[R] installing R on debian linux

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Sat Nov 2 01:39:00 CET 2002

On Fri, Nov 01, 2002 at 05:57:27PM -0500, Michael L Friendly wrote:
> I have a shiny new debian linux box and am just about to install R.  I'm 
> also a shiny new linux user,
> so please excuse these naive questions.
> I've read the 'R Installation and Admin guide (2002-10-01)' and also
> http://cran.r-project.org/bin/linux/debian/ReadMe, and I know how to do
> apt-get  install r-base
> which gives me
>  r-base-core r-base-html r-base-latex  r-base-core r-base-html r-base-latex

Yes as r-base is a "meta" package which pulls in everything which other
distro packs as the main R package. [1]

> (but not r-base-dev).  But I also see a set of pre-compiled binaries for 

Yes, r-base-dev is needed only if you want to install/built other packages.
As it depends on other packages, it is not included above.

> debian
> woody on CRAN, r-doc, r-gnome, r-recommended, ...
> and I also read in r-help of peoples' troubles in installing various
> R packages, tckl stuff (you need to compile with readline, or pcre, or ...)

Those troubles typically come from people using distributions other than
Debian. E.g. Gnome and Tcl/tk are supported out of the box under Debian once
you install r-base (and get the main r-base-core package) as well as its

> and I'm confused because the Installation and Admin
> guide is generic and I don't know how the installation process actually
> works.
> Can someone help, or point me to some more specific documentation
> for debian linux?

Not really. There are some books about Debian which may be useful. At least
one is even included in the distribution.

As this is not really R specific, feel free to also ask me in private, or
consider mailing the debian-user list.

(Debian maintainer for R)

[1] Why so granular? Well, R is a large piece of software, and this gives
you degrees of freedom so you can later remove some of, say, the large
documentation packages and only retain you preferred format. 

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