This has the advantage of always keeping your source tree “clean”. (You may need GNU make to allow this, and the pathname of the build directory should not contain spaces.)

Make will also build plain text help pages as well as HTML and LaTeX versions of the R object documentation (the three kinds can also be generated separately using make help, make html and make latex). Note that you need Perl version 5: if this is not available on your system, you can obtain PDF versions of the documentation files via CRAN.

For those obtaining R via Subversion, one additional step is necessary:

     make vignettes

which makes the `grid' vignettes (which are contained in the tarballs): it takes several minutes.

Now rehash if necessary, type R, and read the R manuals and the R FAQ (files FAQ or doc/manual/R-FAQ.html, or http://CRAN.R-project.org/doc/FAQ/R-FAQ.html which always has the latest version).

2.2 Making the manuals

There is a set of manuals that can be built from the sources,

Printed versions of all the help pages.
“An Introduction to R”.
“R Data Import/Export”.
“R Installation and Administration”, this manual.
“Writing R Extensions”.
“The R Language Definition”.

To make these, use

     make dvi      to create DVI versions
     make pdf      to create PDF versions
     make info     to create info files (not `refman').

You will not be able to build the info files unless you have makeinfo version 4.7 or later installed.

The DVI versions can be previewed and printed using standard programs such as xdvi and dvips. The PDF versions can be viewed using Acrobat Reader or (fairly recent versions of) xpdf and ghostscript: they have hyperlinks that can be followed in the first two. The info files are suitable for reading online with Emacs or the standalone GNU Info. The DVI and PDF versions will be created using the papersize selected at configuration (default ISO a4): this can be overridden by setting R_PAPERSIZE on the make command line, or setting R_PAPERSIZE in the environment and using make -e. (If re-making the manuals for a different papersize, you should first delete the file doc/manual/version.texi.)

There are some issues with making the reference manual, and in particular with the PDF version refman.pdf. The help files contain both ISO Latin1 characters (e.g. in text.Rd) and upright quotes, neither of which are contained in the standard LaTeX Computer Modern fonts. We have provided four alternatives:

Using standard PostScript fonts. This works well both for on-screen viewing and for printing, and is the default. The one disadvantage is that the Usage and Examples sections may come out rather wide.
Using the Latin Modern fonts. These are not often installed as part of a TeX distribution, but can obtained from http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/fonts/ps-type1/lm and mirrors. This uses fonts rather similar to Computer Modern, but is not so good on-screen as times.
Using type-1 versions of the Computer Modern fonts by Vladimir Volovich. This is a large installation, obtainable from http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/fonts/ps-type1/cm-super and its mirrors. These type-1 fonts have poor hinting and so are nowhere near so readable on-screen as the other three options.
A package to use composites of Computer Modern fonts. This works well most of the time, and its PDF is more readable on-screen than the previous two options. There are three fonts for which it will need to use bitmapped fonts, tctt0900.600pk, tctt1000.600pk and tcrm1000.600pk. Unfortunately, if those files are not available, Acrobat Reader will substitute completely incorrect glyphs so you need to examine the logs carefully. This was the default in R version 1.x.y.

Both Unix and Windows installations default to times. The choice can be overridden by setting the environment variable R_RD4PDF. (On Unix, this will be picked up at install time.) The default value is times,hyper: omit hyper if you do not want hyperlinks, e.g. for printing.

2.3 Installation

To ensure that the installed tree is usable by the right group of users, set umask appropriately (perhaps to `022') before unpacking the sources and throughout the build process.


     make check

have been completed successfully, you can install the complete R tree to your system by typing

     make install

This will install to the following directories:

prefix/bin or bindir
the front-end shell script
prefix/man/man1 or mandir/man1
the man page
prefix/LIBnn/R or libdir/R
all the rest (libraries, on-line help system, ...). Here LIBnn is usually `lib', but may be `lib64' on some 64-bit Linux systems.

where prefix is determined during configuration (typically /usr/local) and can be set by running configure with the option --prefix, as in

     ./configure --prefix=/where/you/want/R/to/go

This causes make install to install the R executable to /where/you/want/R/to/go/bin, and so on. The prefix of the installation directories can be seen in the status message that is displayed at the end of configure. You can install into another directory tree by using

     make prefix=/path/to/here install

at least with GNU make.

More precise control is available at configure time via options: see configure --help for details. (However, many of them are currently unused.)

Configure options --bindir and --mandir are supported and govern where a copy of the R script and the man page are installed.

The configure option --libdir controls where the main R files are installed: the default is


All of bindir and mandir and libdir can also be specified on the make install command line.

The configure or make variables rdocdir and rsharedir can be used to install the system-independent doc and share directories to somewhere other than libdir. The C header files can be installed to the value of rincludedir: note that as the headers are not installed into a subdirectory you probably want something like rincludedir=/usr/local/include/R-2.2.0.

If you have made R as a shared/dynamic library you can install it in your system's library directory by

     make prefix=/path/to/here install-libR

where prefix is optional, and libdir will give more precise control.

To install DVI, info and PDF versions of the manuals, use one or more of

     make install-dvi
     make install-info
     make install-pdf

Once again, it is optional to specify prefix.

More precise control is possible. For info, the setting used is that of infodir (default prefix/info, set by configure option --infodir). The DVI and PDF files are installed into the R doc tree, set by the make variable rdocdir.

2.4 Uninstallation

You can uninstall R by

     make uninstall

specifying prefix etc in the same way as specified for installation.

This will also uninstall any installed manuals. There are specific targets to uninstall DVI, info and PDF manuals in doc/manual/Makefile.

3 Installing R under Windows

The bin/windows directory of a CRAN site contains binaries for a base distribution and a large number of add-on packages from CRAN to run on Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, ME and XP (at least) on Intel x86 and clones (but not on other platforms).

You do need one of those Windows versions: Windows 3.11+win32s will not work.

Your file system must allow long file names (as is likely except perhaps for some network-mounted systems).

Installation is via the installer R-2.2.1.exe. Just double-click on the icon and follow the instructions. You can uninstall R from the Control Panel. (Note that you will probably be asked to choose a language for installation, and that choice applies to both installation and un-installation but not to running R itself.)

See the R Windows FAQ for more details.

3.1 Building from source

3.1.1 Getting the tools

If you want to build R from the sources, you will first need to collect, install and test an extensive set of tools. See The Windows toolset (and perhaps updates in http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools/) for details.

Be sure to set your path in the order given in the appendix.

3.1.2 Getting the source files

You need to collect the following sets of files:

3.1.3 Building the core files

You may need to compile under a case-honouring file system: we found that a samba-mounted file system (which maps all file names to lower case) did not work.

Open a command window at R_HOME/src/gnuwin32. Edit MkRules to set the appropriate paths as needed and to set the type(s) of help that you want built. Beware: MkRules contains tabs and some editors (e.g., WinEdt) silently remove them. Look at the comments in front-ends/Makefile and perhaps uncomment commands to increase the stack size and make the executables large-address-aware. Then run


and sit back and wait while the basic compile takes place.


3.1.4 Building the bitmap files

The file R_HOME/bin/Rbitmap.dll is not built automatically. Working in the directory R_HOME/src/gnuwin32/bitmap, install the libpng and jpeg sources in sub-directories. The libpng sub-directory must be named libpng (as required by the libpng documentation). The jpeg sub-directory for version 6b is named jpeg-6b; if you use a different version, edit Makefile and change the definition of JPEGDIR.


     > tar xzvf libpng-1.2.8.tar.gz
     > mv libpng-1.2.8 libpng
     > tar xzvf jpegsrc.v6b.tar.gz

Once everything is set up in directory bitmap, make in that directory or make bitmapdll in the parent directory should build Rbitmap.dll and install it in R_HOME/bin.

3.1.5 Windows internationalization

This version of R can be built with support for some multibyte character sets such those used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Define SUPPORT_MBCS in config.h to enable support in the R engine for multi-byte character sets. This is only useful if you have an `East Asian' version of Windows, as only those versions have multi-byte locales. (This is the default in the sources, but the distribution builds two versions of R.dll, the default choice being that without SUPPORT_MBCS.)

This also enables support for multi-byte locales in the RGui console, pager, data and script editors (this is based loosely on the Japanization patches by Nakama and Okada). The Rterm command-line editor is not supported in such locales.

Define both SUPPORT_MBCS and SUPPORT_UTF8 in config.h to enable support in the R engine and in the Windows graphics device for UTF-8 character sets. Since there are no UTF-8 locales on Windows, this sets the locale to be UTF-8 and expects input/output in UTF-8. It would only be useful with a customized front-end to R.dll.

If any of these is defined you need the DLL msvcp60.dll to be installed. It is on recent versions of Windows, and can be obtained by an Internet search.

3.1.6 Checking the build

You can test a build by (optionally) building the recommended packages (see below) and running make check. You may need to set TMPDIR to the absolute path to a suitable temporary directory: the default is c:/TEMP. (Use forward slashes and do not use a path including spaces.)

3.1.7 Building the recommended packages

The recommended packages can be built by

     make recommended

and checked by

     make check-recommended

3.1.8 Building the manuals

The pdf manuals can be made by

     make manuals

If you want to make the info versions (not the Reference Manual), use

     cd ../../doc/manual
     make -f Makefile.win info

To make DVI versions of the manuals use

     cd ../../doc/manual
     make -f Makefile.win dvi

(all assuming you have tex and latex installed and in your path).

