Re: [Rd] compiling R under cygwin

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 22:12:18 +0100 (BST)

On Tue, 21 Aug 2007, Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

> Yes,
>> What is the advantage of building this?
> was my question too. If you want a Unix-like version of R on PC hardware
> running Windows why not run a Unix-like OS under a virtual machine?
> Quite a lot of the details are wrong: using FLIBS, BLAS_LIBS and LIBS as
> intended will solve most of the problems. I would use --disable-nls
> --disable-mbcs as you don't need them (and in particular you don't benefit
> from MBCS support on Windows unless you are in a CJK locale).
> Note that 2.5.1 is released and there is unlikely to be a 2.5.2, so any
> changes would be made only to R-devel. It there is a convincing case to
> tailor a build for Cygwin there we can probably do so rather easily, but
> the need for ongoing support would be a worry.

It was very easy: R-devel now builds out of the box on Cygwin. I didn't have to do most of the things mentioned here: almost all the pieces needed were already available inside configure and just needed to be switched on. The exercise was useful in that it found a couple of long-standing minor errors in the build process. The resulting executable hung on the fifo() test (seemingly an oft-reported Cygwin issue), but otherwise passed 'make check'.

I still don't see why one would prefer this to Rterm.exe.

> (I

f platforms are not used and in particular not tested in the alpha/beta
> testing phases then the ability to build on them crumbles away. We seems
> to be down to regular testers on Linux, Windows, MacOS X, Solaris and
> FreeBSD, with some help on AIX after a patch with none.)
> On Tue, 21 Aug 2007, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> Denham Robert wrote:
>>> For various reasons,

> I think it is only courteous to mention some good reasons if you want to
> take up people's time.
>>> it suits our workplace to have a cygwin version of
>>> R. I am pretty sure that cygwin is still not a supported environment
>>> for R, but we have managed to compile R-2.5.1 under cygwin without too

>>> many dramas. Our procedure is described below. We still have a few
>>> problems compiling libraries without manually changing files from .so to
>>> .dll, but it seems ok.
>> I would expect other subtle problems as well, because Cygwin is not a
>> normal Unix. I don't know whether any of these differences matter to R,
>> but some things to look out for are:
>> - you can't unlink a file while it is open
>> - filenames are not case sensitive
>> - file permissions have strange defaults (everything is executable)
>> - I think the executable format still needs to be Windows format
>> - There's no such thing as a ptty
>> - You'll probably need X11 for graphics, and will lose support for
>> Windows metafile output (wmf)
>>> I was wondering whether this information is likely to be useful to
>>> others, and if we should spend any time looking in to ways in which the
>>> configure/build/install code could be modified to allow a standard
>>> install.
>> What is the advantage of building this? I don't think we want to

>> support platforms just for the sake of supporting more platforms, but if
>> there's a real need for it, that would be different.
>> Duncan Murdoch
>>> Notes on building R under cygwin:
>>> export FFLAGS=-O3
>>> export CFLAGS=-O3
>>> export CXXFLAGS=-O3
>>> export OBJCFLAGS=-O3
>>> export FCFLAGS=-O3
>>> export LDFLAGS='-lblas -lg2c -lintl'
>>> export R_OSTYPE=unix
>>> ./configure --prefix=/opt/freeware/R/R-2.5.1 \
>>> --with-tcl-config=/usr/lib/ \
>>> --with-tk-config=/usr/lib/ \
>>> --with-blas=-lblas \
>>> --with-lapack=-llapack \
>>> --enable-R-shlib
>>> comment out Win32 in src/include/config.h and set Unix to 1, change .so
>>> to .dll. change .so to .dll and in Makeconf.
>>> in src/extra/xdr/rpc/types.h comment out defn of malloc.
>>> Change .so to .dll in Makefile's
>>> edit Makeconf and set R_OSTYPE to unix
>>> make -j2
>>> when blas doesn't link, re-run command with -lblas -lg2c on end and
>>> change output to .dll
>>> edit Rstrptime.c and change wcstod to atof.
>>> in modules:
>>> when X11 and internet falls over add -lintl to link line. add -lg2c and
>>> -lblas to lapack
>>> comment out library/base/R/library.R lines 47-51 to avoid arch check
>>> which seems to go wrong!
>>> make -j2
>>> make install
>>> edit /opt/freeware/R/R-2.5.1/lib/R/etc/Makeconf and add '-lintl -lg2c
>>> -lblas' to the end of ALL_LIBS
>>> so the module building works. Change .so to .dll also
>>> (can't see how to to this for the build tho...)
>>> Our cygwin info is:
>>> sysname release version
>>> "CYGWIN_NT-5.1" "1.5.20s(0.155/4/2)" "20060527 19:21:22"
>>> Robert Denham
>>> Environmental Statistician
>>> Remote Sensing Centre
>>> Telephone 07 3896 9899
>>> <>
>>> Department of Natural Resources & Water
>>> QScape Building, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly Qld 4068
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Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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