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Customizable R formula for Homebrew

Custom hombrew r formula. Tcl-Tk support is added by default using the Mac OS system Tcl-Tk framework (see r.rb formula lines 61-63). The formula also provides optional support for the following dependencies: Cairo, IUC, Java, LibTIFF, OpenBLAS, Pango and TexInfo.

Operational X11/Xquartz and macOS Command Line Tools installations are build requirements. X11/Xquartz is required because the tk.h header file used in base r tcltk package includes X11 headers.

On macOS, Xcode must be installed for the appropriate Tcl-Tk config files to be available.

Cairo X11

In order for cairo support it is necessary to install a version of cairo with X11 headers. Since the Homebrew core cairo formula no longer supports the --with-x11 option, a custom cairo formula has been made available in this repository that will support R with cairo device capabilities. If this option is desired and you have a previously installed Homebrew version of cairo, reinstall using the formula provided here brew rm cairo && brew install -s sethrfore/r-srf/cairo-x11. Otherwise brew install -s sethrfore/r-srf/cairo-x11 should be sufficient. This may neccesitate reinstallation of other formulae depending on cairo.

Tcl-Tk X11

An X11 tcl-tk build can be installed via the tcl-tk-x11 formula available here. To install, do as follows:

brew tap sethrfore/homebrew-r-srf

brew install sethrfore/r-srf/tcl-tk-x11


When all system dependecies addressed in the previous section have been met, this modified R formula can be installed as follows.

Add the repository to your homebrew

brew tap sethrfore/homebrew-r-srf

Check available installation options

brew info sethrfore/r-srf/r

Compile the modified R formula from source with desired options

brew install -s sethrfore/r-srf/r --with-cairo-x11 --with-tcl-tk-x11

Note: If necessary, remove previous R and cairo installations prior to compiling the modified R formula. Once installed, the compiled dependencies can be checked by invoking R and running capabilities().

R/X11 support deprectation notice

While I won't be immediately deprecating X11 supported R builds, I am currently unlikely to continue maintaining them at some point in the future. For those affected by this, please refer and post any comments to this discussion thread. All notices pertaining changes to R/X11 support will be posted here or in the relevant discussion. If you have any thoughts, suggestions or concerns surrounding how/when this process will take place, I highly recommend contributing to the discussion.

Note for R Developers

I am open to suggestions on how to improve the functionality of this formula. I am not a programming expert and welcome any tested solutions that enhance the functionality of this formula, specifically with reference to issues related to changes in recent Xcode and CLT deployments.


Custom Homebrew R formula with tcl-tk support and additional options






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