See the Making the manuals section in the Unix section for setting options such as the paper size.

3.1.9 Building the installer

You need to have the files for a complete R build, including bitmap and Tcl/Tk support and the manuals, as well as the recommended packages and Inno Setup (see The Inno Setup installer).

Once everything is set up

     make distribution
     make check-all

will make all the pieces and the installers and put them in the gnuwin32/cran subdirectory, then check the build. This works by building all the parts in the sequence:

     Rpwd.exe (a utility needed in the build)
     rbuild-no-mbcs (the non-East Asian version of R.dll)
     rbuild (the executables, the FAQ docs etc.)
     rpackage (the base packages)
     htmldocs (the HTML documentation)
     bitmapdll (the bitmap support files)
     recommended (the recommended packages)
     vignettes (the vignettes in package grid:
     	   only needed if building from svn checkout)
     manuals (the PDF manuals)
     rinstaller (the install program)
     crandir (the CRAN distribution directory)

The parts can be made individually if a full build is not needed, but earlier parts must be built before later ones. (The Makefile doesn't enforce this dependency—some build targets force a lot of computation even if all files are up to date.) The first, third, fourth and fifth targets are the default build if just `make' is run, but the second (which builds the default version of R.dll) needs to be run first.

If you want to customize the installation by adding extra packages, replace make rinstaller by something like

     make rinstaller EXTRA_PKGS='pkg1 pkg2 pkg3'

An alternative way to customize the installer starting with a binary distribution is to first make a full installation of R from the standard installer (that is, select `Full Installation' from the `Select Components' screen), then add packages and make other customizations to that installation. Then in src/gnuwin32/installer run

     make myR IMAGEDIR=rootdir

where rootdir is the path to the root of the customized installation (forward slashes and no spaces, please). This creates an executable with the standard name, R-2.2.1.exe, so please rename it to indicate that it is customized.

3.1.10 Cross-building on ix86 Linux

You will need i386-mingw32 cross-compilers installed and in your path. There is currently a complete set of tools at http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/pub/Rtools/mingw-cross5.tar.bz2 (Just unpack this somewhere and put its bin directory in your path.)

You will need Perl, zip and unzip installed and makeinfo version 4.7 or later (part of GNU texinfo).

You also need the R source (R-2.x.y.tgz).

Then: untar R-2.x.y.tgz somewhere, and

     cd /somewhere/R-2.x.y/src/gnuwin32

Edit MkRules to set BUILD=CROSS and the appropriate paths (including HEADER) as needed.

Edit MkRules to set the type(s) of help that you want built. (You will not be able to cross-build .chm files, so WINHELP is automatically set to NO.)

You also need a working copy of this version of R on Linux: uncomment and set R_EXE in MkRules to point to it.

Then run make (and parallel make works reliably, unlike on Windows).

Packages can be made in the same way as natively: see Add-on packages.

(It is possible to cross-build the installers using WINE, which we leave as an exercise for the reader.)

To distribute a cross-build (or just to transfer it to a Windows machine for testing) use

     cd installer
     make imagedir
     zip -r9X R-2.2.1.zip R-2.2.1  # or something similar

We have not found a reliable way to convert base to lazy-loading when cross-building, so it is left in the old format.

4 Installing R under Mac OS X

The bin/macosx directory of a CRAN site contains binaries for MacOS X (at the time of writing only for PowerPC) for a base distribution and a large number of add-on packages from CRAN to run on Mac OS X version 10.3.0 or higher.

The simplest way is to use R.dmg. Just double-click on the icon and the disk image file will be mounted. Read the ReadMe.txt inside the disk image and follow the instructions.

See the R for Mac OS X FAQ for more details.

4.1 Building from source on Mac OS X

If you want to build this port from the sources, you can read the above mentioned R for Mac OS X FAQ for full details. You will need to collect and install some tools as explained in the document. Than you have to expand the R sources and configure R appropriately, for example

     tar zxvf R-2.2.1.tgz
     cd R-2.2.1
     ./configure --with-blas='-framework vecLib' --with-lapack \
       --with-aqua --enable-R-framework

and then sit back and wait. The first two options are the default (and strongly recommended), and with some toolsets have been essential. The second line of options is also default on Mac OS X, but needed only if you want to build R for use with R.app Console, and imply --enable-R-shlib to build R as a shared library.

These options configure R to be built and installed as a framework called R.framework. The default path for R.framework is /Library/Frameworks but this can be changed at configure time specifying the flag --enable-R-framework[=DIR] or at install time as

     make prefix=/where/you/want/R.framework/to/go install

the R.framework has not to be specified in the path.

5 Running R

How to start R and what command-line options are available is discussed in Invoking R.

R makes use of a number of environment variables, the default values of many of which are set in file R_HOME/etc/Renviron (there are none set by default on Windows and hence no such file). These are set at configure time, and you would not normally want to change them – a possible exception is R_PAPERSIZE (see Setting paper size).

Various environment variables can be set to determine where R creates its per-session temporary directory. For Unix-alike versions launched from the (usual) shell-script front-end, this is set by TMPDIR and defaults to /tmp: this is also used by a number of utilities such as R CMD INSTALL. There is no check made that this points to an actual directory that is user-writable. For Windows and embedded Unix-alike versions of R (including the MacOS X console) the environment variables TMPDIR (not Windows), TMP and TEMP are searched in turn and the first one which is set (and on Windows points to a writable area) is used. If none do, the final default is /tmp on Unix-alikes and the value of R_USER on Windows.

Some systems are set up to remove files and directories periodically from /tmp, for example by a cron job running tmpwatch. Set TMPDIR to another directory before running long-running jobs on such a system.

6 Add-on packages

It is helpful to use the correct terminology. A package is loaded from a library by the function library(). Thus a library is a directory containing installed packages; the main library is R_HOME/library, but others can be used, for example by setting the environment variable R_LIBS or using the R function .libPaths().

6.1 Installing packages

Packages may be distributed in source form or compiled binary form. Installing source packages requires that compilers and tools (including Perl 5.004 or later) be installed. Binary packages are platform specific and generally need no special tools to install, but see the documentation for your platform for details.

Note that you need to specify implicitly or explicitly the library to which the package is to be installed. This is only an issue if you have more than one library, of course.

To install packages from source in Unix use

     R CMD INSTALL -l /path/to/library pkg1 pkg2 ...

The part `-l /path/to/library' can be omitted, in which case the first library in R_LIBS is used if set, otherwise the main library R_HOME/library is used. (R_LIBS is looked for in the environment: note that .Renviron is not read by R CMD.) Ensure that the environment variable TMPDIR is either unset (and /tmp exists and can be written in and executed from) or points to a valid temporary directory.

There are a number of options available: use R CMD INSTALL --help to see the current list.

The same command works in Windows if you have the source-code package files (option “Source Package Installation Files” in the installer) and toolset (see The Windows toolset) installed.

Alternatively, packages can be downloaded and installed from within R. First set the option CRAN to your nearest CRAN mirror using choooseCRANmirror(). Then download and install packages pkg1 and pkg2 by

     > install.packages(c("pkg1", "pkg2"))

Unless the library is specified (argument lib) the first library in the library search path is used. If you want to fetch a package and all those it depends on that are not already installed, use e.g.

     > install.packages("Rcmdr", dependencies = TRUE)

What install.packages does by default is different on Unix and Windows. On Unix-alikes (include MacOS X unless running from the GUI console) it consults the list of available source packages on CRAN (or other repository/ies), downloads the latest version of the package sources, and installs them (via R CMD INSTALL). On Windows it looks (by default) at the list of binary versions of packages available for your version of R and downloads the latest versions (if any), although optionally it will also download and install a source package by setting the type argument.

install.packages can install a source package from a local .tar.gz file by setting argument repos to NULL.

On Windows install.packages can also install a binary package from a local zip file by setting argument repos to NULL. RGui.exe has a menu Packages with a GUI interface to install.packages, update.packages and library.

install.packages can look in several repositories, specified as a character vector by the argument repos: these can include a CRAN mirror, Bioconductor, Omegahat, local archives, local files, ...).

On Mac OS X install.packages works as it does on other Unix-like systems, but there is an additional type mac.binary that can be passed to install.package in order to download and install binary packages from CRAN. These Macintosh binary package files have the extension `tgz'. The R GUI provides for installation of either binary or source packages, from CRAN or local files.

6.1.1 Customizing compilation under Unix

The R system and package-specific compilation flags can be overridden or added to by setting the appropriate Make variables in the personal file $HOME/.R/Makevars-$R_PLATFORM, or if that does not exist, $HOME/.R/Makevars, where `R_PLATFORM' is the platform for which R was built, as available in the platform component of the R variable R.version.

Package developers are encouraged to use this mechanism to enable a reasonable amount of diagnostic messaging (“warnings”) when compiling, such as e.g. -Wall -pedantic for tools from GCC, the Gnu Compiler Collection.

6.1.2 Customizing compilation in Windows

This section describes ways to customize package compilation using the standard C/C++/FORTRAN compilers and tools. For instructions on using non-standard tools, see the README.packages file.

The Makefiles can be customized: in particular the name of the DLL can be set (for example we once needed integrate-DLLNM=adapt), the compile flags can be set (see the examples in MakeDll) and the types of help (if any) to be generated can be chosen (variables HELP and WINHELP). The simplest way to customize the compilation steps is to set variables in a file src/Makevars.win, which will automatically be included by MakeDLL. For example, for RODBC src/Makevars.win could include the line


or, equivalently,


but in fact contains the single line


If you have a file src/Makefile.win, that will be used as the makefile for source compilation in place of our makefile and MakeDll and src/Makevars.win will be ignored.

