[R] How to installation of R on Unix (SunOs 5.8)

Prof Brian Ripley ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Tue May 15 07:13:34 CEST 2007

On Mon, 14 May 2007, Biao Xing wrote:

> Hi there:
> Can someone help me with installing R on Unix? I tried the followings, but
> failed:
> (1) I downloaded
> http://cran.cnr.berkeley.edu/bin/linux/debian/stable/r-base_2.5.0.orig.tar.g
> z and unzipped the file.

That is not where the R FAQ says to get the R sources.  See


It may be the same as the documented file, but I'll leave you to verify 

On the other hand, I would always recommend starting with the 
current R-patched tarball, and there are three changes there that may help 
with such an old OS as yours (see below).

> (2) I issued "./config" command, which ended up with a long log file. I
> attached below the last few lines. If anyone needs the full log, I can send
> it over.

This looks like part of the output of ./configure.  In the top level 
directory there should be a file called INSTALL.  This asks you to read 
the 'R Installation and Administration Manual'.  The online version is at 
http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/R-admin.html: please search for 


> configure: error: --with-readline=yes (default) and headers/libs are not
> available
> (3) I issued "make" command, then the message I got was:
> "make: Fatal error: No arguments to build"
> The Unix system that I use is SunOS 5.8. I wanted to install R on my home
> directory, not a system wide installation.
> There seem to be a lot of Q&A messages posted on the list regarding how to
> install R on Unix. But I didn't get a clue from reading them. Can someone
> provide a summary for a 'Unix dummy'?

I don't see 'a lot', and I have seen this one quite a few times.  Try 
searching the list archives for '--with-readline=yes' if you want to 
confirm this.

More generally, Solaris 8 (aka SunOS 5.8) is a rather old OS (our box says 
'October 2001') and did not even come with compilers.  Please read the 
section on Solaris in the 'Platform Notes' in the manual I cited to make 
sure you have the necessary tools and that they are recent enough.
(You may need to seek help from your sysadmins on this.)  As well as 
libreadline, you will need libiconv (unless you use R-patched and 

Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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