Re: [R] How to installation of R on Unix (SunOs 5.8)

From: Biao Xing <>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 14:03:57 -0700

Dr. Ripley,

Thanks for you reply and hints. I was able to install R on the Unix system (SunOs 5.8) by issuing the following commands:

./configure --with-readline=no --with-iconv=no make

It may lose some functionality by specifying these options, I guess. But I use Unix R only when I need to execute codes that will run for long time. Otherwise I am satisfied with Windows R.

As for your comments #1, the file I downloaded is the same as the original R resource file.

Thanks again.
-----Original Message-----
From: Prof Brian Ripley [] Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 10:14 PM
To: Biao Xing
Subject: Re: [R] How to installation of R on Unix (SunOs 5.8)

On Mon, 14 May 2007, Biao Xing wrote:

> Hi there:
> Can someone help me with installing R on Unix? I tried the followings, but
> failed:
> (1) I downloaded
> z and unzipped the file.

That is not where the R FAQ says to get the R sources. See

It may be the same as the documented file, but I'll leave you to verify that.

On the other hand, I would always recommend starting with the current R-patched tarball, and there are three changes there that may help with such an old OS as yours (see below).

> (2) I issued "./config" command, which ended up with a long log file. I
> attached below the last few lines. If anyone needs the full log, I can
> it over.

This looks like part of the output of ./configure. In the top level directory there should be a file called INSTALL. This asks you to read the 'R Installation and Administration Manual'. The online version is at please search for 'readline'.


> configure: error: --with-readline=yes (default) and headers/libs are not
> available
> (3) I issued "make" command, then the message I got was:
> "make: Fatal error: No arguments to build"
> The Unix system that I use is SunOS 5.8. I wanted to install R on my home
> directory, not a system wide installation.
> There seem to be a lot of Q&A messages posted on the list regarding how to
> install R on Unix. But I didn't get a clue from reading them. Can someone
> provide a summary for a 'Unix dummy'?

I don't see 'a lot', and I have seen this one quite a few times. Try searching the list archives for '--with-readline=yes' if you want to confirm this.

More generally, Solaris 8 (aka SunOS 5.8) is a rather old OS (our box says 'October 2001') and did not even come with compilers. Please read the section on Solaris in the 'Platform Notes' in the manual I cited to make sure you have the necessary tools and that they are recent enough. (You may need to seek help from your sysadmins on this.) As well as libreadline, you will need libiconv (unless you use R-patched and --without-iconv).

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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