Package-specific compilation flags can be overridden or added to using the personal file $HOME/.R/Makevars.win, or if that does not exist, $HOME/.R/Makevars. (See the rw-FAQ for the meaning of $HOME.) For the record, the order of precedence is (last wins)

Beware: files src/Makefile or src/Makevars will be used if they exist and the .win equivalents do not. Such files included in package sources are usually designed for use under Unix and are best removed.

Beware: references to variables in R.dll are converted to the right form by using the header files. You must include them.

For additional control, R_HOME/src/gnuwin32/Makefile contains additional make targets corresponding to various options to R CMD INSTALL. These assume that package foo's source code has been installed in directory R_HOME/src/library/foo. Then make pkg-foo is similar to R CMD INSTALL foo (but the latter would require R_HOME/src/library to be the current directory). Other targets are

Using this approach allows variables to be set during the build, e.g.

     make PKGDIR=/mysources RLIB=/R/library pkg-foo

Some variables that may be used include:

For a complete list of variables, see the M* files in R_HOME/src/gnuwin32. The PKG_* flags are those typically included in Makevars files.

6.2 Updating packages

The command update.packages() is the simplest way to ensure that all the packages on your system are up to date. Set the repos argument as in the previous section. The update.packages() downloads the list of available packages and their current versions, compares it with those installed and offers to fetch and install any that have later versions on the repositories.

An alternative interface to keeping packages up-to-date is provided by the command packageStatus(), which returns an object with information on all installed packages and packages available at multiple repositories. The print and summary methods give an overview of installed and available packages, the upgrade method offers to fetch and install the latest versions of outdated packages.

6.3 Removing packages

Packages can be removed in a number of ways. From a command prompt they can be removed by

     R CMD REMOVE -l /path/to/library pkg1 pkg2 ...

From a running R process they can be removed by

     > remove.packages(c("pkg1", "pkg2"),
                       lib = file.path("path", "to", "library"))

Finally, in most installations one can just remove the package directory from the library.

Note: only remove.packages can remove package bundles.

6.4 Setting up a package repository

Utilities such as install.packages can be pointed at any CRAN-style repository, and R users may want to set up their own. The `base' of a repository is a URL such as http://www.omegahat.org/R: this must be an URL scheme that download.packages supports (which also includes ftp:// and file://). Under that base URL there should be directory trees for one or more of the following types of package distributions:

Each terminal directory must also contain a PACKAGES file. This can be a concatenation of the DESCRIPTION files of the packages separated by blank lines (provided there are no bundles), but only a few of the fields are needed. The simplest way to set up such a file is to use function write_PACKAGES in the tools package, and its help explains which fields are needed. Optionally there can also be a PACKAGES.gz file, a gzip-compressed version of PACKAGES.

To add your repository to the list offered by setRepositories(), see the help file for that function.

7 Internationalization and Localization

Internationalization refers to the process of enabling support for non-English languages, and localization to adapting to a specific country and language.

R has long worked in the ISO Latin-1 8-bit character set and so covered English and most Western European languages (if not necessarily their currency symbols). What characters are valid in names was taken from the current locale. In general other locales with single-byte encodings worked, but e.g. postscript() and pdf() needed to be told about the encoding in use.

Full internationalization can be enabled when R is built under Unix-alikes by the (default) configure option --enable-mbcs: see Configuration on Unix. Under Windows, it is enabled by default in source builds, but support for `East Asian' (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) languages is only enabled in the binary install if it is selected in the installer.

All versions of R support all single-byte character sets that the underlying OS can handle. These are interpreted according to the current locale, a sufficiently complicated topic to merit a separate section. Fully internationalized versions can also handle most multi-byte locales, in which a single character is represented by one, two or more consecutive bytes: examples of such locales are those using UTF-8 (becoming standard under Linux) and those for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Note that only some of the graphics devices can handle multi-byte or even non-Latin-1 character sets: in particular postscript and pdf are in practice restricted to ISO Latin-1, -2, -7, -9 and Cyrillic.

The other aspect of the internationalization is support of the translation of messages. This is enabled in almost all builds of R as from version 2.1.0.

7.1 Locales

A locale is a description of the local environment of the user, including the preferred language, the encoding of characters, the currency used and its conventions, and so on. Aspects of the locale are accessed by the R functions Sys.getlocale and Sys.localeconv.

The system of naming locales is OS-specific. There is quite wide agreement on schemes, but not on the details of their implementation. A locale needs to specify

R is principally concerned with the first (for translations) and third. Note that the charset may be deducible from the language, as some OSes offer only one charset per language, and most OSes have only one charset each for many languages. Note too the remark above about Chinese.

7.1.1 Locales under Linux

Modern Linux uses the XPG locale specifications which have the form en_GB, en_GB.utf8, aa_ER.utf8@saaho, de_AT.iso885915@euro, the components being in the order listed above. (See man locale and locale -a for more details.) Similar schemes (but often in different cases) are used by most Unix-alikes.

7.1.2 Locales under Windows

Windows also uses locales, but specified in a rather less concise way. Most users will encounter locales only via drop-down menus, but more information and lists can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vccore98/html/_crt_language_and_country_strings.asp.

7.1.3 Locales under Mac OS X

Mac OS X supports locales in its own particular way, but the R GUI tries to make this easier for users. See


for how users can set their locales. As with Windows, end users will generally only see lists of languages/territories.

Internally Mac OS X uses a form similar to Linux but without specifying the encoding (which is .UTF-8).

7.2 Localization of messages

The preferred language for messages is by default taken from the locale. This can be overridden first by the setting of the environment variable LANGUAGE and then by the environment variables LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES and LANG. (The last three are normally used to set the locale and so should not be needed, but the first is only used to select the language for messages.) The code tries hard to map locale names to languages, even on Windows.

Note that you should not expect to be able to change the language once R is running, and so LC_MESSAGES is not supported by Sys.setlocale.

Messages are divided into domains, and translations may be available for some or all messages in a domain. R makes use of the following domains.

Dividing up the messages in this way allows R to be extensible: as packages are loaded, their message translation catalogues can be loaded too.

Translations are looked for by domain according to the currently specified language, as specifically as possible, so for example an Austrian (de_AT) translation catalogue will be used in preference to a generic German one (de) for an Austrian user. However, if a specific translation catalogue exists but does not contain a translation, the less specific catalogues are consulted. For example, R has catalogues for en_GB that translate the Americanisms (e.g., gray) in the standard messages into English.

Translations in the right language but the wrong charset can generally be made use of by on-the-fly re-encoding. The LANGUAGE variable (only) can be a colon-separated list, for example se:de, giving a set of languages in decreasing order of preference. One special value is en@quot, which can be used in a UTF-8 locale to have English/American error messages with pairs of quotes translated to Unicode directional quotes.

If no suitable translation catalogue is found or a particular message is not translated in any suitable catalogue, English is used.

See http://developer.r-project.org/Translations.html for how to prepare and install translation catalogues.

8 Choosing between 32- and 64-bit builds

Many current CPUs have both 32- and 64-bit sets of instructions: this has long been true for UltraSparc and more recently for MIPS, PPC and x86_64. Many OSes running on such CPUs offer the choice of building a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of R (and details are given below under specific OSes). For most a 32-bit version is the default, but for some (e.g. x86_64) 64-bit is.

All current versions of R use 32-bit integers and IEC 605591 double-precision reals, and so compute to the same accuracy and with the same limits on the sizes of numerical quantities. The principal difference is in the size of the pointers.

64-bit builds have both advantages and disadvantages:

So, for speed you may want to use a 32-bit build, but to handle large datasets (and perhaps large files) a 64-bit build.

Even on 64-bit builds of R there are limits on the size of R objects (see help("Memory-limits"), some of which stem from the use of 32-bit integers (especially in FORTRAN code). On all versions of R, the maximum length (number of elements) of a vector is 2^31 -1, about 2 billion, and on 64-bit systems the size of a block of memory allocated is limited to 2^34 -1 bytes (8GB). It is anticipated these will be raised eventually but routine use of 8GB objects is (in 2005) several years off.

8.1 Windows

Currently the Windows build of R is a 32-bit executable. This runs happily on Windows 64 on AMD64 and EM64T, but is limited to a 3GB address space. It will not be possible to build a native version for Windows 64 until suitable compilers are available, and currently (mid-2005) that is not in prospect.

Appendix A Essential and useful other programs in Unix

This appendix gives details of programs you will need to build R on Unix-like platforms, or which will be used by R if found by configure.

Remember that some package management systems (such as RPM and deb) make a distinction between the user version of a package and the development version. The latter usually has the same name but with the extension `-devel' or `-dev': you need both versions installed.

A.1 Essential programs

You need a means of compiling C and FORTRAN 77 (see Using FORTRAN). Some add-on packages also need a C++ compiler. Your C compiler should be IEC600593, POSIX 1003.1 and C99-compliant if at all possible. R tries to choose suitable flags for the C compilers it knows about, but you may have to set CFLAGS suitably. For recent versions of gcc with glibc this means including -std=gnu99 in CFLAGS (-std=c99 excludes POSIX functionality).

