R on Linux

Machine specs:


  1. Visit the R archive Web Page
  2. You have two options at this point -- you can either download the program source code, or you can find precompiled binaries for various distributions. I chose to download the program's source code and compile it myself. So that's what I'll go through here.
  3. Save the R-1.4.1.tgz file to your hard drive. It's about 5.13 MB so if you're working on a machine where you have limited disk space, make sure this isn't too big. The compiled program will take more disk space (a couple dozen MB's, I believe.
  4. At the command prompt, type tar xzvf R-1.4.1.tgz. This extracts it (at least on my machine, into a subdirectory called R-1.4.1 ... cd to this.
  5. Now you will need to configure the program to run on your particular flavor of Linux. Fortunately, thanks to autoconf this is easy. Simply type ./configure at the command prompt. This script took about 5 minutes to run on my PII 300 MHz, so be patient. Note: there is a file called INSTALL that also provides installation instructions.
  6. Now type make ... this actually compiles the program and took nearly 15 minutes on my system.
  7. Do make check to ensure that the program was actually built correctly.
  8. If you have superuser priviliges you can install R into /bin or /usr/bin so that all users of the computer can use it. If you are not the superuser, don't worry, you can still run R in your home directory. Since I own the machine I installed on, I typed make install while logged in as root to install the program so that all users could use it.
  9. The only thing left to do is install documentation. Use make dvi , make info , or make pdf. If you are installing for everyone (see above) do make install-dvi , make install-info , make install-pdf.

Observed problems

This document was created by Tim Miller. Please e-mail me if you have problems or notice any errors.

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