Re: [R] Upgraded FC4 to FC5 - unable to start device X11 in R

From: Patrick Connolly <>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007 21:02:18 +1200

On Sat, 16-Jun-2007 at 04:09PM +1200, Patrick Connolly wrote:

|> On Fri, 15-Jun-2007 at 01:50PM -0700, Li-Jung Liang wrote:
|> |> Hi,
|> |>
|> |> I upgraded my system from FC4 to FC5. So now I have R version 2.5.0
|> |> (2007-04-23).
|> |> But I ran into a problem with starting device X11 (message below).
|> |>
|> |> > X11()
|> |> can't find X11 font
|> |> Error in X11(display, width, height, pointsize, if (is.null(gamma)) 1
|> |> else gamma, :
|> |> unable to start device X11
|> |>
|> |> Any idea?
|> Check what search() gives you. Make sure package:grDevices is on that
|> list.
|> I ran into that problem myself. I never figured out how come it used
|> to be there, but suddenly ceased to be. The problem didn't appear
|> until R-2.5.0. In the USER-VISIBLE CHANGES under
|> I see this:
|> o Package 'graphics' has been split into 'grDevices' (the graphics
|> devices shared between base and grid graphics) and 'graphics'
|> (base graphics). Each of the 'graphics' and 'grid' packages
|> load 'grDevices' when they are attached. Note that
|> ps.options() has been moved to grDevices and user hooks may
|> need to be updated.
|> My suspicion is that grDevices did not have to be specifically loaded
|> if graphics was one of your default packages loaded at startup. Since
|> few others seem to have had the same experience, I'd hesitate to call
|> it a bug. I've got round the problem by adding grDevices to the list
|> in my ~/.Rprofile file.

Perhaps I could explain what I meant to say better than that....

Starting R with the --vanilla switch will load graphics and the grDevices packages (among others). There seems to be a difference from previous versions if I use a ~/.Rprofile file to load the graphics package, since the grDevices does NOT automatically load whereas it did in R-2.4.x versions. That might be a bug, but since others don't seem to have the problem, I'd hesitate to say.

In any case, if grDevices isn't in the search list, I'd be fairly certain you can get round the problem you describe by specifically loading it, or adding it to the startup list of packages. (I'm assuming you installed R from the tgz file and not an rpm). I, too, use Redhat/Fedora but other users don't seem to have the same problem, so it's likely something more specific to our setups.

As ever, the more knowledgeable could have a better idea.


   ___    Patrick Connolly   
 {~._.~}          		 Great minds discuss ideas    
 _( Y )_  	  	        Middle minds discuss events 
(:_~*~_:) 	       		 Small minds discuss people  
 (_)-(_)  	                           ..... Anon

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