Unless you do not want to view graphs on-screen you need `X11' installed, including its headers and client libraries. (On Fedora Core Linux this means the `xorg-x11-devel' and `xorg-x11-libs' RPMs, for example. Older Linuxen used `XFree86-'. Sone Debian derivatives apparently also require `libxt-dev'.) If you really do not want these you will need to explicitly configure R without X11, using --with-x=no.

The command-line editing depends on the readline library available from any GNU mirror: you will need a fairly recent version. Otherwise you will need to configure with --with-readline=no (or equivalent).

You will need Perl version 5.004 or later, available via http://www.perl.com/CPAN/, to build any of the on-line documentation.

You will not be able to build the info files unless you have makeinfo version 4.7 or later installed, and if not some of the HTML manuals will be linked to CRAN. (makeinfo version 4.7 is fairly recent, but version 4.6 is known to create incorrect HTML files.)

The typeset documentation and building vignettes needs tex and latex, or pdftex and pdflatex.

If you want to build from the R Subversion repository you need Perl, makeinfo and pdflatex.

A.2 Useful libraries and programs

The use of encodings and the R iconv function depend on having the system iconv function: this is part of recent versions of glibc and many Unixes. You can also install GNU libiconv (which is not the same as that in glibc), possibly as a plug-in replacement: see http://www.gnu.org/software/libiconv/. Note that the R usage requires iconv to be able to translate between "latin1" and "UTF-8" and to recognize "" as the current encoding – this is not true of most commercial Unixes.

The ability to use translated messages makes use of gettext and most likely needs GNU gettext: you do need this to work with new translations, but otherwise that contained in the R sources will be used if no suitable external gettext is found.

The bitmapped graphics devices jpeg() and png() need the appropriate headers and libraries installed: jpeg (version 6b or later) or libpng (version 1.2.3 or later) and zlib (version 1.1.3 or later) respectively.

The bitmap and dev2bitmap devices use ghostscript (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost).

If you have them installed (including the appropriate headers and of recent enough versions), zlib, libbz2 and PCRE will be used if specified by --with-system-zlib, --with-system-bzlib or --with-system-pcre: otherwise versions in the R sources will be compiled in. As the latter suffice and are tested with R you should not need to change this. In particular, the version of zlib 1.2.3 in the R sources has enhancements to work with large file systems on 32-bit platforms.

A.2.1 Tcl/Tk

The tcltk package needs Tcl/Tk installed: the sources are available at http://www.tcl.tk/. To specify the locations of the Tcl/Tk files you may need the configuration options

use Tcl/Tk, or specify its library directory
specify location of tclConfig.sh
specify location of tkConfig.sh

or use the configure variables TCLTK_LIBS and TCLTK_CPPFLAGS to specify the flags needed for linking against the Tcl and Tk libraries and for finding the tcl.h and tk.h headers, respectively.

Versions of Tcl/Tk from 8.3 to 8.4.11 have been used successfully: 8.0 is no longer supported.

A.2.2 Linear algebra

The linear algebra routines in R can make use of enhanced BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms, http://www.netlib.org/blas/faq.html) routines. Some are compiler-system-specific (libsunperf on Sun Sparc4, libessl on IBM, vecLib on Mac OS X) but ATLAS (http://math-atlas.sourceforge.net/) is a “tuned” BLAS that runs on a wide range of Unix-alike platforms. If no more specific library is found, a libblas library in the library path will be used. You can specify a particular BLAS library via a value for the configuration option --with-blas and not to use an external BLAS library by --without-blas. (Alternatively, the environment variable BLAS_LIBS can be set, for example in config.site.)

For systems with multiple processors it is possible to use a multi-threaded version of ATLAS. An issue is that R profiling, which uses the SIGPROF signal, may cause problems, and you may want to disable profiling if you use a multi-threaded version of ATLAS. You can use a multi-threaded ATLAS by specifying

     --with-blas="-lptf77blas -lpthread -latlas"

Another tuned BLAS which is available for some processors under Linux is by Kazushige Goto, currently available for academic use only (after registering) via http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/resources/software/software.php. (Recent versions are multi-threaded only.) Once this is installed, it can be used by configuring with

     --with-blas="-lgoto -lpthread"

It has been reported that on some RedHat-based Linux systems it is necessary to set OMP_NUM_THREADS=1 (to disable multiple threads) in the environment when using a multi-threaded Goto BLAS, but others run happily with multiple threads. That environment variable should be set when using R profiling.

For Intel processors under Linux, Intel's Math Kernel Library http://www.intel.com/software/products/mkl/ can be used by

     --with-blas="-lmkl -lguide -lpthread"

with the same caveat on multi-threading (but the number of threads defaults to 1). (Thanks to Andy Liaw for the information.)

For x86_64 and ix86 processors under Linux there is the AMD Core Math Library (ACML) http://www.amd.com/acml. For the gcc version5 (which is single-threaded only) we could use


if the appropriate library directory such as /opt/acml2.7.0/gnu64/lib is in the LD_LIBRRARY_PATH. For other compilers, see the ACML documentation. Although the documentation is unclear, 32-bit versions of ACML do run on other ia32 chips such as AthlonMP and P4.

Note that the BLAS library will be used for several add-on packages as well as for R itself. This means that it is better to use a shared BLAS library, as most of a static library will be compiled into the R executable and each BLAS-using package. In any case, the BLAS library must be usable with dynamically-loadable code: this can be a problem with ATLAS on some platforms (including x86_64) as it is not by default built with position-independent code.

You will need double-precision and double-complex versions of the BLAS, but not single-precision nor complex routines.

On some systems it is necessary that an external BLAS was built with the same FORTRAN compiler used to build R: known problems are with R built with gfortran see Using gfortran.

Provision is made for using an external LAPACK library, principally to cope with BLAS libraries which contain a copy of LAPACK (such as libsunperf on Solaris, vecLib on Mac OS X and ACML on ix86/x86_64 Linux). However, the likely performance gains are thought to be small (and may be negative), and the default is not to search for a suitable LAPACK library, this is definitely not recommended. You can specify a specific LAPACK library or a search for a generic library by the configuration option --with-lapack. The default for --with-lapack is to check the BLAS library and then look for an external library -llapack. Sites searching for the fastest possible linear algebra may want to build a LAPACK library using the ATLAS-optimized subset of LAPACK. To do so specify something like

     --with-lapack="-L/path/to/libs -llapack -lcblas"

since the ATLAS subset of LAPACK depends on libcblas. A value for --with-lapack can be set via the environment variable LAPACK_LIBS, but this will only be used if --with-lapack is specified (as the default value is no) and the BLAS library does not contain LAPACK.

Since ACML contains a full LAPACK, if selected as the BLAS it can be used as the LAPACK via --with-lapack.

Intel's Math Kernel Library suppies a full LAPACK which can be used via

     --with-lapack="-L/path/to/libs -lmkl_lapack64"

or -lmkl_lapack32: -lmkl_lapack is static and not PIC. However, the version we tested failed a regression test in the complex LAPACK.

If you do use --with-lapack, be aware of potential problems with bugs in the LAPACK 3.0 sources (or in the posted corrections to those sources). In particular, bugs in DGEEV and DGESDD have resulted in error messages such as

     DGEBRD gave error code -10

(seen with the Debian -llapack which was current in late 2002, Fedora Core 4 Extras -llapack in September 2005 and 64-bit libsunperf in Forte 7). Other potential problems are incomplete versions of the libraries: for example libsunperf from Sun Forte 6.x was missing the entry point for DLANGE and vecLib has omitted the BLAS routine LSAME. For problems compiling LAPACK using recent versions of `gcc' on `ix86' Linux, see New platforms: these problems have surfaced in Fedora Core 3's distribution, for example.

Please do bear in mind that using --with-lapack is `definitely not recommended': it is provided only because it is necessary on some platforms.

As with all libraries, you need to ensure that they and R were compiled with compatible compilers and flags. For example, this means that on Sun Sparc using the native compilers the flag -dalign is needed so libsunperf can be used.

An ATLAS `tuned' BLAS can also be used on Windows: see see Getting the source files when building from source, and R Windows FAQ for adding pre-compiled support to binary versions. Other BLASs can also be used when building from source.

Note that under Unix (but not under Windows) if R is compiled against a non-default BLAS, then all BLAS-using packages must also be. So if R is re-built after ATLAS is installed, then packages such as quantreg will need to be re-installed.

Appendix B Configuration on Unix

B.1 Configuration options

configure has many options: running

     ./configure --help

will give a list. Probably the most important ones not covered elsewhere are (defaults in brackets)

use the X Window System [yes]
X include files are in DIR
X library files are in DIR
use readline library (if available) [yes]
attempt to compile support for Rprof() [yes]
build R as a shared library [no]

You can use --without-foo or --disable-foo for the negatives.

You will want to use --disable-R-profiling if you are building a profiled executable of R (e.g. with `-pg)'.

Flag --enable-R-shlib causes the make process to build R as a dynamic (shared) library, typically called libR.so, and link the main R executable R.bin against that library. This can only be done if all the code (including system libraries) can be compiled into a dynamic library, and there may be a performance6 penalty. So you probably only want this if you will be using an application which embeds R. Note that C code in packages installed on a R system linked with --enable-R-shlib are linked against the dynamic library and so such packages cannot be used from a R system built in the default way.

B.2 Internationalization support

R supports multi-byte character sets (MBCS), in particular for UTF-8 locales (which are usually identified by suffix .utf8, something like en_GB.utf87. UTF-8 is an encoding of Unicode and in principle covers all human languages simultaneously: however, a given system may not have fonts capable of displaying more than a few of these languages.

