[R] xvfb? cron job updates R packages, fails on some requiring X11

Berwin A Turlach Berwin.Turlach at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 07:43:03 CET 2017

G'day Paul,

On Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:52:16 -0600
Paul Johnson <pauljohn32 at gmail.com> wrote:

> In Centos 7 systems, I wrote a script that runs on the cron and I
> notice some package updates and installs fail like this:
> [....]
> I understand I need something like xvfb to simulate an X11 session,
> but I don't understand how to make it work.  Can one of you give me an
> idiot's guide on what to do?

I do not know about Centos (i.e. how to install the necessary
software), but on my Ubuntu machines I have since years the following
in my crontab:

44 4 * * * cd /opt/src ; /usr/bin/xvfb-run ./R-devel-Doit
44 5 * * * cd /opt/src ; /usr/bin/xvfb-run ./R-aop-Doit

Those scripts update the R source code (development version and patched
version of latest official release, respectively), compile and install
from scratch, and update (if necessary) some contributed packages for
these R versions.  

I do not have iplots among the packages that I need for these R
versions, but I do have rgl and upgrades of the latter work (without
the need of setting any environment variables).

Hope this helps.


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