Re: [Rd] compiling R under cygwin

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 06:59:49 +0100 (BST)

On Thu, 23 Aug 2007, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> The issue is compatibility with other Windows programs. /path/to/file works
> in lots of Windows programs, and is interpreted relative to the current
> drive. In the common situation where the user only has one partition which
> is mounted as C:, it works (as long as they didn't switch to a CD or USB
> drive).

In particular, it does not work on my system where I need to run under two OSes, Vista64 on C: and WinXP on D:, with common development on E: .

I had originally intended to work entirely on E: and mount E:/ as /, which is what you need to get Cygwin to return /path/to/file for working files on E: . But Cygwin does not handle permissions on a Vista NTFS file system well enough.

Latchezar (Lucho) Dimitrov wrote

> 5. AFAIK 64-bit R on your favorite Windows is far far away (even Windows
> is not close enough although it's getting there) and I'd like to see
> those above (and enjoy watching them) when Windows is not enough, e.g.,
> microarray analysis/BioConductor.

That's just not true. There have been reports of 64-bit R ports to Windows and many people are running 64-bit Windows on servers and some on desktops (including me). A MinGW-based 64-bit R for Windows is under active development (which is why I have Vista64 installed). This is even covered in the rw-FAQ (Q8.1, and yes that is a file with numbered TOC).

What seems 'far, far away' is something like Cygwin for 64-bit Windows. (I saw on a Cygwin list that RedHat wanted $$$$$ to do it, for too many $$$$$ for the potential customers.) The 32-bit version is said to work under the WOW 32-bit emulation layer but many of us find it flaky.

Personally I use Linux (the main OS on the machine I mention above) and Solaris: however many R users (quite possibly the substantial majority of all R users even excluding student usage) want a native Windows version.

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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