Support for UTF-8 is selected at configure time (unless disabled with --disable-mbcs). This will check for a large number of features, notably support for the C99/UNIX98 wide character functions and for UTF-8 or MBCS support in X11. If enough of these are found, MBCS will be listed as one of the “Additional capabilities”. Then if R is started in a UTF-8 locale it assumes that the terminal will supply and display UTF-8-encoded characters8. If run in a single-byte locale, R behaves almost exactly as if it was configured with --disable-mbcs.

A version of R with MBCS support can also be run in other multi-byte locales, for example those using the EUC-JP, EUC-KR and EUC-TW encodings on Unix-alikes and the code pages for Chinese, Japanese and Korean on Windows.

Translation of messages is supported via GNU gettext unless disabled by the configure option --disable-nls or the underlying OS has insufficiently standard C functions to support it. The configure report will show NLS as one of the `Additional capabilities' if support has been compiled in, and running in an English locale (but not the C locale) will include

       Natural language support but running in an English locale

in the greeting on starting R.

B.3 Configuration variables

If you need or want to set certain configure variables to something other than their default, you can do that by either editing the file config.site (which documents all the variables you might want to set) or on the command line as

     ./configure VAR=value

If you are building in a directory different from the sources, there can be copies of config.site in the source and the build directories, and both will be read (in that order). To force a single file to be read, set the environment variable CONFIG_SITE to the location of the file.

These variables are precious, implying that they do not have to be exported to the environment, are kept in the cache even if not specified on the command line and checked for consistency between two configure runs (provided that caching is used), and are kept during automatic reconfiguration as if having been passed as command line arguments, even if no cache is used.

See the variable output section of configure --help for a list of all these variables.

If you find you need to alter configure variables, it is worth noting that some settings may be cached in the file config.cache, and it is a good idea to remove that file (if it exists) before re-configuring. Note that caching is turned off by default: use the command line option --config-cache (or -C) to enable caching.

B.3.1 Setting paper size

One common variable to change is R_PAPERSIZE, which defaults to `a4', not `letter'. (Valid values are `a4', `letter', `legal' and `executive'.)

B.3.2 Setting the browser

Another precious variable is R_BROWSER, the default browser, which should take a value of an executable in the user's path or specify a full path.

B.3.3 Compilation flags

If you have libraries and header files, e.g., for GNU readline, in non-system directories, use the variables LDFLAGS (for libraries, using `-L' flags to be passed to the linker) and CPPFLAGS (for header files, using `-I' flags to be passed to the C/C++ preprocessors), respectively, to specify these locations. These default to LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/lib (/usr/local/lib64 on most 64-bit Linux OSes) and CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include to catch the most common cases. If libraries are still not found, then maybe your compiler/linker does not support re-ordering of -L and -l flags (this has been reported to be a problem on HP-UX with the native cc). In this case, use a different compiler (or a front end shell script which does the re-ordering).

B.3.4 Making manuals

The default settings for making the manuals are controlled by R_RD4PDF, R_RD4DVI and R_PAPERSIZE.

B.4 Using make

To compile R, you will most likely find it easiest to use GNU make. On Solaris 2.6/7/8 in particular, you need a version of GNU make different from 3.77; 3.79.1 works fine, as does the Sun make. The native make is reported to fail on SGI Irix 6.5 and Alpha/OSF1 (aka Tru64).

To build in a separate directory you need a make that uses the VPATH variable, for example GNU make, or Sun make on Solaris 2.7/8/9 (but not earlier).

If you want to use a make by another name, for example if your GNU make is called `gmake', you need to set the variable MAKE at configure time, for example

     ./configure MAKE=gmake


To compile R, you need a FORTRAN compiler or f2c, the FORTRAN-to-C converter (http://www.netlib.org/f2c). The default is to search for f95, fort, xlf95, ifort, ifc, efc, pgf95 lf95, gfortran, ftn, g95, f90, xlf90, pghpf, pgf90, epcf90, g77, f77, xlf, frt, pgf77, cf77, fort77, fl32, af77 (in that order)9, and then for f2c, and use whichever is found first; if none is found, R cannot be compiled. However, if CC is gcc, the matching FORTRAN compiler (g77 for gcc 3 and gfortran for gcc 4) is used if available.

The search mechanism can be changed using the configure variables F77 and F2C which specify the commands that run the FORTRAN 77 compiler and FORTRAN-to-C converter, respectively. If F77 is given, it is used to compile FORTRAN; otherwise, if F2C is given, f2c is used even if a FORTRAN compiler would be be available. If your FORTRAN compiler is in a non-standard location, you should set the environment variable PATH accordingly before running configure, or use the configure variable F77 to specify its full path.

If your FORTRAN libraries are in slightly peculiar places, you should also look at LD_LIBRARY_PATH or your system's equivalent to make sure that all libraries are on this path.

Note that only FORTRAN compilers which convert identifiers to lower case are supported.

You must set whatever compilation flags (if any) are needed to ensure that FORTRAN integer is equivalent to a C int pointer and FORTRAN double precision is equivalent to a C double pointer. This is checked during the configuration process. Because of this, f2c will not be accepted on a 64-bit platform as it produces 64-bit integers, incompatible with C's int on such platforms.

Some of the FORTRAN code makes use of COMPLEX*16 variables, which is a FORTRAN 90 extension. This is checked for at configure time10, but you may need to avoid compiler flags11 asserting FORTRAN 77 compliance.

For performance reasons12 you may want to choose a FORTRAN 90/95 compiler.

If you use f2c you may need to ensure that the FORTRAN type integer is translated to the C type int. Normally f2c.h contains `typedef long int integer;', which will work on a 32-bit platform but not on a 64-bit platform, where f2c is not allowed.

B.5.1 Using gfortran

gfortran is the F95 compiler that is part of gcc 4.x.y.

There was a problem with the version in the gcc 4.0.0 release and most pre-releases. At least on ix86 and x86_64 Linux and MacOS X the dynamic version of the FORTRAN runtime libgfortran could not be used: if this is loaded redirection of C stdin (which R uses in many of its scripts) becomes non-functional. A workaround is to set the environment variable GFORTRAN_STDIN_UNIT to -1, but versions before 10 April 2005 had another bug causing the setting to be ignored. Both problems have been fixed for gcc 4.0.1. The version of gfortran shipping with Fedora Core 4 seems to have the fixes in place.

Some versions of g95 (from http://www.g95.org) have the same problem.

On x86_64 systems there is an incompatibility in the return conventions for double-complex functions between gfortran and g77 which result in the final example in example(eigen) hanging or segfaulting under external BLASs built under g77, as well as with Dr Goto's BLAS. As from R 2.2.0 this should be detected by a configure test.

B.6 Compile and load flags

A wide range of flags can be set in the file config.site or as configure variables on the command line. We have already mentioned

header file search directory (-I) and any other miscellaneous options for the C and C++ preprocessors and compilers
path (-L), stripping (-s) and any other miscellaneous options for the linker

and others include

debugging and optimization flags, C
ditto, for compiling the main program
for shared libraries
debugging and optimization flags, FORTRAN
ditto, for compiling the main program
for shared libraries
additional flags for the main link
additional flags for linking the shared libraries
the primary library directory, lib or lib64

Library paths specified as -L/lib/path in LDFLAGS are collected together and prepended to LD_LIBRARY_PATH (or your system's equivalent), so there should be no need for -R or -rpath flags.

To compile a profiling version of R, one might for example want to use `MAIN_CFLAGS=-pg', `MAIN_FFLAGS=-pg', `MAIN_LDFLAGS=-pg' on platforms where `-pg' cannot be used with position-independent code.

Beware: it may be necessary to set CFLAGS and FFLAGS in ways compatible with the libraries to be used: one possible issue is the alignment of doubles, another is the way structures are passed.

On some platforms configure will select additional flags for CFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, FFLAGS, CXXFLAGS and LIBS in R_XTRA_CFLAGS (and so on). These are for options which are always required, for example to force IEC60559 compliance.

Appendix C Platform notes

This section provides some notes on building R on different Unix-like platforms. These notes are based on tests run on one or two systems in each case with particular sets of compilers and support libraries. Success in building R depends on the proper installation and functioning of support software; your results may differ if you have other versions of compilers and support libraries.

Many 32-bit systems have a means of using files > 2Gb, and most are based on that in the Single Unix specification: see http://ftp.sas.com/standards/large.file/x_open.20Mar96.html. However, this is only covered under Linux and Solaris.

C.1 Linux

Linux is the main development platform for R, so compilation from the sources is normally straightforward with the standard compilers.

Remember that some package management systems (such as RPM and deb) make a distinction between the user version of a package and the developer version. The latter usually has the same name but with the extension `-devel' or `-dev': you need both versions installed. So please check the configure output to see if the expected features are detected: if for example `readline' is missing add the developer package. (On most systems you will also need `ncurses' and its developer package, although these should be dependencies of the `readline' package(s).)

When R has been installed from a binary distribution there are sometimes problems with missing components such as the FORTRAN compiler. Searching the `R-help' archives will normally reveal what is needed.

It seems that the `gcc' compilers normally produce PIC code on `ix86' Linux but do not necessarily do so on 64-bit versions such as that for AMD Opteron. So care can be needed with BLAS libraries and when building R as a shared library to ensure that position-independent code is used in any static libraries (such as the Tcl/Tk libraries, libpng, libjpeg and zlib) which might be linked against. Fortunately these are normally built as shared libraries with the exception of the ATLAS BLAS libraries.

