[Rd] Problems with install.packages when Ncpus > 1

From: Winston Chang <winstonchang1_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2012 23:42:37 -0500


I have a Ubuntu Linux 12.04.1 machine running R 2.15.1. I'm trying to run tests building packages, so install.packages() is trying to install about about 1000 packages from source. I'm running into some strange issues that seem related to using values for Ncpus other than 1.

When I use Ncpus=32, about 260 of the packages fail to install. When I tried again with Ncpus=2, more of them get installed, and there were only 234 failed packages. I tried it again with Ncpus=1, after which there were only 142 failed packages. (I think these remaining failed packages are due to missing external dependencies, like RODBC, Java, and various development libraries, so these aren't a concern at the moment.)

In the code for install.packages, I see that if Ncpus>1, it passes the Ncpus to make, as in 'make -k -j 32'. Is it possible that these packages are failing because of this option to make?

Has anyone else run into this issue before?

Thanks!
-Winston



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