Re: [Rd] Custom installer [was: Version names]

From: Duncan Murdoch <>
Date: Tue 30 Nov 2004 - 01:19:18 EST

On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 12:06:35 +0100, "Philippe Grosjean" <> wrote :

>The discussion about version names leads me to the following question
>(sorry, I change the message title):
>Is it possible to enforce the user to select an option during R
>installation? For instance, I want R to be installed with the registry entry
>option set up and, let's say, with tcltk files installed. How do I ensure
>Well, under Windows, Inno Setup that is used as the installer is plenty of
>resources for that! You have lots of command line arguments, including
>/SAVEINF and LOADINF/ that use a custom information file about the options.
>Then, you can run the setup silently with /SP-, /SILENT or /VERYSILENT from
>the command line, thus, from a batch script.
>Ultimately, it is possible to write an installer that will install R with
>several options, with additional packages, etc... very easily without having
>to rebuid the original R installer. You need both the rwXXXX.exe installer
>(about 23Mb), and your custom installer (let's say with a couple of
>additional packages, weighting a few hundreds of kb) downloaded in the same
>directory. You run your custom installer, which in turn installs R silently
>with the right options (it even can detect if R is already installed or
>There is a real interest for this approach for projects like R Commander, or
>SciViews-R. Indeed, it targets beginners and installation should be as
>straigthforward as possible. Currently, you have to (1) install R (2) with
>specific options, (3) install additional packages, and (4) switch Rgui in
>SDI mode under Windows... before you can start working in R Commander or
>SciViews-R. Definitely too many tasks for a beginner!
>So, I will experiment a little bit with Inno Setup in this direction and
>intend to propose a web page about this topic, for Windows.
>Now, my two questions:
>1) Does anyone has some experience using Inno Setup this way?
>2) How to solve the problem of custom installation this way under
>Linux/Unix? [with a batch script, I presume, but does somebody have a
>skeleton for that: installing R with specific options + several additional
>packages at once].

  1. I don't have experience using Inno Setup like that, but there are various newsgroups dedicated to discussion of Inno Setup (see, and I'm reasonably sure you'd be able to get help there.
  2. Our assumption has been that Linux/Unix users are more sophisticated and less pampered regarding installations, so it's not as necessary to automate so much. There's also the issue that different Linux/Unix systems use different conventions for pre-packaged installs, so you would be setting yourself up for a lot of work if you attempt to support the majority of them.

Duncan Murdoch mailing list Received on Tue Nov 30 01:29:32 2004

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