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R will configure and build under a number of common Unix platforms
including dec-alpha-osf, freebsd, hpux, linux-elf, sgi-irix, solaris,
and sunos. In general it is relatively easy to adapt R to new
platforms. See below for details.
Choose a place to install the R tree (R is not just a binary, but has
additional data sets, help files, font metrics etc). Let's call this
place RHOME. Untar the source code. This should create directories
src, etc, cmd, help and doc. Issue the following commands:
If these commands execute successfully, the R binary will be copied to
the `$RHOME/bin' directory. In addition, a shell script font-end
called "R" will be created and copied to the same directory. You can
copy this script to a place where users can invoke it, for example to
`/usr/local/bin/R'. You could also copy the man page `R.1' to a place
where your man reader finds it, such as `/usr/local/man/man1'.
make docs
will build plain text help pages as well as HTML and LaTeX versions of
the documentation (the three kinds can also be generated separately
using make help, make html and make latex). Note that as of R version
0.60, you need Perl version 5 to build the documentation. If this is
not available on your system, you can obtain precompiled documentation
files via the `doc/pre-formatted-help' directory of the Comprehensive
R Archive Network (CRAN), see the file `RESOURCES' for information on
Now type R and reach for your S manuals ...
R is "shipped" configured so that it does not need a Fortran compiler
to build and install. For performance or other reasons you may
wish to use your Fortran compiler to compile those pieces of R
which are written in Fortran. To do this, edit the file
and change the line "F77=no" as indicated in the comments above
before typing configure. There are no guarantees that this will
work, but it may.
NEW PLATFORMS (Standards Hah!)
There are a number of sources of problems when installing R on a new
harware/os platform.
1. Floating Point Arithmetic: R supports the POSIX, SVID and IEEE
models for floating point arithmetic. The POSIX and SVID models
provide no problems. The IEEE model however can be a pain. The
problem is that there is no agreement on how to set the signalling
behavior; sgi/irix and linux require no special action, freebsd
requires a call to (the macro) fpsetmask(0) and osf1v3.2 requires
that computation be done with a -ieee_with_inexact flag etc...
On a new platform you must find out the magic recipe and add some
code to make it work. This can often be done via the file which resides in the top level directory.
2. Shared Libraries: There seems to be very little agreement across
platforms on what needs to be done to build shared libraries.
there are many different combinations of flags for the compilers
and loaders. The technique we use is to interrogate the X window
system about what it does (using xmkmf). This often works, but
you may have to manually override the results. Scanning the cc(1)
and ld(1) manual entries usually reveals the correct incantation.
Once you know the recipe you can modify the file
(following the instructions therein) so that the build will use
these options.
If you do manage to get R running on a new platform please let us know
about it so we can modify the configuration procedures to include that
If you are having trouble getting R to work on your platform please
feel free to get in touch to ask questions. We've had a fair amount
of practice at porting R to new platforms...
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