For platforms with both 64- and 32-bit support, it is likely that

     LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib64 -L/usr/local/lib"

is appropriate since most (but not all) software installs its 64-bit libraries in /usr/local/lib64. To build a 32-bit version of R on x86_64 we used

     CFLAGS="-m32 -O2 -g -Wall -pedantic -std=gnu99"
     CXXFLAGS="-m32 -O2 -g"
     FFLAGS="-m32 -O2 -g"

and had to build readline ourselves as Fedora Core 3 only shipped a 64-bit version.

64-bit versions of Linux are built with support for files > 2Gb, but 32-bit versions usually are not. This can be enabled for Linux kernels 2.4.x or later by the configure option --enable-linux-lfs: it tests for Linux, a suitable kernel and a 32-bit `long' type. A discussion of which Linux systems support large files can be found at http://www.suse.de/~aj/linux_lfs.html: it has been available since about 2001.

R used to include the compiler flag -mieee-fp, but it seems this was really an alias for the linker flag -lieee. Neither are needed for a modern Linux (e.g. using glibc 2.2 or 2.3) but could conceivably be needed on an older version. glibc 2.1 required -D__NO_MATH_INLINES to achieve IEC60059-compliance for exp, and this is included in R_XTRA_CFLAGS if required.

Several Linux distributions have shipped unreleased versions of gcc 4.0.0 and its FORTRAN compiler gfortran (see the separate comments). Some versions of gcc4 (such as that in Fedora Core 3) produce incorrect code. In our experiments gcc 3.4.x always produced faster and more reliable code. It seems that gcc 4.0.1 and gcc 4.0.2 cannot compile src/main/plot.c when building R as a shared library on `ix86' unless the optimization level is reduced from the default -O2.

Intel compilers have been used under ix86 and x86_64 Linux and R contains code to set the FPU options suitably. Brian Ripley tried version 9.0 of the compilers for ix86 via

     LDFLAGS="-L$ICC_LIBS -L$IFC_LIBS -L/usr/local/lib"

and adding optimization flags failed: at least src/main/regex.c and src/modules/lapack/dlamc.f need to be compiled without optimization. For x86_64 he used

     CFLAGS="-mp -g -O2"
     FFLAGS="-mp -g -O2"
     CXXFLAGS="-mp -g -O2"
     LDFLAGS="-L$ICC_LIBS -L$IFC_LIBS -L/usr/local/lib"

Note the use of -mp to maintain correct IEC60559 arithmetic: these are the default flags selected by configure if none are supplied. (-mieee-fp is an alternative name for -mp.)

For some comments on building on an Itanium (`ia64') Linux system with gcc or the Intel compilers see http://www.nakama.ne.jp/memo/ia64_linux/.

Jennifer Lai used the Portland Group compilers on `x86_64' to build pre-2.2.0 with settings

     CFLAGS="-g -O2 -mieee-fp"
     CPPFLAGS="-I$PG_HOME/include -I$PG_HOME/include/CC"
     LDFLAGS="-L$PG_HOME/libso -L/usr/lib64"

Note particularly the last, which is needed to ensure that a shared version of libc is found. As from R 2.2.1, we include -mieee-fp in R_XTRA_CFLAGS so it should not be included in CFLAGS.

C.2 Mac OS X

You can build R as a Unix application on Mac OS X using the Apple Developer Tools and f2c or g77 or gfortran. You will also need to install an X sub-system or configure with --without-x. The X window manager is part of the standard Mac OS X distribution since Mac OS X version 10.3 (Panther).

For more information on how to find these tools please read the R for Mac OS X FAQ.

If you use the X window manager and prefer Terminal.app to xterm, you should be aware that R, like many Unix tools, uses the existence of a DISPLAY environment variable to determine whether an X system is running. This affects the default graphics device for the commmand line version of R and the behaviour of the png() and jpeg devices.

The vecLib library of Mac OS X >= 10.2.2 can be used via the (default) configuration options

     --with-blas="-framework vecLib" --with-lapack

to provide higher-performance versions of the BLAS and LAPACK routines. Building R without these options via

     --without-blas --without-lapack

used not to work with earlier versions of gcc, but can be done with gcc 3.3 and later.

C.3 Solaris on Sparc

R has been built successfully on Solaris 8 aka Solaris 2.8 aka SunOS 5.8 using gcc/g77, gcc4/gfortran and the `Sun ONE Studio 7 Compiler Suite' (aka Forte 7), and less regularly on Solaris 9 and 10. GNU make was needed prior to Solaris 2.7 for building other than in the source tree, and is sometimes needed to establish the correct dependencies when rebuilding.

The Solaris versions of several of the tools needed to build R (e.g. make, ar and ld) are in /usr/ccs/bin, so if using those tools ensure this is in your path.

gcc 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 generate incorrect code on 32-bit Solaris builds with optimization, but versions 3.1, 3.2, 3.2.3 and later work correctly. (make check fails at the first attempt to plot.)

If using gcc, do ensure that the compiler was compiled for the version of Solaris in use. (This can be ascertained from gcc -v.) gcc makes modified versions of some header files, and so (for example) gcc compiled under Solaris 2.6 will not compile R under Solaris 2.7. Also, do ensure that it was compiled for the assembler/loader in use: if you download gcc from http://www.sunfreeware.com then you need to download binutils too. To avoid all these pitfalls we strongly recommended you compile gcc from the sources yourself.

It was reported by Mike Pacey that Sun Forte 9 requires -xopenmp=stubs added to LDFLAGS.

When using the SunPro compilers do not specify -fast, as this disables IEEE arithmetic and make check will fail. The maximal set of optimization options known to work is

     -xlibmil -xO5 -dalign

We have found little performance difference between gcc and cc but considerable benefit from using a SunPro FORTRAN compiler: the gcc/f77 combination works well. For many C++ applications Forte 7 requires -lCstd, which the configure script will add to SHLIB_CXXLDFLAGS if it identifies the compiler correctly.

A 32-bit version of R is built without large file support and so can only handle files up to 2Gb (unlike 64-bit versions). According to `man lfcompile' this restriction can be removed if -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 -D_LARGEFILE_SOURCE=1 is added to `CFLAGS'.

To compile for a 64-bit target on Solaris (which needs an UltraSparc chip and for support to be enabled in the OS) with the Forte 7 compilers we used

     CC="cc -xarch=v9"
     CFLAGS="-xO5 -xlibmil -dalign"
     F77="f95 -xarch=v9"
     FFLAGS="-xO5 -xlibmil -dalign"
     CXX="CC -xarch=v9"
     CXXFLAGS="-xO5 -xlibmil -dalign"

in config.site.

For 64-bit compilation with gcc 3.2.x and later we used

     CC="gcc -m64"
     F77="g77 -m64"
     CXX="g++ -m64"
     LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib/sparcv9 -L/usr/local/lib"

replacing `g77' with `gfortran' for gcc 4.0.x. Note that `/usr/local/lib/sparcv9' will need to be in the `LD_LIBRARY_PATH' during configuration.

Note that using f95 allows the Sun performance library libsunperf to be selected: it may not work13 with f77, and will not with g77. libsunperf contains both BLAS and LAPACK code, and --with-lapack is recommended for 32-bit builds using f95, but not for 64-bit builds where on our test system it failed in both Forte 6U1 and 7, albeit in different ways. Our experience has been that ATLAS's BLAS is faster than libsunperf, especially for complex numbers.

Some care is needed to ensure that libraries found by configure are compatible with the R executable and modules, as the testing process will not detect many of the possible problems. For 32-bit builds under cc the flag -dalign is needed for some of the Sun libraries: fortunately the equivalent flag for gcc, -mno-unaligned-doubles, is the default. In theory, libraries such as libpng, libjpeg, zlib and the ATLAS libraries need to be built with a pic or PIC flag, which could be a problem if static libraries are used. In practice this seems to give little problem for 32-bit builds.

For a 64-bit build, 64-bit libraries must be used. As the configuration process by default sets LDFLAGS to `-L/usr/local/lib', you may need to set it to avoid finding 32-bit addons (as in the gcc -m64 example above). It is possible to build Tcl/Tk as 64-bit libraries with the configure option --enable-64bit, but only with the Forte compiler (and not with gcc) as of Tcl/Tk 8.4.5.


The reports on HP-UX here predate R 2.0.0.

R has been built successfully on HP-UX 10.2 and HP-UX 11.0 using both native compilers and gcc. However, 10.2 has not been tested since R 1.4.0. By default, R is configured to use gcc and g77 on HP-UX (if available). Some installations of g77 only install a static version of the g2c library that cannot be linked into a shared library since its files have not been compiled with the appropriate flag for producing position independent code (PIC). This will result in make failing with a linker error similar to

     ld: CODE_ONE_SYM fixup to non-code subspace in file foo.o -
     shared library must be position independent. Use +z or +Z to recompile.

(+z and +Z are the PIC flags for the native compiler cc.) If this is the case you either need to modify your g77 installation or configure with


to specify use of the native POSIX-compliant FORTRAN 77 compiler.

