[R] Installing from RPM on Red Hat 9

(Ted Harding) Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk
Thu Sep 18 17:05:55 CEST 2003

Many thanks to Jari Oksanen and Jonathan Baron for very helpful comments
on my enquiry about installing R from RPM in Red Hat 9, and the ensuing
libtk problem. It does seem to be a slightly strange situation, and I
have added some comments below in case they may be useful to others.

On 18-Sep-03 Jari Oksanen wrote:
> libtk is a `Tk' library associated with `Tcl', and known collectively
> as `Tcl/Tk' [...]. It is not installed automatically in RH, unless you
> select kernel sources(!), neither can it be easily found with the
> modern ``user-friendly'' interface. So you need to find the `tk'
> package in your CD.

I mounted each of the 3 CDs and finally found tk-8.3.5-88.i386.rpm on
CD number 3! It's very true that the GUI does not easily reveal this,
and indeed it only showed up under "kernel sources". This is bizarre,
since Tcl/Tk is such a generally useful item.

> Python, perl etc. have Tk-bindings for GUI building. So it is
> surprising that RH does not install this automatically.

Indeed! Next saga down the line: having found it, I opened up the RPM
installer on it ( rpm -i /mnt/cdrom/tk-8.3.5-88.i386.rpm ) on it, only
to find that 'rpm' went to sleep -- although there was now apparently a
libtk library in /usr/lib, rpm did not finish off its job.

So I opted for using the GUI interface accepting that the only way to
install this rather small library via that route was to install the
kernel sources as well; acceptable since this also gives you the kernel
header files which can be needed if you're compiling other software.
This worked!

On 18-Sep-03 Jonathan Baron wrote:
> I vaguely recall that the requirement for tk and tcl was not
> originally part of the RPM, but Martyn Plummer changed it because
> people (like me) were complaining that Rcmdr (and perhaps other
> packages) would not install without them.  He also started
> including "configure.log" so that you would know how he had made
> the RPM.
> In the meantime, I had installed R from source, after making sure
> that I had tcl and tk.  This was quite easy (although it took a
> while for everything to finish).  So, I suggest that, if you do
> not want to install tk, then you try installing from source.  The
> installation instructions come with the source code.

I was thinking of going down that road, but in view of your commments,
Jonathan, about Rcmdr etc. it may have been a good thing to make sure
there would be no problems on that front.

Anyway, after all that, R has now been installed and seems to be working


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 167 1972
Date: 18-Sep-03                                       Time: 16:05:55
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