Re: [R] Unable to load foreign after upgrade on ubuntu

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue 24 Oct 2006 - 15:30:36 GMT

On Tue, 24 Oct 2006, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:

> On 24 October 2006 at 15:47, Van Campenhout Bjorn wrote:
> | I am running R on ubuntu dapper. The version that is in the ubuntu
> | repos is 2.2.1, so I decided to upgrade by adding
> |
> | deb dapper/
> |
> | to my sources.list, as advised on the web page. After sudo apt-get
> | update and upgrade, I have version 2.3.1. However, when I try to load
> | the library 'foreign', I get the following error:
> |
> | Error in dyn.load(x, as.logical(local), as.logical(now)):
> | Unable to load shared library
> | '/usr/lib/R/library/foreign/libs/':
> | /usr/lib/R/library/foreign/libs/ undefined symbol: isfinite
> | Error: package/namespace load failed for 'foreign'
> |
> | What is going wrong?
> There are interdependencies between the R binary and the dynamically loaded
> libraries it loads. By upgrading R, you have agreed to the Faustian bargain
> of potentially having to upgrade these libraries too.
> So reinstalling foreign from CRAN should do. R can do that for you, see
> help("update.packages")
> and make sure you also have r-base-dev installed as this will cover most if
> not all of the tools

But since foreign is part of R, installing a new version of R will update the standard and recommended packages including foreign. So this suggests that what is being picked up is another copy of foreign from another library.

Make sure R_LIBS is not set, and then start R --vanilla and try again. If that works (as I suspect), check start R again normally, and look at

> .libPaths()

Then check all those directories other than the last for previously-installed packages and delete duplicates. As Dirk suggests,

update.packages(ask=FALSE, checkBuilt=TRUE)

will update them all, *provided* you have sufficient file permissions.

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

______________________________________________ mailing list
PLEASE do read the posting guide
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
Received on Wed Oct 25 10:57:55 2006

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.1.8, at Wed 25 Oct 2006 - 03:30:13 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.