You may find that configure detects other libraries that R needs to use as shared libraries but are only available as static libraries. If you cannot install shared versions you will need to tell configure not to use these libraries, or make sure they are not in the library path. The symptom will be the linker error shown in the last paragraph. Static libraries that might be found and would cause problems are

     BLAS                   use --without-blas
     Tcl/Tk                 use --without-tcltk
     libpng                 use --without-libpng
     jpeg                   use --without-jpeglib
     zlib                   use --without-system-zlib

and bzip2 and pcre are problematic when building libR.so, only. These can be avoided by --without-system-bzlib and --without-system-pcre respectively, but these are the defaults.

Some versions of gcc may contain what appears to be a bug at the -O2 optimization level that causes

     > 2 %/% 2
     [1] 1
     > 1:2 %/% 2
     [1] 0 0     # wrong!!

which will cause make check to fail. If this is the case, you should use CFLAGS to specify -O as the optimization level to use.

Some systems running HP-UX 11.0 may have a gcc that was installed under HP-UX 10.2. Between versions 10.2 and 11.0 HP-UX changed its support functions for IEEE arithmetic from the recommended functions of the IEEE standard to the ones specified in the C9x draft standard. In particular, this means that finite has been replaced by isfinite. A gcc configured for HP-UX 10.2 run on 11.0 will not find isfinite, and as a result configure does not recognize the machine as fully supporting IEEE arithmetic and so will not complete. The best solution is to install a properly configured gcc. An alternative work-around is to add -DIEEE_754 to the CFLAGS variable.

You can configure R to use both the native cc and fort77 with

     ./configure CC=cc F77=fort77

f90 insists on linking against a static libF90.a which typically resides in a non-standard directory (e.g., /opt/fortran90/lib). Hence, to use f90 one needs to add this directory to the linker path via the configure variable LDFLAGS (e.g., ./configure F77=f90 LDFLAGS=/opt/fortran90/lib).


R 2.1.0 has been successfully built on IRIX64 6.5 using both gcc and the native (MipsPro 7.4) compiler. However, neither version has passed make check due to a problem with time zones (see below). A 64-bit executable has not been successfully built.

It appears that some (but not all) versions of IRIX have broken wide-character header files and so may need --disable-mbcs.

To build R with gcc use something like the following configuration flags


To build the Tcl/Tk package you will most likely need to add


since these configuration scripts are not on your path.

To build R with the native compilers, use something like the following configuration flags

     CC=cc F77=f77 CXX=CC
     CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/freeware/include" LDFLAGS="-L/usr/freeware/lib32"

The MipsPro compiler will not build the bzlib library, so you must use the external one provided by SGI as a freeware package.

After configuration, it is necessary to use gmake instead of the native make to build R.

There is a problem with the time zones on IRIX (originally reported by George N. White III for 1.9.0) which will cause the strptime tests to fail unless Arthur Olson's timezone data ftp://elsie.nci.nih.gov/pub/ has been installed (see also http://cspry.co.uk/computing/Indy_admin/TIMEZONE.html) and -ltz is added to the list of libraries (for example, in environment variable LIBS).

The flag -OPT:IEEE_NaN_inf=ON is added for the native compilers.

C.6 Alpha/OSF1

R has been built successfully on an Alpha running OSF1 V4.0 / V5.1 using gcc/g77 and cc/f77. Mixing cc and g77 fails to configure. The configure option --without-blas was used since the native blas seems not to have been built with the flags needed to suppress SIGFPE's. Currently R does not set a signal handler for SIGFPE on platforms that support IEEE arithmetic, so these are fatal.

At some point in the past using cc required -std1 to be set so `__STDC__' was defined. As far as we know this is no longer needed, and configure no longer sets it, but it does set -ieee_with_inexact for the C compiler and -fpe3 for the FORTRAN compiler (and -mieee-with-inexact and -mieee for gcc/g77) (in the appropriate R_XTRA_* flags.

C.7 Alpha/FreeBSD

Attempts to build R on an Alpha with FreeBSD 4.3 have been only partly successful. Configuring with -mieee added to both CFLAGS and FFLAGS builds successfully, but tests fail with SIGFPE's. It would appear that -mieee only defers these rather than suppressing them entirely. Advice on how to complete this port would be greatly appreciated.


On AIX 4.3.3 and AIX 5.1/2, it was found that the use of “run time linking” (as opposed to normal AIX style linking) was required. For this, the R main program must be linked to the runtime linker with the -brtl linker option, and shareable objects must be enabled for runtime linking with the -G linker option. Without these options, the AIX linker would not automatically link to any shared object with a .so extension. Also, the R main program would be unable to dynamically load modules (such as X11) with the dlopen call.

When setting MAIN_LDFLAGS and SHLIB_LDFLAGS accordingly, note that linker flags must be escaped using `-Wl,' if gcc is used for linking: use `MAIN_LDFLAGS="-Wl,brtl"' and `SHLIB_LDFLAGS="-Wl,-G"' in this case.

Tim Hoar <thoar at cgd dot ucar dot edu> reported success building R 1.9.0 under AIX 5.1 in 64-bit mode with

     CFLAGS='-O -qstrict'
     FFLAGS='-O -qstrict'
     CXXFLAGS='-O -qstrict'

and the X11() device worked. [His system required the Makeconf file to be edited to replace /lib/crt0.o by /lib/crt0_64.o in R_XTRA_LIBS, but configure now tries to detect this.]

Paul Boutros reported success building R 2.0.1 under AIX 5.2 with gcc 3.3.2 using


(note it is Wl (W ell) not W1 (W one)).

We understand that --enable-R-shlib does not work under AIX.

Ei-ji Nakama has reported that src/main/regex.c in R 2.2.0 has to be compiled with -D_LINUX_SOURCE_COMPAT in CFLAGS in AIX 5.x (and does not work correctly with AIX 4.x). We believe that the patch applied since obviates the need for this. He tested R 2.2.1 beta on AIX 5.2.

C.9 New platforms

There are a number of sources of problems when installing R on a new hardware/OS platform. These include

Floating Point Arithmetic: R requires arithmetic compliant with IEC60559, also know as IEEE 754. This mandates the use of plus and minus infinity and NaN (not a number) as well as specific details of rounding. Althugh almost all current FPUs can support this, selecting such support can be a pain. The problem is that there is no agreement on how to set the signalling behaviour; Sun/Sparc, SGI/IRIX and ix86 Linux require no special action, FreeBSD requires a call to (the macro) fpsetmask(0) and OSF1 requires that computation be done with a -ieee_with_inexact flag etc. On a new platform you must find out the magic recipe and add some code to make it work. This can often be done via the file config.site which resides in the top level directory.

Beware of using high levels of optimization, at least initially. On many compilers these reduce the degree of compliance to the IEEE model. For example, using -fast on the Solaris SunPro compilers causes R's NaN to be set incorrectly.

Shared Libraries: There seems to be very little agreement across platforms on what needs to be done to build shared libraries. there are many different combinations of flags for the compilers and loaders. GNU libtool cannot be used (yet), as it currently does not fully support FORTRAN (and will most likely never support f2c: one would need a shell wrapper for this). The technique we use is to first interrogate the X window system about what it does (using xmkmf), and then override this in situations where we know better (for tools from the GNU Compiler Collection and/or platforms we know about). This typically works, but you may have to manually override the results. Scanning the manual entries for cc and ld usually reveals the correct incantation. Once you know the recipe you can modify the file config.site (following the instructions therein) so that the build will use these options.

It seems that `gcc 3.4.x' and later on `ix86' Linux defeat attempts by the LAPACK code to avoid computations entirely in extended-precision registers, so file src/modules/lapack/dlamc.f may need to be compiled without optimization. If configure detects GNU FORTRAN or the use of f2c it adds flag -ffloat-store which suffices, but it is possible that src/modules/lapack/Makefile will need to be edited to remove optimization on other platforms. (This is true when using icc on ix86 Linux, for example.)

If you do manage to get R running on a new platform please let us know about it so we can modify the configuration procedures to include that platform.

If you are having trouble getting R to work on your platform please feel free to use the `R-devel' mailing list to ask questions. We have had a fair amount of practice at porting R to new platforms ....

Appendix D Building the GNOME console

This interface is experimental and incomplete. The console offers a basic command line editing and history mechanism, along with tool and button bars that give a point-and-click console to some R commands. Many of the features of the console are currently stubs, and the console is no longer under development: it has been kept available as an example of adding a front-end to R.

A gtk() graphics device (a port of the x11() device to GDK (the GIMP Drawing Kit)) is available from CRAN as package gtkDevice: this cooperates rather better with the console than the x11() device.

The sources for the GNOME console for R are now available as package gnomeGUI on CRAN and via Subversion by

     svn co https://svn.r-project.org/R-packages/trunk/gnomeGUI

You need to have built R first with the --enable-R-shlib option, and installed R to where you are going to use it from.

Please check you have all the requirements. You need at least the following packages or later installed:


It is preferable to have a complete installation of the GNOME desktop environment. If you use Linux, then this should be provided with your distribution. (Note: `libglade2' is not a suitable version of `libglade'.)

Remember that some package management systems (such as RPM and deb) make a distinction between the user version of a package and the developer version. The latter usually has the same name but with the extension `-devel' or `-dev'. If you use a pre-packaged version of GNOME then you must have the developer versions of the above packages in order to compile the R-GNOME console.

It is possible to install the front-end in the same way as an R package, via R CMD INSTALL or install.packages.

For greater control, it can be configured and built independently of R. Create a build directory, and from there run

     /path/to/gnomeGUI/configure R_HOME=/path/to/R/installation
     make install

This installs the two files bin/exec/Rgnome and share/glade/gnome-interface.glade in R_HOME.

