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Installing stringi
Introductory remark
We are putting great effort so that the package may be installed successfully
by simply calling `install.packages("stringi")`. However, due to the
overwhelming complexity of the ICU4C library, on which stringi is based,
and the colorful variety of operating systems, their flavors, and particular
setups, some users may still experience a few issues while the package
is compiled from sources.
Also, some additional build tweaks are possible to those who want a more
customized installation.
stringi and the ICU4C library
The stringi package depends on the ICU4C >= 52 library.
If you build the package from sources and either:
* this requirement is not met (check out,
the `libicu-devel` rpm on Fedora/CentOS/OpenSUSE,
or `libicu-dev` on Ubuntu/Debian, etc.),
* `pkg-config` is not able to find appropriate build settings
for ICU-based projects, or
* `R CMD INSTALL` is called with the `--configure-args='--disable-pkg-config'`
argument or `install.packages("stringi", configure.args="--disable-pkg-config")`
is executed,
then the library will be built together with stringi
(a custom subset of ICU4C 55.1 and 61.1 is shipped with the package).
> To get the most out of stringi, end users are encouraged to rely on our
> ICU4C package bundle. This guarantees maximum portability of stringi-based
> scripts.
If you decide to use our ICU4C bundle, then, by default, the ICU data library
will be downloaded from one of our mirror servers. However, if you have already
downloaded a version of `icudt*.zip` suitable for your platform
(big/little endian), you may wish to install the package by calling:
install.packages("stringi", configure.vars="ICUDT_DIR=<icudt_dir>")
Moreover, if you have **absolutely no internet access** on the machines
you try to install `stringi` on, try fetching the latest development version
of the package. It already includes the `ICU` data archives.
You can build a distributable source package that includes all the required
ICU data files (for off-line use) by omitting some relevant lines in
the `.Rbuildignore` file. The following command sequence should do the trick:
wget -O
sed -i '/\/icu..\/data/d' stringi-master/.Rbuildignore
R CMD build stringi-master
Assuming the most recent development version is 1.3.1,
a file named `stringi_1.3.1.tar.gz` is created in the current working directory.
The package can now be installed (the source bundle may be propagated via
`scp` etc.) by executing:
R CMD INSTALL stringi_1.3.1.tar.gz
or by calling `install.packages("stringi_1.3.1.tar.gz", repos=NULL)`,
from within an R session.
C++11 support
For R >= 3.1.0 we suggest (by default) C++11 support to build the package
from sources. This is because older releases of ICU4C use the `long long`
type in a few functions, and this is not part of the C++98 standard. Moreover,
it has become required by newer versions of ICU4C.
However, if your compiler does not support C++11 or it has not been properly
configured (check out `<R_inst_dir>/etc/Makeconf`) but you are sure it
tolerates the `long long` type (which is very common -- this is checked by the
`configure` script anyway), you may disable the use of C++11 by passing
the `--disable-cxx11` argument to the `configure` script.
Customizing the build process
Auxiliary `./configure` features and options:
* `--disable-cxx11`: Disable use of C++11; if you build ICU4C from
sources, make sure your C++ compiler supports the long long type.
* `--disable-icu-bundle`: Force the use of the system ICU.
* `--disable-pkg-config`: Disable `pkg-config` usage for finding ICU4C-devel;
in such a case ICU4C will be compiled from sources.
* `--with-extra-cflags=FLAGS`: Additional C compiler flags.
* `--with-extra-cppflags=FLAGS`: Additional C/C++ preprocessor flags.
* `--with-extra-cxxflags=FLAGS`: Additional C++ compiler flags.
* `--with-extra-ldflags=FLAGS`: Additional linker flags.
* `--with-extra-libs=FLAGS`: Additional libraries to link against.
Some influential environment variables:
* `ICUDT_DIR`: Optional directory from which an already downloaded ICU data
archive (`icudt*.zip`) may be copied; either an absolute path or a
path relative to `<package source dir>/src`; defaults to `icu55/data`.
* `PKG_CONFIG_PATH`: An optional list of directories to search for
`pkg-config`s `.pc` files.
* `R_HOME`: Override default directory with R installation, e.g.,
`/usr/lib64/R`. Note that `$R_HOME/bin/R` should point to the R executable.
* `CAT`: The `cat` command used for generating the list of source files
to compile.
* `PKG_CONFIG`:The `pkg-config` command used for getting necessary compiler
flags to link to and existing libicu installation.
* `STRINGI_DISABLE_CXX11`: Disable the use of C++11,
see also `--disable-cxx11`.
* `STRINGI_DISABLE_PKG_CONFIG`: Force the use of the ICU bundle,
see also `--disable-pkg-config`.
* `STRINGI_DISABLE_ICU_BUNDLE`: Force the use of the system ICU,
see also `--disable-icu-bundle`.
* `STRINGI_CFLAGS`: see `--with-extra-cflags`.
* `STRINGI_CPPFLAGS`: see `--with-extra-cppflags`.
* `STRINGI_CXXFLAGS`: see `--with-extra-cxxflags`.
* `STRINGI_LDFLAGS`: see `--with-extra-ldflags`.
* `STRINGI_LIBS`: see `--with-extra-libs`.
Final remarks
We expect that with a properly configured C++11 compiler and properly
installed system ICU4C distribution, you should have no problems
with installing the package. Also, if you use our ICU4C bundle and you
have a working internet access, all is expected to lead to a happy ending.
If you do not manage to set up a successful stringi build, do not
hesitate to [file a bug report](
However, please check the archived (closed) issues for similar problems
experienced by other users -- it is very likely they have already been
successfully resolved.