The full list of options to this configure is

the directory (containing bin/R) of the R installation
specify the prefix for the GNOME dirs
specify location of GNOME headers
specify location of GNOME libs
specify location of libglade-config

How to invoke the GNOME console is described under Invoking R: in brief, use command-line option --gui=gnome.

Appendix E Enabling search in HTML help

There is a search engine available from the front page of the HTML help system, the page that is displayed by help.start(). The search engine is written in Java and invoked by Javascript code, so the first thing to do is to ensure that both are enabled in your favourite browser. Then try it and see: with most browsers you should see

     Applet SearchEngine started

displayed in the status bar. (Internet Explorer shows Applet started.) Then click on one of the keywords and after a short delay (several seconds) you should see a page of search results.

If this fails you should double-check that Java is enabled in your browser by visiting a page such as http://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.jsp (although that will fail for earlier versions of Java such as the Microsoft JVM which do work with R). Java 1.1 is sufficent.

On Mozilla-based browsers the links on the results page will become inactive if you return to it: to work around this you can open a link in a new tab or window.

Many thanks to Marc Schwartz in tracking down many of these issues with enabling the Java search engine.

E.1 Java Virtual Machines on Linux

We are aware of problems with certain Java installations. In particular, Sun's Java Run-time Environment j2re 1.4.2_02 to _05 do not work under ix86 Linux. Version jre 1.5.0 is strongly recommended for Mozilla-based browsers.

This and j2re 1.4.2_01 do work: the latter can be found in Sun's archive at http://java.sun.com/products/archive/.

Other Java installations, for example those from Blackdown and IBM, have been used.

Other useful links are for Mozilla, http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/faqs/java.html and http://www.mozilla.org/releases/mozilla1.6/installation-extras.html, for Konqueror http://www.konqueror.org/javahowto/, for Opera http://www.opera.com/support/search/supsearch.dml?index=459 and for Debian GNU/Linux http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-java-faq/.

Note that there appears not to be a Sun Java plugin for 64-bit browsers on x86_64 Linux: http://forum.java.sun.com/thread.jspa?threadID=568127&tstart=75, but 32-bit browsers have been used on that platform.

E.2 Java Virtual Machines on Unix

We have much less experience than under Linux, but we do know that Sun's Run-time Environment j2re 1.4.2_03 does not work under Solaris, whereas jre 1.5.0 and j2re 1.4.2_01 (available from http://java.sun.com/products/archive/) do.

E.3 Java Virtual Machines on Windows

We have not seen any problems on Windows provided a Java Virtual Machine has been installed and is operational: Sun's current j2re 1.5.0 works in Internet Explorer, Netscape 7.x, Mozilla 1.6/7 and Mozilla FireFox on Windows XP. Note that a recent Windows system may not have a JVM installed at all. For Netscape/Mozilla/FireFox visit http://java.sun.com/getjava/manual.html to install a Sun JVM. Which (if any) JVM is enabled can be set in `Set Program Access and Defaults' in Windows XP (SP1 or later), and which JVM is used by browser plugins may also be controlled by the Sun Java applet in the Control Panel.

Recent versions of Internet Explorer may block the use of Java applets and need the block removed via the information bar.

E.4 Java Virtual Machines on Mac OS X

The HTML search engine does not work with Safari under Mac OS X, but j2re 1.4.x may work with Mozilla, Firefox and Camino if the Java Embedding Plugin http://javaplugin.sourceforge.net/ is used.

The Aqua GUI provides an interface to help.search that may substitute for the Java search.

Appendix F The Windows toolset

If you want to build R from the sources in Windows, you will need to collect, install and test an extensive set of tools. See http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools/ for the current locations and other updates to these instructions.

Some of these tools are also necessary for building add-on packages from source. (Most Windows users will not need to do that; see Add-on packages for details.) We have found that the build process for R is quite sensitive to the choice of tools: please follow our instructions exactly, even to the choice of particular versions of the tools. The build process for add-on packages is somewhat more forgiving, but we recommend using the exact toolset at first, and only substituting other tools once you are familiar with the process.

This section contains a lot of prescriptive comments. They are here as a result of bitter experience. Please do not report problems to R-help unless you have followed all the prescriptions.

You will certainly need the following items to produce a working copy of R. See the subsections below for detailed descriptions.

For building simple packages containing data or R source but no compiled code, only the first two of these are needed.

A complete build of R including compiled HTML help files and PDF manuals, and producing the standalone installer R-2.2.1.exe will also need the following:

Your path should include `.' first, then the bin directories of the tools, perl, minGW, and LaTeX, as well as the Help Workshop directory. Do not use filepaths containing spaces: you can always use the short forms (found by dir /x at the Windows command line). It is essential that the directory containing the command line tools comes first or second in the path: there are typically like-named tools in other directories, and they will not work. The ordering of the other directories is less important, but if in doubt, use the order above.

Edit R_HOME/src/gnuwin32/MkRules to set the appropriate paths as needed and to set the type(s) of help that you want built. Beware: MkRules contains tabs and some editors (e.g. WinEdt) silently remove them.

Set the appropriate environment variables.

Our toolset contains copies of Cygwin dlls that may conflict with other ones on your system if both are in the path at once. The normal recommendation is to delete the older ones; however, at one time we found our tools did not work with a newer version of the Cygwin dlls, so it is safest not to have any other version of the Cygwin dlls in your path.

F.1 The command line tools

You will need suitable versions of at least basename, cat, comm, cp, cut, diff, echo, egrep, expr, find, gawk, grep, gzip, head, ls, make, makeinfo, mkdir, mv, rm, sed, sh, sort, texindex and touch; we use those from the Cygwin distribution (http://www.cygwin.com) or compiled from the sources. You will also need zip and unzip from the Info-ZIP project (http://www.info-zip.org). We have packaged a set of all of these tools at http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools/tools.zip.

Beware: `Native' ports of make are not suitable (including that at the mingw site). There were also problems with several earlier versions of the cygwin tools and dll. To avoid frustration, please use our tool set, and make sure it is at the front of your path (including before the Windows system directories). If you are using a Windows shell, type PATH at the prompt to find out.

F.2 Perl

You will need the Windows port of perl5. A package containing this is available from http://www.activestate.com/Products/ActivePerl/.

Beware: you do need the Windows port and not the Cygwin one.

F.3 The MinGW compilers

You need a recent version of the MinGW port of gcc from http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw/. See the notes on http://www.murdoch-sutherland.com/Rtools for updates.

In late 2005 there was an installer MinGW-5.0.0.exe in the `Proposed' section. Using this, select the `Candidate' package and add the `g++' and `g77' compilers to the `MinGW base tools': components will be downloaded from Sourceforge and unpacked. Note that you do need the `Candidate' compilers (gcc-3.4.4) to compile some contributed packages correctly, although gcc-3.4.2 suffices to build R itself.

An alternative is to download the components individually, currently


and unpack these into the same directory (using tar zxf tarball_name). Note that mingw-runtime-3.8.tar.gz or later is required to build R.

F.4 The Microsoft HTML Help Workshop

To make compiled html (.chm) files you will need the Microsoft HTML Help Workshop, currently available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/htmlhelp/html/hwmicrosofthtmlhelpdownloads.asp and http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/xp/appndx/appa06.htm.

You may need this on the same drive as the other tools. (Although we regularly use it on a different, problems have been reported in the past.)

To skip building compiled html help, set WINHELP=NO in MkRules. In this case the Help Workshop will not be needed.

F.5 LaTeX

The `MiKTeX' (http://www.miktex.org) distribution of LaTeX includes a suitable port of pdftex, as does the `ProText' (http://www.tug.org/protext/) enhanced version. We have also used the `fptex' distribution (available from any CTAN node such as http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/systems/windows/fptex/ and as part of TexLive 2005 (http://www.tug.org/texlive/)). Another actively-maintained version is available from http://www.fsci.fuk.kindai.ac.jp/kakuto/win32-ptex/.

Please read Making the manuals about how to make refman.pdf and set the environment variables R_RD4DVI and R_RD4PDF suitably; ensure you have the required fonts installed.

F.6 The Inno Setup installer

To make the installer package (R-2.2.1.exe) we require Inno Setup 5.1.5 or later from http://jrsoftware.org.

Edit file src/gnuwin32/MkRules and change ISDIR to the location where Inno Setup was installed.

Function and variable index

Concept index


[1] also known as IEC 559 and IEEE 754

[2] until recently this limit applied to all processes, not just to one process

[3] also known as IEEE 754

[4] Using the SunPro aka Forte aka Sun ONE cc and f95 compilers

[5] At the time of writing version 2.7.0 was for gcc3/g77 and version 3.0.0 for gcc4/gfortran.

[6] We have measured 15–20% on i686 Linux and around 10% on x86_64 Linux.

[7] AIX has to be different: it has EN_US.UTF-8!

[8] You may have to set this with luit, but it should be the default in a window manager session started in UTF-8.

[9] On HP-UX fort77 is the POSIX compliant FORTRAN compiler, and comes after g77.

[10] as well as its equivalence to the Rcomplex structure defined in R_ext/Complex.h.

[11] In particular, avoid g77's -pedantic, which gives confusing error messages.

[12] e.g., to use an optimized BLAS on Sun/Sparc

[13] recent versions have f77 as a wrapper for f95, and these do work.